Gideon Pond fundraising for accessible playground

Gideon Pond Elementary School is trying to raise $80,000 to build a “barrier-free” playground so that children with disabilities have the chance to play like everybody else. The school is participating in the Apex Fun Run on Monday. Students will run for 30 minutes and complete anywhere from 26 up to 36 laps. Each lap is one-sixteenth of a mile. The goal is to get friends, family members and other sponsors to pledge $1, $2, $5 or any other amount for each lap the student runs. To donate, go to www.apexfunrun.com and enter access code HDFAKKT. For more information, contact Lisa Webb, PTO vice president, at lisa.webb03@yahoo.com or 612-532-1065.


Rotary Club grants total $30,000

The Eagan Rotary Club said 26 nonprofit groups were awarded a total of $30,000 in grant money at its annual ceremony this month.

Recipients were chosen from a variety of education, social service, youth and arts and civic organizations. This year’s winners are: 360 Communities; Black Hawk Middle School; Burnsville Robotics; Caponi Art Park; Cheerful Givers; Dakota Center for the Arts; Dakota Woodlands; DARTS; Eagan Citizens Crime Prevention Association; EHS FIRST Robotics team; Eagan July 4 Funfest; Eagan Men’s Chorus; Eagan Theater Co.; Eagan Women of Note; Glacier Hills Elementary; Green Ribbon Initiatives; Guild Inc.; Home-In-Stead M.O.M.S.; Inver Hills Community College Foundation; Kids n’ Kinship; Legal Assistance of Dakota County; Lifeworks; ProAct; The Link; The Open Door, and the Eagan YMCA.

The Eagan Rotary Foundation has awarded more than a $1 million in grants since 1987.


$50,000 to go toward new ice resurfacer

The Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission gave Farmington a $50,000 grant from its Mighty Ducks grant program to help buy an electric ice resurfacer to replace the city’s propane-fueled one at Schmitz-Maki Arena.

The Mighty Ducks grants require a minimum dollar-for-dollar match from other, nonstate sources. The city of Farmington will commit $80,000 toward the project; that money will come from the Farmington Youth Hockey Association and the arena’s capital improvement fund.

The grants are given to help communities develop new arenas, improve indoor air quality at ice arenas and eliminate R-22 refrigeration systems.

The resurfacer will eliminate carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions inside the arena. It should arrive in time for the 2017 summer ice season.

The Sports Commission awarded 15 grants totaling $2.2 million this year to cities and counties, including Shakopee, New Prague, Stillwater, Silver Bay, Grand Rapids, Hennepin and Lake of the Woods counties, New Prague, Pine City, Litchfield and several others.


Comments wanted on landfill cleanup

Citizens and businesses have until 4:30 p.m. Monday to submit comments to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency about the possible cleanup of the Freeway Landfill in Burnsville.

The landfill, just south of the Minnesota River near Interstate 35W, accepted waste from 1969 to 1990. Older landfills had fewer pollution standards to meet and a number of contamination problems need to be addressed, the MPCA said.

So far, the MPCA and the property owner have not come to an agreement on the cleanup or who should be responsible for it.

The MPCA wants to finish the job through its Closed Landfill Program, a $64.4 million solution.

The options include doing nothing, which would cost $300,000 per year for monitoring; replacing the cover on the landfill, $29 million; digging up garbage and lining the existing landfill, which is the MPCA’s preferred option, $64.4 million; digging up garbage and lining the existing landfill plus part of the closed quarry, $71 million, and moving the waste to the still-in-use Burnsville Landfill, $135.5 million.

To comment, call Pat Hanson at 651-757-2409.


Winners in libraries’ Short Story Contest

The winning entries in the Dakota County Library’s Short Story Contest in October can be read on the library’s website at www.co.dakota.mn.us/libraries. Three winners were selected in the ages 12-14 category and three in the age 15-18 category.

The stories had to be inspired by a photograph of three youth carrying a kayak, backpack and fishing gear beside a lake or pond. Winners received prizes from the Dakota County Library Foundation.