St. Louis Park

Police Multicultural Advisory Committee member to fill Council seat

The St. Louis Park City Council voted Jan. 31 to appoint Yolanda Farris to a vacant at-large seat, which she will hold until city elections in November.

Farris has lived in St. Louis Park for nearly 10 years. She works at a residential support program for women in recovery and their children, and is a member of the St. Louis Park Police Multicultural Advisory Committee.

The council considered 24 applicants for the at-large vacancy and held interviews in January.

"My connection to this city is the underprivileged communities who have many struggles with mental health and addiction," Farris wrote in her application. "My abilities to connect and integrate underprivileged communities have been invaluable in working with community leaders and advocates."

Josie Albertson-Grove


With large parcel, city hopes for significant new development

Richfield is looking for big ideas to fill a big piece of land at Interstate 494 and Highway 77.

The parcel started coming together in 2000, when the city bought property as part of a project to dig a tunnel under Highway 77. Then, Metro Sales Inc., a business with two buildings at the intersection, decided to consolidate. The company donated a portion of its property to the Richfield Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Now, Richfield has 3.7 acres — one of the last pieces of vacant property on I-494 — and is looking for developers with ideas for what to put there.

Richfield officials have tossed around possibilities including a brewery, vertical garden, hotel and event space or a food hall, but will consider a range of ideas that align with the city's goals of walkability and job creation.

Potential developers have until Feb. 17 to make their pitches.

Josie Albertson-Grove


Firefighter up for national award

Plymouth Fire Department's Marc Elbin is one of five finalists for the Emergency Vehicle Technician of the Year award, presented by Firehouse magazine and the Fire Department Safety Officers Association.

Elbin joined the department in 2017 as a paid on-call firefighter and was promoted to fire technician in 2020. He was one of 240 nominees from across the country for the award, which recognizes high-performing emergency vehicle technicians who make a significant impact to their organization and community.

"He has taken us to the next level of responding to any given emergency," Plymouth Fire Chief Rodger Coppa said during a recent City Council meeting.

Tim Harlow


City Council fills two vacancies

Rosemount has filled two vacancies on its City Council.

One arose when Council Member Jeff Weisensel won the mayoral race. The second occurred after Council Member Tammy Block declined the position she was elected to after first resigning from the council in September. Her resignation came too late to take her name off the ballot.

Sixteen residents applied for the two spots; Paul Theisen, who works for Genentech as a business engagement manager, and Tami Klimpel, a director of marketing and product strategy for Minnwest Bank, were appointed after eight candidates were interviewed.

Theisen will fill the rest of Weisensel's term, which is about two years. Klimpel was temporarily appointed to serve until November 2023. At that time, a special election will be held for the full term of Block's open position.

The new council members will be sworn in at the Feb. 7 meeting.

Erin Adler