The city of Eagan debuted its new, brightly lit communications tower on Dec. 20, located in north central Eagan on the site of a former water tower. It holds and conceals telecommunications equipment from carriers like Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile and 911 technology for radio communications.

The new tower is 198 feet tall — about 53 feet taller than the previous tower. It features 185 LED light fixtures with more than 5,400 bulbs. Its lights can change color and be programmed to show a variety of visual effects. The lights currently are set to green — Eagan’s official color — but they can change to celebrate various holidays or seasons. Other possible effects include snowflakes, a rainbow look and a fall setting, according to the city’s website.

The city will consider a formal policy for changing the lights’ colors and effects Jan. 17.

The new communications tower cost about $1.7 million to design and build. Tower lease revenue totals more than $170,000 a year and will be used to pay back the investment in the tower, which requires less maintenance than before, the city says.

Erin Adler


City’s property tax levy to increase by 4.2 percent for ’17, with a focus on general fund

The Eagan City Council approved the 2017 budget and certified the tax levy on Dec. 6.

Eagan’s property tax levy will increase next year by 4.2 percent when compared to 2016, with the owner of an average-value home — worth about $258,000 — paying $948 in property taxes to the city in 2017, an increase of $3 year-over-year, according to the city.

The largest portion — 48 percent — of Eagan’s general fund budget will go toward public safety in 2017, with 22 percent directed to general government and 15 percent going toward parks and recreation.

In Eagan, about 31 percent of a homeowner’s total property tax bill goes to the city, 23 percent goes to Dakota County and 42 percent to the school district if the resident lives within Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan boundaries.

The city’s total 2017 levy is $33 million, with about $26.4 million of that going toward the general fund.

Erin Adler


Property tax levy up by 3.89 percent for ’17, meaning about $13 more for average home

The Lakeville City Council approved the 2017 budget and certified its tax levy on Dec. 5. Council members increased the city’s levy by 3.89 percent for 2017. Owners of an average-value home — worth about $268,000 — will pay $957 to the city, an increase of $13 over 2016, according to Jerilyn Erickson, Lakeville’s finance director.

The city’s total levy for 2017 is $26.7 million, with about $18.8 million going toward the general fund.

The largest portion of Lakeville’s general fund budget — about 44 percent — is allotted for public safety.

Erin Adler

Apple Valley

City raises tax levy by 3.3 percent for ’17; average homeowner will pay $970

On Dec. 8, the Apple Valley City Council passed the 2017 budget and certified the tax levy, approving a 3.3 percent increase. Owners of an average-value home, worth about $225,000, will see the city’s portion of property tax increase by $27 in 2017. The average homeowner will pay $970 in property taxes to the city in the coming year.

The city’s total levy is $24.8 million, with about $19.9 million of that directed toward the general fund, said Ron Hedberg, Apple Valley’s finance director.

Erin Adler


Mayor, City Council member to serve on National League of Cities committees

Rosemount Mayor Bill Droste and Jeff Weisensel, a City Council member, will serve on committees of the National League of Cities next year, helping to set the organization’s policies on issues that may be addressed in Congress and at state legislatures.

Droste will be in a committee that advocates policies on transportation and infrastructure. Weisensel will serve on the community and economic development committee.

In March, Droste and Weisensel will meet with colleagues from across the country during committee meetings at the National League of Cities’ Congressional City Conference in Washington, D.C.

Erin Adler