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You belong here - 2019The City of Burnsville introduced its "You Belong Here" motto at the 2019 Fire Muster. Photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.
Park System Major Plan 2017City of Burnsville publishes their Park System plan.

Burnsville's Parks, Recreation and Facilities departments hove been hard at work for nearly a year updating the City's Parks System Master Plan. The plan will provide guidance on the development and redevelopment of parks and programming for the next15 to 20 years.
Party on the Plaza introducedDuring the summer of 2019 Burnsville introduces the monthly Party on the Plaza.

Burnsville is launching a BRAND NEW summer festival series – “Party on the Plaza.” The festival, which will begin at 11a.m. on the Thursdays of June 6, July 25 and Aug. 22, will be an opportunity to celebrate our great community with a day-long street fair in and around Nicollet Commons Park and the Ames Center Plaza. It will include mobile food vendors, craft and market vendors, live entertainment, and much more!
Online Utility Bill Pay 2019An informational brochure created by the City of Burnsville explaining online bill pay options for utility bills.
Electronic pollbooks The Burnsville Bulletin, Fall 2019 includes a photo of election judges receiving training on how to sign in and register voters using electronic pollbooks.
Burnsville City CouncilThe Pledge of Allegiance at the October, 2019 City Council meeting.
Burnsville Community Guide 2019 A profile of Burnsville's Fire and Police Departments from the 2019 - 2020 Community Guide.
Police Badge gets an update 2015The Sun/This Week news reports that a Bursville company's (First Wheels Leasing) paid for new badges. The gold colored badges have been worn since 1964, being replaced by sleeker, silver, oval shaped badge. The change coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the Police Department.
Police station and other buildings to get upgrades 2016The Burnsville Sun/Thisweek News - December 14, 2016 report on plans to expand the Police Station and City Hall. Both were built in 1988. This phase also includes design work on the older of Burnsville's two fire stations.
Burnsville Police Station 2019Winter view of the Burnsville Police Station 2019.
City Hall/Police Department expansion 2017 - 2018February, 2018 progress continues to be made on the expansion to the City Hall and Police Department.
Police Protecting Citizens 2012Published in the Burnsville Sun/This Week News Community directory - is a brief history of the Police Department.

The Burnsville Police Department was founded in 1964 with a staff of one lieutenant, one police chief, one sergeant, seven officers and a
department secretary. Now, the Burnsville Police Department is comprised of 75 sworn and 19 civilian personnel,all led by Police Chief Bob Hawkins.

The Patrol Unit alone consists of nine sergeants, 38 patrol officers
and six community service officers who protect Burnsville's
27-square-miles and 230 miles of streets 24 hours a day Each year,
officers respond to more than 61,000 calls for service, ranging
from suspicious noises to death investigations. The officers are responsible for delivering a full range of police services to the community. To help them provide these services, the department
has two K-9 units.
Burnsville Post Office 2017The post office is located at 13800 Nicollet Blvd W, Burnsville.
Prep work underway for police/city hall renovationThe Spring Burnsville Bulletin reports on the plans for the expansion of the Police/City Hall complex.
City of Burnsville logo on vehiclesEven in 2017 city vehicles continue to show the prior logo which was updated in 2012. Rather than changing the vehicles, when new ones are purchased, the logo is changed.
Burnsville vehicle fleet on cutting edgeThe Burnsville Bulletin Fall 2019 includes the Public Works Maintenance shops using computers to track the work they do.
Winter in BurnsvilleGetting ready for winter, Burnsville City Hall 2019.
Taxpayers on the hook for City's $195,000 rebranding campaign 2019April 29, 2019 - Center for the American Experiment:
Written by Tom Steward

Apparently, the city of Burnsville has an image problem. Or is it a branding problem? The agency with the winning bid to redefine the aging suburb puts it this way.

It seems that Burnsville, like many other suburbs of major metropolitan areas, struggle with their brand. Who are we? Where did we come from? What makes Burnsville, Burnsville?

It’s going to cost local taxpayers up to $195,000 this year to figure it out, more in the long run. That’s how much residents will be billed for AE2S Communications, the Grand Forks agency just selected for the project, to rebrand and market Burnsville based on the existential questions raised in its proposal.

But, perhaps most important, is figuring who you really are. What makes you tick? What do you hold dear? Because, quite frankly, if your residents can’t embrace what makes you, you–nobody else will either.

