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Monument signs at the entrance to the city244 viewsThe first new welcome sign was placed on Highway 13 at the border of Eagan and Burnsville.
Burnsville Year in Review 2014 - birthdays, elections, tragedies and Big Liquor115 viewsDecember 24, 2014 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News looks back on the year 2014 which includes the 50th anniversary of Burnsville's incorporation and the retirement of Evelyn Kjos from the City.
2011 - 2012 City of Burnsville Residents Guide112 viewsPages 22 and 23 of the Guide feature - Fun for everyone - Art (Performing Arts Center), Family Fun (Parks, beach, movies, Skateville), Snow (Buck Hill), One stop shop (Burnsville Center), Food (More than 100 restaurants) and a list of Community events including: Friday Night Flicks, Rockin' Lunch hour concerts, Wednesday in the Park, Firemuster, International Festival and more.
Burnsville Year in Review 2015 - Bridge, landfill made headlines111 viewsThe December 23, 2015 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek news looks back on news year 2015 in Burnsville.
2011 - 2012 City of Burnsville Residents Guide107 viewsPages 24 and 25 feature resources for residents such as: Phone numbers for City Departments, Contact information for Telephone, Gas, Cable, electric and recycling and sanitation. Also, the Library, Services for seniors, 360 Communities, the Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
2011 - 2012 City of Burnsville Residents Guide104 viewsPage 5 and 6 of the Guide: A page idex of topics covered in the 2011 - 2012 Guide and a Welcome from Mayor Elizabeth Kautz and council members Mary Sherry, Dan Gustafson and Dan Kealey.
2011 - 2012 City of Burnsville Residents Guide102 viewsPages 12 and 13 of the Guide address recreational facilities including: Alimagnet Dog Park, Burnsville Ice Center, The GARAGE youth center, Birnamwood Golf Course, Youth Activities, Adult and Senior programs and how to volunteer.
Halloween Fest 2017101 viewsThe 2017 Halloween Fest was moved indoors to the Diamondhead Education Center due to inclement weather. Photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.
2011 - 2012 City of Burnsville Residents Guide100 viewsPage 11 of the Community Guide - offers resource information for residents and a list of the top 10 code violations, which could occur.
Burnsville Fire Muster 201799 viewsPage 32 - In the Experience Burnsville's 30th Anniversary booklet, they highlight the Fire Muster. Experience Burnsville is the theme of the Burnsville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
2011 - 2012 City of Burnsville Residents Guide99 viewsThe cover page of the 2011 - 2012 City of Burnsville Residents Guide.
Straddling past and future, Burnsville focuses on development 201895 viewsDecember 28, 2018 the Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News looks back at the year 2018.

Year in Review 2018: Straddling past and future, Burnsville focuses on development- by John Gessner

Straddling past and future, Burnsville focuses on development

Straddling its past and future, the city of Burnsville focused on development in 2018 — brainstorming ways to revitalize Burnsville Center, welcoming new apartment proposals after years of rejecting them, adopting new tools to more aggressively court business and eying a landfill-closure plan that could be a winner for both the environment and the tax base.

Burnsville also saw changes in leadership, including the surprise resignation and replacement of City Manager Heather Johnston and the flipping of two state House seats from Republican to Democrat.

Here are some highlights of 2018, from the pages of Burnsville-Eagan Sun Thisweek.

Burnsville Center

The 41-year-old regional shopping center and retail area it helped spawn along County Road 42 were under the microscope this year.

Stung by national retail bankruptcies and changing consumer habits, the 1.1 million-square-foot center faces problems shared by many shopping malls.

Mall manager and co-owner CBL Properties estimated more than a year ago that 19 of the center’s 150 retail spaces were vacant, resulting in about 300 job losses, according to the grant application.

Surrounding strip centers had lost about 16 tenants and 155 jobs, according to information compiled by the city.

The entire retail area employs about 7,000 over 600 acres, 96 occupied by Burnsville Center. Unabated vacancies at the mall could force it to close, spinning off closures in the rest of the area, the city said. Declining property values and sales would depress property tax collections and state sales tax collections.

Much has happened since last year, when the revitalization push gained force. A city-hired consulting team worked with officials and landowners and came up with a “Center Village” plan with reimagined North and South neighborhoods on both sides of 42.

