Washington County’s popular artificial swim pond reopens to the public on Monday, after months of reconstruction work.

The Lake Elmo Park Reserve pond, built in 1986, had been showing its age when county commissioners approved a $1.3 million project to replace it.

The maximum depth of the pond was reduced from six to four feet and the liner and pipes were replaced, as were “skimmers” that filter the water to keep it safe.

Visitors will see more shade trees, sidewalks and benches, as well as accessible parking areas and picnic tables, and a hard-surfaced, zero-depth entry into the pond.

Grills no longer will be allowed on the lawn surrounding the pond, although a picnic area west of the pond was improved for that purpose.

Park staffers will be available in the next few weeks to help explain new procedures, county officials said.

A ribbon-cutting is planned for 2:30 p.m. Monday.

Lake Elmo Park Reserve is at the intersection of County Roads 19 and 10, a mile north of Interstate 94, in Lake Elmo.

Kevin Giles


Council mulls 5.5 percent tax hike for 2017

The Roseville City Council is weighing a proposal for a 5.5 percent increase in the city’s tax levy for 2017.

City Manager Patrick Trudgeon submitted the proposal, suggesting that the city needs a tax increase of about $1 million to keep up with its needs.

It’s part of a process that will take several months and includes a budget hearing on Aug. 22, adoption of the preliminary budget and tax levy on Sept. 12, a final budget hearing on Nov. 28 and final adoption of the budget on Dec. 5.

Comments on the budget can be submitted using the “budget feedback card” in the city’s summer newsletter, or the online budget feedback form at cityofroseville.com/budgetfeedback or by e-mailing the City Council at city.council@cityofroseville.com. For more information, go to cityofroseville.com/budgetinformation/.

David Peterson

City offers lockboxes for quick entry

If you’re lying on the floor in pain during a medical emergency, firefighters may have to spend precious seconds ramming through your locked door to get to you.

Now Roseville is offering a $200 alternative: a lock box that only the city knows how to use.

Already the so-called Knox Boxes are required in buildings with fire alarms and indoor sprinklers, and apartment complexes with locked entries.

Now the Roseville Fire Department is selling the high-security boxes with the idea of using them mostly for medical emergencies.

“A firefighter will work with the family to correctly install the box and insert a key that can only be accessed in an emergency,” the city said.

To order, send an e-mail to fireinspections@cityofroseville.com or call 651-792-7340. For more information, go to cityofroseville.com/3002/Lock-Boxes.

David Peterson

Cottage Grove

Ravine Park to get $5 million upgrade

A $5 million effort to reshape parts of Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park is underway.

Work will include a new roundabout at the intersection of East Point Douglas Road and County Road 19, a relocated park entrance, and a new trail on East Point Douglas as well as into the park.

Also scheduled are a new road within the park, four parking lots, and improvements for walkers within the park.

State funds will cover the roadwork, and work on the park itself will be paid for with bond proceeds. Construction is expected to be complete next summer.

Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, containing 515 acres of hills, prairie and wooded ravines, belongs to the Washington County Parks system.

David Peterson

Washington County

Face-lift for county website coming soon

People looking for information on the Washington County website will find several new features later this summer.

The county, through its vendor, is planning to refresh the site with an updated home page, more useful links called “flyouts,” improved search capabilities and a design that’s easier to read on mobile devices.

An affiliated site will incorporate library-specific information with its own internet address: washcolib.org.

Washington County overhauled its website in 2012, and the original contract with vendor CivicPlus provided for this year’s upgrades, said Yvonne Klinnert, the county’s public information manager.

The refreshed site — co.washington.mn.us — will be viewable in September, she said.

Kevin Giles