Stillwater police have a new headquarters after inheriting the city’s remodeled former fire department facility at City Hall.

The space provides greater visibility for police, who previously had offices in basement quarters and no indoor parking for squad cars.

The new location has a more secure lobby with interview and conference rooms, a historical exhibit and photos, a new armory, and rooms for training and evidence processing.

“We are very pleased with our new space,” said Chief John Gannaway. “It doubles our office space for staff, and our vestibule now gives members of the community access to our department and staff 24/7.”

The expansion includes a new camera security system inside and outside City Hall and the police department.

Stillwater’s fire department recently moved to a new complex, which it shares with the Minnesota National Guard on the west end of the city.

Kevin Giles

Lake Elmo

County Road 17 slated for repair

County Road 17 may be one of Washington County’s most scenic drives, but the road leading to downtown Lake Elmo is crumbling.

“That road is really in rough shape and needs improvement,” said Gary Kriesel, the county commissioner whose district includes Lake Elmo.

The road runs along the city’s namesake lake from 10th Street in the south to the downtown district.

Starting next spring, engineers plan to tear up the deteriorating road and install new sewer and water mains, upgraded stormwater drainage, and possibly trails or sidewalks for pedestrians.

The $3.2 million project is now in the design phase, which recently received additional County Board approval.

County Road 17 eventually will see an upswing in traffic from 292 new residences being built at the Royal Golf Club, the former Tartan Park property, said project engineer Kevin Peterson.

By 2040, he said, the road will see an estimated 7,800 vehicles daily.

In a project completed recently, Washington County and Lake Elmo worked together to reconstruct the county road in the downtown area, as well as utilities and sidewalks.


Brooklyn Park

Tater Daze may be moved

The summer festival that pays homage to Brooklyn Park’s potato history may be on the move — again.

Organizers of Tater Daze, an annual gathering first held in 1964, are proposing to move the event from Noble Sports Park to the city’s Community Activity Center, 5600 85th Av. N.

It would be the latest in a string of moves and changes over the event’s long history.

The festival’s planning committee says the community center offers a more centralized location and a good alternative in case bad weather should strike.

But at a City Council meeting last Monday, some council members expressed reservations about the move and raised concerns about parking and pedestrians crossing busy 85th Avenue to get there.

City staffers are currently working on site layout possibilities. Many of the activities — including the inflatables, bingo, food vendors and stage entertainment — would move to the community center.

Others, such as the Spud Run 5K and parade, would remain at the Noble Sports Park site for at least one more year.

Council Member Rich Gates said he still had concerns because the event had been held in the same area before.

“It was here before and didn’t make it,” he said. “It was a bomb.”

The event, sponsored by the city, has cost on average $57,000 annually in recent years.

Hannah Covington