Officers honored with road name, memorial
Signs have gone up along Hwy. 12 in Wayzata to recognize a police officer who died in the line of duty last year.
The Legislature this year named the 3-mile stretch through the city “Officer Bill Mathews Memorial Highway.” Mathews was cleaning debris off the road in September 2017 when he was struck by an impaired and distracted driver.
Wayzata broke ground only last month for a memorial next to City Hall that honors Mathews and police Sgt. James (J.W.) Anderson, who was shot and killed while on duty in 1982. The City Council had approved the design for the memorial just three days before Mathews was killed.
The memorial will consist of a 12-foot circular plaza surrounding three stones for Mathews, Anderson and police in general. Officials hope it will be finished by May.
Labor deal struck for correctional officers
After more than a year of negotiations, the Ramsey County Board and its correctional officers have agreed to a three-year labor deal that includes 2.5 percent pay raises in each year of the contract.
Correctional officers, who staff the county’s law enforcement center and the county jail, had been working on an expired contract all year. They will receive retroactive 2.5 percent bumps in pay for their work so far this year, dating back to Jan. 1. The contract will expire Dec. 31, 2020.
The pay raises are in line with other annual raises that the county has negotiated with its unions over the past several years, typically amounting to hikes of 1.5 to 3 percent since the end of the Great Recession.
SOUTH METRO FIRE
Juelfs is selected to replace Pott as chief
The South Metro Fire Department — the joint fire department for West St. Paul and South St. Paul — will have a new chief in March: Mark Juelfs, a 20-year veteran of the department.
Juelfs will replace Fire Chief Mike Pott, who is retiring after a 32-year career that began in 1986 when he became a West St. Paul firefighter.
Juelfs’ contract is still being negotiated and should be finalized later this month at a board of directors meeting, said Mark Erickson, the department’s chief of operations. The board includes City Council members from both cities and a member of the public.
Meetings planned on community center
Andover officials are working to cut costs on a big-ticket plan to expand the community center, but lingering resident concerns have prompted two new informational meetings.
The first will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the community center, 15200 Hanson Blvd. NW. A second meeting is planned for the same time on Dec. 17 at City Hall, 1685 Crosstown Blvd. NW.
The $18.9 million project could add about 50,000 square feet to the building, but the estimate has left many with sticker shock and prompted some to call for a referendum.
City officials are working to shave about $2 million off the price tag to limit the tax hike to no more than $100 for a $250,000 house.
The proposed expansion includes plans for new meeting places for seniors and teens, a sports gym, an indoor walking track and a new arena for ice and turf sports.