The South neighborhood is characterized by mall renovation and new development, offering shopping, entertainment, housing, public spaces and other uses in a walkable environment.

The North neighborhood would include new, smaller blocks of streets accommodating a mix of uses. It would include a “neighborhood-scaled park,” according to the plan.

The city will ask the state for special legislation allowing creation of a tax-increment financing district to woo developers and build public infrastructure.

The earliest phases of a redevelopment plan that could take up to 20 years to complete would be south of 42, according to the plan. Real estate values and taxes generated south of 42 could skyrocket with full build-out, consultants estimate.


Looking to Burnsville’s next growth phase, City Council Member Dan Kealey said after his re-election in November the city had five live apartment proposals — three senior and two market-rate — and three more brewing behind the scenes.

“We have a couple hundred million dollars in development that’s going to happen,” promising “significant tax relief in the form of new property tax revenues,” Kealey said.

The election of council members Dan Gustafson and Cara Schulz in 2016 cemented a pro-apartment majority, reversing years of council refusal to consider land-use measures allowing new projects even as they sprung up in other cities.

The biggest proposal is for a 458-unit housing project on the southeast corner of Interstate 35W/35E and County Road 42. The project took a step forward this month when the council accepted an environmental review of the plan, proposed by Healey-Ramme.

The developer wants to build 412 apartment units in two six- to eight-story buildings and 46 townhomes.

In June developers Roers Cos. gained approval for a 134-unit senior building and 15,000-square-foot office building on six acres southeast of Grand Avenue and north of 145th Street East.

Roers Burnsville Apartments LLC bought the remaining 1.75 acres of city-owned property next to the Ames Center parking deck in the Heart of the City. The company is building 138 apartments and 1,500 square feet of ground-floor retail.

Another Heart of the City apartment proposal remains tied up in court. Chase Development has council approval for up to 172 units and 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail at the northeast corner of Nicollet Avenue and Travelers Trail. The owner of the adjacent Nicollet Plaza retail center sued the city and Chase, alleging a parking shortage between the two properties. In August, Dakota County District Judge David Knutson ruled in favor of Chase. Nicollet Plaza LLC is appealing.

City manager

Heather Johnston, who came to Burnsville in 2011 as chief financial officer and administrative services director and was hired as city manager in April 2013, announced her resignation in May. It occurred less than a week before the council was set to approve her new contract and a 3 percent raise following her annual performance review.

Johnston said she wanted to spend more time with her family while her children are growing up.

But council members Cara Schulz and Dan Gustafson blamed the departure on a pattern of ill-treatment toward Johnston by Mayor Elizabeth Kautz and Council Member Dan Kealey. It included going around Johnston to other city staffers, judging her management style based on gender, giving inordinately low marks on her latest review and frequently criticizing her, Schulz and Gustafson said.

Kautz and Kealey rejected the characterizations.

More division followed with the November selection of Hastings City Administrator Melanie Mesko Lee to replace Johnston. The council split 3-2, with Schulz, Gustafson and Bill Coughlin backing Mesko Lee, and Kautz and Kealey backing internal candidate and interim manager Dana Hardie.

Mesko Lee begins work Jan. 14.

Landfill grand solution?

A potential grand solution to Burnsville’s nagging landfill conundrum was unveiled in October.

It involves the three major landowners in the northern portion of the city’s Minnesota River Quadrant, which is dominated by two landfills and a limestone quarry.

For years the city and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency have been on a mission to clean up the old Freeway Landfill, a federal Superfund site just west of Interstate 35W and south of the Minnesota River. Officials say when the Kraemer Mining and Materials quarry to the south ceases mining in many years, the rising water table will mix with Freeway Landfill garbage, contaminating groundwater and threatening drinking water.

The MPCA has proposed unearthing garbage at the landfill — which operated without a liner under old environmental laws and stopped accepting trash in 1990 — and relocating it on the property atop a liner in a trash “pyramid.”

Kraemer and Waste Management, which owns the active Burnsville Sanitary Landfill west of the quarry, have a different idea.

The 5 million cubic yards of Freeway Landfill waste (and 1 million cubic yards of waste from the Freeway Dump east of I-35W) would be relocated to the active landfill. Kraemer would then mine the rock under the Freeway Landfill waste, removing any contaminated limestone and further safeguarding groundwater.

