The Ramsey County Board last week approved more than 30 construction and maintenance projects for 2017 to improve travel in the east metro area. Most projects will begin this summer.
Major projects include:
• Reconstruction of White Bear Avenue (County Road 65) between Interstate 94 and Beech Street, St. Paul. The project, which will replace a deteriorating roadway, began in 2016 and will be completed this year.
• Rebuilding the intersection at County Road I, Rice Creek Parkway and Old Highway 8 in Arden Hills and Mounds View, to improve access to the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) development site.
The Public Works Department also will resurface about 15 miles of county roads as part of its 2017 maintenance program, with projects in nearly every community. The projects typically include curb and crossing improvements.
Of the $7.4 million in resurfacing projects this year, $3.8 million was raised by a $10 per vehicle wheelage tax approved in 2013.
Ramsey County’s system includes nearly 300 miles of county roads, more than 90 bridges, 365 signal systems, sidewalks, tens of thousands of signs and more than 12,000 drainage structures. Project details can be found at www.ramseycounty.us/roadwork/.
City may get police partnership program
The Hennepin County Board may vote Thursday to expand its Joint Community Police Partnership to Crystal, a move that would cost $120,000 and increase county staff by two.
If approved, Crystal would join Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Richfield as part of the partnership. The program provides a community liaison to each city, establishes a committee that meets at least monthly with police to advise on community policing, recruits multicultural cadets and community service officers and provides cultural awareness training for officers.
The Joint Community Police Partnership, launched in 2005, is a joint effort of the county and law enforcement to increase communication and understanding between law enforcement and local cultural communities. It was originally designed with new immigrants in mind, and has since grown to several cities.
City weighing civic building for TCAAP site
Arden Hills is exploring whether to add a civic element to the new town center to be built as part of the redevelopment of the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) site.
Possibilities include a city hall, community center, recreational and fitness center and an event and educational center, according to officials.
A task force will explore the options with help from a consulting firm yet to be chosen. The task force will see what already exists in the area, look into “partnership opportunities” to share financing, and lay out staffing and other considerations.
If city officials decide on a plan within two years, developers will provide underground parking and infrastructure for free and sell the land to the city for a dollar.
Kleinschmidt gets pay hike of 3.6 percent
The Ramsey County Board is giving the county’s top manager a raise of 3.6 percent, lifting her salary to $190,356.
The board approved the raise for County Manager Julie Kleinschmidt on a 6-1 vote, with Commissioner Janice Rettman the lone dissenter. Kleinschmidt has held the job since 2008.
The raise is divided into one of 2.6 percent, the same rate as that awarded to all unclassified employees in 2017, and a premium of 1 percent for actual performance, effective last month.
The salary bump comes after a confidential evaluation that said Kleinschmidt’s recent performance “exceeds expectations.” The highest possible rating is one step above that, “outstanding performance.”
Roe to deliver State of the City address
Roseville Mayor Dan Roe will deliver his State of the City address on Wednesday, with a live online broadcast online and replays available thereafter.
The speech will be delivered to the Roseville Business Council at 7:30 a.m. at the Affinity Plus Credit Union, 2750 Snelling Av. Roe will discuss the past year and forecast what will happen in 2017.
The speech will be shown live on Facebook (www.facebook.com/CityofRosevilleMN) and replayed on Cable Channel 16 at 6 p.m. Wednesday and February 26, as well as 10 a.m. on both Thursday and Saturday. A copy of the presentation will be posted Thursday at www.cityofroseville.com/StateoftheCity/.