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County Attorney James Backstrom stepping downJanuary 11, 2021 -

Dakota County's longest-serving county attorney announced Friday he is stepping down after 33 years in the role.

Attorney James Backstrom, who has been elected eight times since his first appointment in 1987, is resigning effective Feb. 27, citing ongoing health issues.

"Being a county attorney is not always an easy job. It comes with a lot of long hours and a lot of stress at times, but it also comes with a lot of fulfillment," Backstrom said. "I could not have asked for a more important and meaningful career."

Because Backstrom is leaving before his term ends on Jan. 1, 2023, the next county attorney will be appointed and serve until an election on Nov. 8, 2022.
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Burnsville City Council 2020 - 2021Elizabeth Kautz - Mayor

Council members: Dan Gustafson, Dan Kealey, Cara Schulz and Vice Workman.
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Burnsville Public Works 2021Image created by the City of Burnsville for National Public Works Week 2021.
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City of Burnsville Community Garden 2021The new community gardens at Crosstown East Park are just about ready for gardeners!
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Burnsville Food ForestFrom the City of Burnsville Facebook Page May, 2021.
Exciting things are happening at Civic Center Park across from City Hall 🌳
Yesterday Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, Council Member Dan Kealey, Council Member Vince Workman, City Manager Melanie Lee and several City staff planted the start to Burnsville’s future Food Forest!

The City of Burnsville has been awarded a $125,000 grant to increase opportunities for locally grown produce, as well as enhanced access to open space and physical activity for their most vulnerable residents.On Jan. 23, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) and the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America (ABHFA) announced the nine winning cities of the 2021 Childhood Obesity Prevention and Environmental Health and Sustainability Awards. Each of the cities was awarded a grant to enhance health, wellness and environmental quality in their communities. “Mayors have long understood the critical role that safe, clean, and green spaces play in improving the health status of children and families in our cities,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of USCM. “We congratulate the City of Burnsville, and encourage more innovative and comprehensive approaches to improving quality of life for residents in greatest need.”
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Burnsville State of the City presented March 17, 2021Although the pandemic continues with restrictions the City was able to return to the Ames Center for the State of the City report with fewer people and the event live-streamed.
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Burnsville State of the City presented March 17, 2021Although the pandemic continues with restrictions the City was able to return to the Ames Center for the State of the City report with fewer people and the event live-streamed.
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Burnsville's grassroots approach to city code review called unique 2021August 6, 2021 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News

Burnsville's new grassroots approach to reviewing its city codebook departs from what is usually a technocratic exercise...
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Building a community of belonging 2021The Burnsville Bulletin - Winter 2021-

Over the past two years, the Burnsville City Council has dedicated time for a deep dive into evaluating and defining what is most important in serving the Burnsville Community...
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Burnsville will study participatory city budget process 2021June 25, 2021 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News

The city of Burnsville will conduct an in-depth study of novel ways to allow taxpayer to steer a small portion of their city taxes to favored expenditures...
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Burnsville City Council and other elected officialsBurnsville Community Guide 2021 - 2022 -

The Burnsville City Council and other elected officials.
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Profile of Burnsville Government 2021This information about government appeared in the Catch the Burnsville Spirit - live, learn, play, stay, work and do business published by the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce.
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Location, parks drive satisfaction 2021July 16, 2021 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News

Burnsville residents are pretty pleased to be here, and location and parks are key to their satisfaction, according to a community survey taken this spring...
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Water tower graphics 2021The water tower visible from County Road 11 and McAndrews Road has added the city's most recent logo and its theme line "You Belong Here", May 2021 photo.
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Former council member Bernie Peroz dies 2021June 25, 2021 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News

Bernard Peroz, a former City Council member and Chamber of
Commerce president in Burnsville died June 6 at the age of 92.
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Burnsville City Council 2021The Burnsville Community Directory 2021 - 2022 profile of the Burnsville City Council. Vince Workman, Cara Schulz, Elizabeth Kautz, Dan Kealey and Dan Gustafson.

