Residents age 62 and over are invited to take a stroll through the scenic Terrace Oaks Park West during the annual Winter Nature Walk on Jan. 25. Participation is free and will include a guided tour with instruction on birds, deer, animal tracks and how animals adapt to winter. Guests will be offered a cup of hot chocolate to help warm up at the end of the walk.
Those interested in attending should wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and walking shoes or boots. The deadline to register for the event is Jan. 20. Register by phone at 952-895-4500 or at the Burnsville City Hall recreation office.
Water meter replacement project underway
A two-year, $7.4 million project aims to replace about 16,700 outdated water meters with more efficient technology that will broadcast real-time data on water usage and possible leaks.
Residents and businesses will get a postcard notification from the city or an entity called Utiliuse at least 30 days before installers will be in the neighborhood. The postcard will provide detailed instructions on how to schedule an appointment for a replacement.
There is no installation fee at the time of replacement, as the city added a $1.20 meter fee to residents’ bills in 2015 to curb the costs. Monthly bills should remain largely unaffected.
New meters have a 20-year life expectancy.
MPCA seeks comments on storage facility
A contracting company wants to build a new bulk storage facility for asphalt cement in Dakota County, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is seeking comments on the project.
The facility’s plans, developed by McNamara Contracting, call for eight underground storage tanks and equipment to load, store, blend and unload asphalt cement. A rail spur, a short side track that allows railcars to be unloaded without disturbing other railroad traffic, is also planned. When the whole facility is done, its storage capacity will be 27,470 tons.
The MPCA has prepared a document on the project and its possible environmental impact, which includes details on nearby water bodies, wells, odor emissions, residences and the construction site. That environmental assessment work sheet is available at bit.ly/2jjjgaM.
Any comments on the work sheet must be in writing and submitted by 4:30 p.m. Feb. 1. They should be addressed to Patrice Jensen at the MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194. Call 651-757-2465 with questions.
Volunteers needed for homeless count
Each year, the office of Housing and Urban Development requires all counties to count the homeless. The census includes people living in unsheltered situations, such as outside, in tents, on public transit, and those living temporarily in emergency shelters or placed in motels through a social service agency. This year’s count is Jan. 26.
Trained volunteers are needed to administer a 39-question survey to Dakota County’s homeless. The required training is offered from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday at Mary Mother of the Church, 3333 Cliff Road, Burnsville. For information call Rebecca Bowers at 651-554-6029.
$100,000 donation made toward Town Hall
Philanthropists John Nasseff and Helen Houle have donated $100,000 toward creating a new plaza and historical displays at Eagan’s historic Town Hall, which was destroyed by arson in 2013 but restored last year.
Nasseff, a former West Publishing executive, wanted to honor Tom Hedges, a former Eagan city administrator who had helped West Publishing move to Eagan from St. Paul. The new plaza outside the Town Hall will be called Tom Hedges Plaza. Nasseff and Houle presented the donation at the Jan. 2 City Council meeting. The plaza will be designed this winter and installed in the spring.
Hedges, who retired in 2013, was Eagan’s first administrator and served in that role for 36 years, making him the longest-tenured city administrator in Minnesota when he retired.
Historical society gets $10,000 grant
The New Prague Historical Society has received a $10,000 grant from the Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation to restore the historic log cabin in the city’s Memorial Park. The 19th century log cabin’s restoration, which includes installing gutters, stabilizing the logs and replacing the caulking and chinking, is expected to cost $16,000. The city will cover the remaining $6,000. The project should be complete by November.