City hires planning, development director

Shakopee has hired a director of planning and development.

Michael Kerski will start his new position on July 25 and receive $117,649 annually after his hiring was approved unanimously by the City Council. He most recently worked in Greensville, S.C., as a planning and development manager since 2013. His background also includes economic development, and he has worked in Flagstaff and Chandler in Arizona.

Kerski holds bachelor's and master's degrees in architecture and urban design from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Kerski is the first to hold the position after City Administrator Bill Reynolds reorganized the city's developmental and financial roles. The position of community development director, most recently filled by Michael Leek, was eliminated after Leek left the position last spring.



City gets $67,500 in redevelopment grants

Dakota County's Community Development Agency awarded Rosemount $60,000 to add angled parking on Cameo Avenue and $7,500 to revamp its downtown plan.

The city, which last updated its downtown plan in 2004, will conduct a market study using the grant money. A task force will begin meeting this month to develop more specific goals.

The construction grant will provide a space-saving alternative to the existing parallel parking on Cameo Avenue. It will also create more parking spaces near the Steeple Center and the Rosemount Senior Living facility.



Fire Department buys two new fire trucks

The Lakeville Fire Department purchased two new fire trucks to respond to fires, car accidents and medical calls, replacing outdated vehicles from 1991 and 1994. The department was also able to retire one of its fire engines by buying the new, multipurpose trucks.

The department has now has 13 major vehicles and 76 volunteer firefighters operating out of four fire stations.

Erin Adler


High school opts out of federal lunch program

Prior Lake High School will continue to opt out of the federal school lunch program, a move made in fall 2015 in response to student and parent complaints about portion sizes and new federal calorie restrictions.

Despite forgoing state and federal funding, the district made $72,796 on the high school's lunch program last year, said Kristi Mussman, district spokeswoman. Previously, district officials said they didn't expect to profit from leaving the program and would probably lose money.

Only districts with very few students receiving free and reduced lunch can afford to opt out of the federal school meals program because they need the funding attached to participation. Wayzata High School left the program in the fall 2014.

Erin Adler


Expect delays on I-35 near Elko New Market

Drivers on Interstate 35 between Northfield and Elko New Market will find lane closings and traffic delays through July 11 because of a bridge painting project, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said.

The project began last week to paint the bridge, which is between exits 76 and 69 on I-35. Because of the traffic volume on I-35, delays are likely, especially on weekends, MnDOT said.


City's annual History Month is underway

There are still six events left in Northfield's third annual History Month, which runs June 3 through July 4. The monthlong celebration of Northfield history includes events such as a Malt-O-Meal exhibit, a local trivia night, a History Hound Walk — a visit to 11 historic homes with dogs welcome — and fireworks. For more information, go to

Erin Adler


Kids' bike rodeo scheduled for Saturday

Savage Parks and Recreation is holding a free bike rodeo on 11 a.m. Saturday at Savage Community Park, 13550 Dakota Av. No registration is required.

Kids in kindergarten through sixth grade can show off their riding skills while learning safety tips from police officers. Participants will ride a short road course and learn the rules of the road from crime prevention specialist Jim Caauwe.

Valley Bike & Ski will be on hand to perform safety checks on bikes. Participants can enter to win a new bike safety helmet.

For more information, contact Jim Caauwe at or 952-882-2604.