The Burnsville City Council is considering adding franchise fees onto residents’ and businesses’ gas and electric utility bills to help hold off future increases in property taxes and special assessments.
City staff met in December with the four utilities serving Burnsville — Xcel Energy, Dakota Electric, Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative and CenterPoint. The city said the utilities do not oppose franchise fees and see it as a local government issue.
The plan for residential customers is to add $1 a month per account to both gas and electric bills. Fee amounts for commercial customers are still being developed.
The city said utility franchise fees help cities cover the costs of providing police, fire and public works services without raising property taxes.
The fees would be paid by all customers, including those that do not pay property taxes.
If the City Council approves a new ordinance, utilities would begin collecting the fees in June.
To comment on the proposed plan, go to www.burnsville.org.
Ice rinks, ski trails are now open
Outdoor skating rinks in Burnsville and several other suburbs opened Jan. 4. Cross-country ski trails are being groomed, but snow is not deep enough yet to set tracks, the city said.
Snowshoes available to rent at City Hall
Lakeville also has opened its outdoor hockey and skating rinks.
In addition, the city has snowshoes available for rent in three sizes: 150, 200 and 275 pounds. The cost is $3 per day, with a three-day minimum on weekends. There is a $75 deposit per pair.
The snowshoes are picked up and returned to Lakeville City Hall, 20195 Holyoke Av., between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
For more information or to reserve snowshoes, call 952-985-4600.
Tip-a-Cop benefits Special Olympics
Prior Lake police officers will be serving and busing tables at the Pointe restaurant, 16691 Hwy. 13, from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, as part of a Tip-a-Cop fundraiser.
All of the offers’ tip money will be donated to the Special Olympics.
Tubing hill open at Trapp Farm Park
About 75 sledding tubes are available for rent at the Trapp Farm Park tubing hill on Wilderness Run Road between Dodd Road and Lexington Avenue.
Guests are not allowed to bring their own tubes or sleds.
Tubers must be able to walk up the hill; there are no tow ropes.
The cost is $4 per person or $24 for a 10-visit card. Regular hours are 4 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays. The hill also is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on holidays and no-school days.
Groups or parties can reserve the hill for their event by calling the Eagan Parks and Recreation Department at 651-675-5500.
Women’s choir seeks new members
Women in the south metro area who love to sing and might be interested in joining the Eagan Women of Note choir are invited to visit Monday rehearsals through January.
The group has fall and spring semesters, ending with concerts in December and May. The choir works on 12 to 15 pieces of music each semester, ranging from jazz and popular to folk and patriotic to prepare for performances and the final concert. The group performs at nursing homes, veterans hospitals, churches and community events.
Rehearsals are held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays in the choir room at Falcon Ridge Middle School in Apple Valley. Each semester costs $60, which covers music, overhead and professional leadership.
To attend a rehearsal, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Steak fry fundraiser
The annual steak fry fundraiser to benefit the Rambling River Center will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Farmington VFW, 421 3rd St.
The cost is $10, and proceeds will benefit the senior center in Farmington.
The center also is collecting old cellphones to raise money. Adapters, battery packs and chargers are not accepted.