It’s not just Burnsville. Other municipalities that have hired the North Dakota agency at taxpayer expense for an image makeover include Grand Forks ($50,000 for “Way Cooler Than You Think”) and East Grand Forks ($28,000 for “Life Connected”).

Burnsville’s identity crisis emerged from the city’s strategic planning process last year that identified a hodgepodge of issues for the community of 61,000 to tackle. For example:

There is a strong desire for a shared vision everyone can support with a plan to achieve it

Need a brand/identify

City is at “turning point” with tremendous opportunity, but also potential risk

It’s not clear how a new tag line and logo addresses the more pressing concerns on the city’s checklist, including the school district’s “poor reputation,” lack of land for development, young families leaving or avoiding the city and a need to attract more high-tech and start-up companies.

A brand is all about the emotion evoked when talking about a product, or in this case, a community. We will endeavor to capture this emotion and use it to develop a brand for Burnsville through our approach…

Still, city hall touts the “revisioning” process as an essential element of a comprehensive plan to turn things around–tax dollars well spent.

“I like what I’m hearing in terms of your process and strategic direction,” Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz said at the April 16 city council meeting to approve the plan.

The agency’s fee for convening focus groups, interviews and other activities to build the brand will be capped at $136,000. The remaining $55,000 of the 2019 budget will be spent on marketing the rebranded Burnsville.

“We’re very excited to be working with the city of Burnsville,” Andrea Boe, AE2S practice leader and marketing strategist, said at the city council meeting. “It’s such an important project to further develop your brand. And then also we’ll be working on an integrated marketing communication plan to support the economic development strategic plan.”

Moving forward, it will cost taxpayers $183 per hour for the agency’s services to market and support the city’s shiny new logo over the next five years.

A logo and brand is only part of the process. How do you use it? How should it be implemented? How should you tell people about the new logo?

The “new Burnsville” will be debuted at the city’s annual Fire Muster festival in September.
Rebranding Burnsville - Council considers new logo 2012The Burnsville Patch reports: For the first time in 30 years the City of Burnsville might update its logo. Original website posting included
examples - inviting feedback. The city staff recommended a long term implementation plan, rather than replacing all old logos at once.
Recreation 2017The City of Burnsville features a photo of the Burnsville Ice Center on its 2017 event flyer.
Development and Redevelopment in Burnsville2019 - The City of Burnsville addresses the Burnsville Center Village Vision which focuses on the retail area west of I 35 W, south of McAndrews Road, east of Burnhaven Drive and north of Southcross Drive.

In addition the overall Economic Development of Burnsville is also presented.
Burnsville City Council 2019Reflecting, a mirror view of the council looking through Chamber windows.
City Hall/Police Department expansion 2017Works continues on the expansion of the City Hall and Police Station, Winter 2017.
Burnsville City HallRemodeling begins to the entry of the City Hall April 2018.
Burnsville plans to remove cap on city liquor licenses 2015March 4, 2015 Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: Burnsville leaders plan to loosen liquor laws by removing the city cap on the number of off sale licenses, enabling new businesses to dabble in craft brewing...
City Manager and council members at Metro Cities Annual Meeting 2019April, 2019 Members of Burnsville's City Council and Burnsville's City Manager attended the 2019 Metro Cities Annual Meeting last night. The event gave Burnsville's representatives a chance to meet with metro and regional colleagues as well as hear an update about what's happening at Minnesota's capitol this legislative session. During the evening, Burnsville City Manager, Melanie Mesko Lee, was re-elected to the Metro Cities board. We’re thankful for our continued partnership with Metro Cities.

Pictured (l-r): City Manager Melanie Mesko Lee, Council Member Dan Gustafson, Met Council Representative Phil Sterner, Council Member Cara Schulz and Council Member Dan Kealey. - Photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.
Skip Nienhaus - retires 2019October 31, 2019 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News reports:

‘Coming out of the ground’ is music to Nienhaus’ ears- by John Gessner Oct 31, 2019 Updated Oct 31, 2019

Skip Nienhaus, pictured aside a display from Burnsville’s new branding and marketing campaign, is retiring after 14 years as economic development coordinator.

Economic development coordinator retiring in January

“Coming out of the ground” is a phrase Burnsville Economic Development Coordinator Skip Nienhaus uses often these days.

It means development that has broken ground or is in progress. Between three apartment projects in the Heart of the City and a senior housing project on Grand Avenue, Nienhaus figures 1,000 new housing units will be built in Burnsville by the end of 2020.

