Development plan sought for historic firehouse

Minneapolis officials are seeking development ideas for a distinctive property in north Minneapolis: A 74-year-old former fire station.

The fire department stopped using the station on 33rd and James Avenues after a new one was built on Lowry Avenue in 2006. The city solicited proposals for the site on Wednesday, particularly those that would convert it into small-scale retail, commercial or office space. The city won't accept proposals to demolish the building, however.

The station lies in one of the most economically depressed areas of the city, in the Folwell neighborhood. A 2011 tornado severely damaged many houses in the surrounding area and uprooted trees.

The city estimated the market value of the .38-acre site is $230,000. Proposals must be submitted by Feb. 26.

Converted fire houses are common in Minneapolis. Examples include the Mixed Blood Theatre in Cedar-Riverside, a condo on 35th and Hennepin and Harriet Brasserie in Linden Hills.

Eric Roper


Black literature on display in Hennepin Gallery

The Hennepin Gallery will mark Black History Month with a display of the Archie Givens Sr. Collection of African-American Literature from Monday to Feb. 25. The collection, which includes more than 8,000 books dating to 1773, is usually housed at the University of Minnesota.

Many of the books that will be on exhibit are rare first editions, some of which have been out of print for many years. Some have been signed, inscribed or illustrated by the authors. The collection also contains letters, manuscripts, music and artwork compiled through the years by lay preservationists with a passion for preserving history.

The Hennepin Gallery is free and open to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the downtown Minneapolis Hennepin County Government Center, A-level, 300. S. 6th St., Minneapolis.



City settles with woman injured in car collision

The St. Paul City Council on Wednesday approved a $110,000 settlement with a woman who was injured when a city-owned car driven by a public works employee ran a red light and collided with the vehicle in which she was riding.

The crash caused an air bag to deploy, injuring Ramla A. Bile in her left eye. She also suffered spinal injuries, according to a suit she filed last year against the city and Jordan C. Carlson, the public works employee.

The settlement is not an admission of liability and releases the city and Carlson from any subsequent claims made against them. Under the terms of the settlement, the parties declined to comment.

The crash occurred Oct. 12, 2011, at the intersection of Dale Street and St. Anthony Avenue. According to the settlement, Bile's outstanding medical bills amount to $1,639.


Dakota County

Some private wells found to have high nitrate levels

A campaign to test the water in private wells across Dakota County found about 20 percent of homes were using well water that had nitrate levels above what they should be. Too much of the compound can cause serious problems in infants and young children. So can manganese, a chemical element also found in the wells.

Dakota County and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture conducted the sampling last year, and 739 households participated. The results varied depending on where the well was located, how the land around it is used and what the soil in the area is like.

Many factors can contribute to the high manganese and nitrate levels, including fertilized crop lands, septic systems and urban runoff.

The county will follow up with residents who participated in the study and share health and water treatment information.

Jessie van berkel