The details of fast, regular transit service from White Bear Lake to downtown St. Paul are being nailed down.

Any such service — to be known as the Rush Line — is at least eight to 10 years away, officials caution, subject to countless decisions in the meantime. The failure of the Gold Line busway from Woodbury to secure millions in funding in the recently completed legislative session is a reminder of that.

That said, public officials planning the 14-mile Rush Line opted late last month to seek a busway, running mostly in bus-only lanes, from White Bear to Union Depot.

The route would follow Robert Street, Phalen Boulevard, public right of way along the Bruce Vento Trail, and Hwy. 61. Each jurisdiction along the line, though, must first approve.

Daily ridership is estimated at 6,000 from 20 stations with buses every 10 minutes at peak times and every 15 minutes at other times until midnight, seven days a week.

David Peterson

Anoka County

Board approves fairground agreement

The Anoka County Board has reached a 20-year agreement with the Anoka County Agricultural Society to manage its fairgrounds, including the associated land and buildings.

The agricultural society, known as the fairboard, will assume responsibility for maintaining, repairing and upgrading the grounds. County commissioners unanimously approved the contract on May 23 and said it formalizes an ongoing agreement with the fairboard.

The contract began June 1 and runs through May 31, 2037. The agreement will then renew automatically for successive 10-year terms, unless terminated.

This year’s fair runs from July 25 to July 30, with event details available on the Anoka County Fair website.

Hannah Covington

Washington County

Public hearing set on transportation sales tax

The Washington County Board set a public hearing for 3 p.m. June 13 to review a proposed transportation sales tax to replace a sales tax the county already collects to fund capital and operating costs for transitways. Comments will be heard during the board’s weekly meeting on the fifth floor of the Government Center at 14949 62nd St. N. in Stillwater.

Washington County is a member of the Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB), along with Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin and Ramsey counties. As a member of that organization, the county imposes a quarter-cent sales tax to fund transit projects. CTIB is considering dissolution of the joint powers agreement.

The Gateway Gold Line bus rapid transit project, under study for a route from St. Paul to Woodbury, is an existing $15 million obligation of CTIB in Ramsey and Washington counties.

Kevin Giles

Cottage Grove

Two city employees recognized for service

Two men who work as firefighters and emergency medical technicians for the city of Cottage Grove have received Meritorious Service Awards. Matt Dahlquist and Dave Quebodeaux were recognized recently for work that surpasses normal assignments to make the city’s fire, police, or emergency medical services more efficient.

Dahlquist was commended for his knowledge and assistance in buying new ambulances, and his work to outfit ambulances with new staircases and stretchers with loading and fastening systems.

Quebodeaux was honored for his teamwork and independent effort to transfer primary fire and emergency medical services operations to the old City Hall during remodeling at the fire station.

Public Safety Director Craig Woolery said Dahlquist and Quebodeaux were “exceptional people” who “wear a number of hats and bring our department to a level where every citizen would be proud.”

Kevin Giles


City seeks reaction to mixed-income project

Roseville is alerting residents that a developer is seeking to build a fairly high-density building with an element of affordable housing and even a few units for long-term homeless folks.

The city wants feedback on uses of a 9-acre parcel near the southeast corner of County Road D and Old Highway 8.

Sand Development has proposed a 209-unit “lifestyle community” that would consist mainly of market rate units but with other units as well. It’s already zoned for high density residential.

Details are available at

The City Council will consider financing options at its June 5 meeting. They include public subsidies.

Residents can submit questions and comments by e-mail to:, or by calling 651-792-7015.

David Peterson