The city of Coon Rapids is weighing plans for two new apartment complexes, one along Coon Rapids Boulevard and a second by the Northstar commuter rail station, which would add 371 apartment units.

“We don’t have a lot of modern apartment options in the city,” said Matt Brown, Coon Rapids economic development coordinator. “Both of these projects will diversify our housing stock.”

Sherman Associates is proposing a 132-unit market-rate multifamily building called Port Riverwalk, on a city-owned 30-acre parcel along Coon Rapids Boulevard between Egret Boulevard and Avocet Street. Staffers anticipate that another developer will submit a competing proposal for the site in coming weeks.

Sherman Associates also is proposing two buildings with 239 apartment units near the Northstar station along Northdale Boulevard, on property owned by the Anoka County Regional Rail Authority.

Most of the apartments would be market-rate, but a portion would be considered affordable allowing the developer to file for tax credits and other financing.

The City Council heard about the two proposals at a work session Wednesday but has taken no official action.

Shannon Prather


Tom Warth on way home after African walk

As one ages, birthday parties tend to be smaller affairs. That’s not the case for Tom Warth of Marine on Croix.

Warth, 80, spent his birthday earlier this month walking 20 miles across the African island of Zanzibar, in Tanzania. Then he handed Tanzania’s former first lady the two-millionth book delivered to the country by his nonprofit, Books For Africa.

The book, like Warth, brought a Minnesota touch to Africa; it was donated to Books For Africa by the Minneapolis school district.

His walk in Africa was just one of the many times he has visited the continent, and only one of his many hikes. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for his 70th birthday.

Books for Africa was launched in 1988 by Warth, who had retired from a successful book publishing career and noticed that a Ugandan library lacked books. The nonprofit has shipped more than 34 million books to 49 of Africa’s countries.

Warth will return to Minnesota on Wednesday.



Residents sought for clubhouse group

Now that Roseville officials have decided to keep offering municipal golf, they have some thoughts about what the clubhouse could become and are asking residents to help guide them.

The “visioning” process for the facilities at Cedarholm Golf Course will involve what the city is calling an advisory team to explore “funding options and possible partnerships as well as size, function and use strategies for the clubhouse.”

The city is seeking 10 Roseville residents on the 18-person team, which will include a City Council member and representatives of various civic entities. The team also will include a member of the city’s historical society, which could occupy space in the building.

To apply or to get more information, go to or call 651-792-7102 for an application. Deadline to apply is Feb. 22.

David Peterson


Riverway included in maintenance backlog

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and Minnesota’s four other national park units appear on a National Park Service list that shows $11.9 billion in deferred maintenance projects nationwide.

The St. Croix Riverway, with headquarters and a visitor center in St. Croix Falls, Wis., covers the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers north of Stillwater.

Other NPS units in Minnesota are Grand Portage National Monument, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area in the Twin Cities, Pipestone National Monument and Voyageurs National Park near International Falls.

Deferred maintenance for the Mississippi and St. Croix parks runs to about $1 million each. Combined, the five units have $47.3 million in deferred maintenance, with Voyageurs topping the list with nearly $16 million, the NPS said.

Deferred maintenance refers to work delayed for more than a year on roads and bridges, visitor centers, trails and campgrounds. Aging amenities, increasing public use and scarce resources are contribuing to the growing backlog, said NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.

Kevin Giles