“Which is pretty good for a city that’s 98 percent developed,” he said.

Years after the Great Recession, Burnsville is hot again, at least in the booming multifamily market. Two major redevelopment efforts — the Center Village plan for the Burnsville Center retail area and the Minnesota River Quadrant — have yet to get fully cooking.

But the city has laid out its visions, and Nienhaus is counseling patience. After 14 years as economic development coordinator he’s retiring Jan. 3, probably years before any significant action.

“That is probably the hardest hurdle in redevelopment, for people to understand that it takes a long time,” Nienhaus said, speaking slowly to amplify his point. “You put a plan together, and that plan’s not going to happen in a year or two. Like in Center Village, we’re looking at five-, 10-, and 15- and 20-year possibilities.”

Redevelopment in the Minnesota River Quadrant — the vast area north of Highway 13 between Interstate 35W and Savage where much of the land is mining and landfill — is largely captive to the duration of those uses, which has lengthened, Nienhaus said.

One of his first tasks as economic development coordinator was assembling a marketing portfolio for the area.

“I was telling everybody, ‘We expect in 12 to 15 years for this to happen,’ ” he said. “It’s 14 years later, and I’m telling people, ‘We expect in 15 to 20 years, this will all happen.’ ”

The near-term addition of apartments, coupled with pending construction of two stations to serve the future bus rapid transit line from Minneapolis to Lakeville along I-35W, is great for Burnsville, Nienhaus said.

Empty nesters fleeing single-family homes and young professionals slower to buy houses than before the recession are well-served, he said. And the city tax base expands with new construction.

“You rent an apartment somewhere, you live there for awhile, you fall in love, hopefully, with the city, and then you decide to buy one of these empty nesters’ homes when they’re moving into their apartment,” Nienhaus said. “We need more spaces for the young professionals to come to Burnsville and hopefully fall in love and stay.”

Former business owner, longtime civic booster

Nienhaus wasn’t trained and didn’t seem destined for 14 years in municipal government. He and wife Mary, who have two children, moved to Burnsville in 1978 when he was promoted to a management position with Lever Brothers, makers of soap and other consumer products.

Nienhaus eventually went out on his own as an employee recruiter, finding a niche in the printing industry. He joined the Burnsville Jaycees and the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce. He campaigned for a community center voters narrowly defeated in an early-’90s referendum. He was appointed to the Planning Commission and ran unsuccessfully for City Council in the early 2000s.

When the printing industry declined and the job of economic development coordinator came open, Nienhaus sent a resume.

“He truly had Burnsville in his blood, so to speak,” said Community Development Director Jenni Faulkner, Nienhaus’ supervisor for 14 years.

His strong ties to local leaders and business people have been assets, Faulkner said. Nienhaus was preceded by Judy Tschumper, Burnsville’s first economic development coordinator, who had owned a secretarial service.

“I think we might be, if not the only, probably one of a very small amount of cities in the United States in which they’ve had two economic development people, neither of which had any prior government experience, and both came from owning a small business,” Nienhaus said. “And I think that has been a tremendous opportunity for us.”

Business owners he works with in his government job seem to appreciate he was once one of them, Nienhaus said.

Faulkner said her department will hire a successor for him and has promoted Redevelopment Coordinator Regina Dean to assistant community development director.

Nienhaus said he wishes Burnsville spent more on development and redevelopment, but he’s been content with a City Council that’s “very conservative when it comes to the tax dollar.”

He’d like more money for business renovation loans or grants and subsidies for demolition of aging buildings. The city has policies to allow those, but available funding wouldn’t go far, Nienhaus said. The city’s Economic Development Commission shares his views, he said.

The city is seeking state legislation to allow tax-increment financing in the Center Village area, which isn’t currently eligible. Nienhaus estimates Burnsville Center is 20 percent vacant.

“You look at what’s going on right now, and obviously we’re able to accomplish a lot with the tools that we have,” he said. “More tools, maybe a few more accomplishments, maybe something a little faster? It’s hard to say. But I don’t think it’s really put us back tremendously or anything like that.”
Burnsville sees opportunities in industrial area 2002April 1, 2002 Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on the City of Burnsville's look to the future.
Roads, redevelopment, referendum, cop cams 2015February 20, 2015 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News reports on Mayor Elizabeth Kautz's State of the City speech February 11, 2015.
Gregg Lindberg is new Deputy City Manager 2019Photograph of Gregg Lindberg from the Fall 2019 Burnsvlle Bulletin.
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