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Council: No TIF for apartmentsJanuary 22, 2021 - Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News:

A proposal to replace blighted commercial buildings with apartments on a prominent Burnsville corner may not get off the ground...
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Crossing hot spots emerge in complete streets study 2021August 13, 2021 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News


Safe crossing for walkers and bikers at a number of spots around Burnsville emerged as a key concern as the city sought public opinion for its complete streets study...
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Dan Rootes Superintendent Birnamwood Golf CourseMarch 26, 2021 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News

A profile of Dan Rootes, the superintendent of Birnamwood Golf Course, by John Gessner.
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Drones are coming, but can be managed 2021March 19, 2021 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News

Council member Dan Kealey is a member of the Unmanned Air Mobility Integration Advisory Forum...
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Food forest, gardens a hit with city council 2021March 12, 2021 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News

Plans for a $125,000 grant to plant a food forest and public garden in Burnsville were greeted warmly by the City Council...
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Food forest, gardens to launch soon 2021April 30, 2021 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News

The City of Burnsville is adding two untraditional elements, both providing healthy food to the community as the government campus...
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A finer grade of park fare? 2021March 5, 2021 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News

At a Feb. 26 council work session Council member Dan Gustafson suggested the city look into letting established restaurants set up concessions in parks, such as Crystal Lake Beach, to replace city concessions sales...
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Burnsville will pay half the cost of home energy audits 2021May 21, 2021 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News

Burnsville homeowners can get home energy audits at half the cost thanks to a new city program...
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Firsts for Burnsville includes Juneteenth event 2021June 11, 2021 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News

Proclamations were read recognizing Juneteenth, the annual holiday celebrating emancipation from slavery in the United States and LGBTQ Pride month in June...
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MPCA forever chemicals leaked into groundwater by local landfills 2021March 19, 2021 Savage Pacer.



MPCA: 'Forever chemicals' leaked into groundwater by local landfills

By Christine Schuster cschuster@swpub.com Mar 19, 2021


The Freeway Sanitary Landfill and Dump is a 150-acre site near Interstate 35-W in Burnsville.
Courtesy of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.


Closed landfills in Scott and Dakota counties are among those leaking high levels of "forever chemicals" into the groundwater, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced Thursday.

The Freeway Landfill in Burnsville and Louisville Sanitary Landfill near Shakopee are among 15 landfill sites with "forever chemical" contamination levels in groundwater exceeding the state's health-based guideline value by more than 10 times.

Both landfills are located along the banks of the Minnesota River.

"With the discovery of PFAS contamination in groundwater, the MPCA will expand its water monitoring to ensure drinking water is monitored and the full extent and magnitude of the contamination is known," the agency stated Thursday.

Statewide, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination exceeded the state guidelines at 59 closed landfill sites in 41 counties, according to the report.

The agency detected some level of PFAS contamination in the groundwater at 98 of the 101 closed landfills tested.

“Once again, our assessments tell us that PFAS is everywhere in our environment," MPCA Commissioner Laura Bishop said in a statement. "That’s why the agency needs the ability to use dedicated funds more flexibly to rapidly respond to these urgent contamination incidents.”

Last year, an underground fire broke out at the Louisville Sanitary Landfill near Shakopee. The landfill closed in 1990.

The MPCA's report found seven of the 12 active groundwater monitoring wells at the site detected high levels of PFAS contamination.

The site's PFAS contamination measured 22 times higher than the state's health-based values.

At the Freeway Landfill in Burnsville, the levels tested 714 times higher than the state's health-based values.

The Burnsville site tested second-highest for contamination with the Gofer Landfill in Martin County reaching the highest levels with PFAS testing 1,343 times higher than the state's guidelines.

The agency plans to additionally sample nearby residential water supply wells, the Minnesota River and Gifford Lake in Louisville Township.

The MPCA is requesting state lawmakers allow the agency to use funds from the Closed Landfill Program to rapidly address unexpected environmental incidents.

"Under current state law, the MPCA must wait until the legislature appropriates funding before responding to a contamination incident," the agency stated. "Legislative delays or gridlock could put Minnesota communities at risk."
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Market Garden recycling site will replace rink 2021April 9, 2021 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News

The underused outdoor ice rink in Burnsville's Civic Center park will be removed to make way for a market garden and organics recycling site...
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Burnsville City Council 2021The Burnsville City Council, 2021. Vince Workman, Cara Schulz, Elizabeth Kautz, Dan Kealey and Dan Gustafson.
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Karissa Bartholomew hired as human resources director 2021Burnsville Bulletin - Winter 2021 -

Karissa Bartholomew began her position of Human Resources Director in September 2020....
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Burnsville aunches review of ordinances 2021March 5, 2021 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News

Citizen task force will help shape rules...
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