A new and improved Washington County library is coming to residents in Lakeland and the Lower St. Croix Valley east of Woodbury, but its size and location will be explored throughout the spring.

When the findings are ready in June, county officials will decide whether to remodel the current library or move to a larger building. What happens next will largely depend on what residents of Lakeland, Lakeland Shores, Lake St. Croix Beach, St. Marys Point and Afton want in a new library.

County commissioners recently approved a $44,810 contract with Hagen, Christensen and McIlwain Architects of Minneapolis for design and community engagement services related to the Valley library branch in Lakeland. Housed in a strip mall, the library is one of the county’s smallest.

“Much of the space is in the original condition from when we moved in there 30 years ago,” said Greg Wood, the county’s building services manager.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019.

Kevin Giles


Deer hunt underway in southeast Ramsey

Ramsey County and the cities of St. Paul and Maplewood have been fighting high deer populations in the county’s southeastern section with bowhunters and wildlife specialists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture since December.

The county’s Parks and Recreation Department called in the USDA specialists, who are trained to deal with wildlife and keep the public safe. The county assembles the bowhunters, approved through the Metro Bowhunters Resource Base.

Specialists survey an area for the most deer complaints, then make sure there’s a safe zone to avoid the risk of shooting people. They work at night to lower that risk, according to USDA Wildlife Services State Director Gary Nohrenberg.

Neither counties nor the USDA are required to keep track of how many deer have been killed, Nohrenberg said, but deer complaints from the public often help determine how effective a controlled hunt has been.

Emily Allen

Ramsey and Washington Counties

Local projects get Historical Society grants

The Minnesota Historical Society announced this month more than $3.6 million in large and small grants going to 82 cities, historical societies and projects across the state.

The Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants, called Legacy grants, are funded by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment approved by Minnesota voters in 2008.

In Ramsey and Washington counties, grants went to:

• Afton Historical Society and Museum, Afton, $40,752 to improve storage for objects and collections;

• Central Presbyterian Church, St. Paul, $50,000 to hire a consultant in preparation for fixing up the church’s exterior;

• City of Stillwater, $12,125 for a consultant to update the city’s plan for historic resources;

• Friends of Historic Virginia Street Church, St. Paul, $24,550 for a consultant to repair and preserve the church;

• Maritime Heritage Minnesota, St. Paul, $9,208 to research the history of small watercraft in Minnesota, and another grant of $9,998 to edit logbooks from the USS Essex;

• Minnesota Transportation Museum, St. Paul, $23,000 for a consultant to prepare to repair the Jackson Street Roundhouse roof, and another grant of $10,000 for a consultant to plan an exhibit on Pullman porters and Union Depot Red Caps;

• New Brighton Area Historical Society, $5,000 for a consultant to assess the historical society’s security needs;

• North Star Scouting Memorabilia, North St. Paul, $46,800 to better organize museum collections;

• Ramsey Hill Association, St. Paul, $85,700, for a documentary on the Historic Hill district;

• Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, $150,531 to organize archaeological collections about 14th-17th century food in central Minnesota, and another grant of $9,969 to organize collections on an Oneota village site in Red Wing;

• St. Paul Public Schools, $60,000 for a consultant to study St. Paul schools from 1890 to 1978;

• Washington County Historical Society, Stillwater, $40,000 for a consultant to write a plan for the Washington County Heritage Center.

Emily Allen


Fundraiser set for anti-trafficking group

A citizens’ group against sex trafficking in Washington County will host a fundraiser Sunday in Oakdale, the first public event for the group, Citizens Against Sex Trafficking (CAST), since it formed last summer.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi will speak, sharing statistics, stories and ways to identify victims, CAST president John Larson said: “People are going to become increasingly aware and shocked, I think, at how prevalent this is in our own backyard.”

The event will begin at 5 p.m. at the Oak Marsh Golf Course. For more information, go to www.castmn.org.

Emily Allen