The cost: about $100 million, Kramer estimates, the same as the MPCA’s estimate for relocating Freeway Landfill waste on site.

But the Kraemer-Waste Management plan would free up more land for development on the Freeway Landfill property, owned by the McGowan family. Representative Michael McGowan and the MPCA have fought for years over the amount of functional land that would remain after the MPCA remediation.

Waste Management would need new landfill permitting from many layers of government before it could accept the Freeway waste. Any grand solution is at least a few years away.



Saying Burnsville hasn’t kept pace with development and redevelopment in other mature metro suburbs, the council approved an economic development strategic plan in November.

Its top goal is ensuring the sustainability of Burnsville Center, followed by improving the images of Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 and the city, continuing development in the Heart of the City, developing a strategy to maintain existing homes and businesses, and continuing to position Burnsville as a regional destination in the south metro area.

The city also has newly adopted programs for buying and assembling land for sale to developers and helping businesses tear down old buildings. A $1.1 million grant from Dakota County is the first effort to fund them.

The council is expected to debate adding a local-option sales tax to fund economic development — an idea floated this year but tabled until 2019.

Norwood Inn

In work sessions in January and May, council members blasted the Norwood Inn and Suites on Aldrich Avenue west of Interstate 35W as a complaint- and police call-generating problem child among Burnsville’s nine hotels.

On Dec. 18 the 84-room hotel failed a health and safety inspection by the Minnesota Department of Health, which revoked its lodging license. It has since closed.

The hotel, which has been under department scrutiny since an initial inspection in May, failed to correct 12 of 13 violations of the state lodging code. Most of the violations related to cleanliness and maintenance.


The November elections brought change to Burnsville’s legislative delegation, with Republican state Reps. Roz Peterson, District 56B, and Drew Christensen, 56A, losing seats both had held for two terms. They were unseated by DFL challengers Alice Mann, 56B, and Hunter Cantrell, 56A, who joined a blue wave on Election Day that returned control of the House to the DFL Party.

In the City Council election, newcomer Vince Workman defeated Jim Bradrick to gain an open seat. Incumbent Dan Kealey was the race’s top vote-getter. Council Member Bill Coughlin didn’t seek re-election after two terms.

In Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191, incumbent and current board Chair Jim Schmid was ousted in a five-person race for four seats. Incumbent Abigail Alt was the top vote-getter. Newcomers Jen Holweger, Scott Hume and Lesley Chester were elected. Board members Dan Luth and Bob VandenBoom didn’t seek re-election.

Burnsville resident and former Republican state Rep. Pam Myhra gained her party’s nomination for state auditor but lost in the general election.

Police station

In February, police took occupancy of a newly renovated station that includes a 31-stall garage — a first for Burnsville, which had always kept most of its police fleet outside.

The garage is part of a nearly $10 million building renovation that also expanded work and storage spaces, modernized the department’s evidence-processing infrastructure and enlarged and improved the main entrance.

The renovation brings order and efficiency to the two-level building, which had become a cross-functional jumble as the department grew and technology advanced, police officials say. The police building, attached to City Hall, was built in 1989.

Murder charge

Uriah David Schulz was charged in September with second-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend, 41-year-old Burnsville resident Elizabeth Victoria Perrault.

Perrault had gone missing from her Burnsville apartment and her last known contact with anyone was on Nov. 1, 2017, according to search warrant applications filed by police. Her frozen body was found near the Minnesota River in Burnsville on April 22. The case was “highly suspicious,” said a police filing.

According to the criminal complaint, Schulz claimed to friends and detectives that Perrault had entered a treatment facility and he had not seen her since she disappeared last November.

During the investigation, officers found her blood in an apartment Schulz shared with her on the 14200 block of Irving Avenue and inside his vehicle’s trunk.

On April 22, a fisherman discovered her body along Black Dog Road under the Interstate 35W bridge in a holding pond south of the Minnesota River. It was identified using dental records.

Ames Center profit

City officials learned early this year the city-owned Ames Center turned a profit, the first since it opened in 2009.

The 2017 operating profit was tiny — just $3,600 — but an outsized achievement for the performing arts center in the Heart of the City.

Performing arts centers, arenas and convention centers typically operate at a loss, said Brian Luther, the center’s executive director. They’re quality-of-life amenities and engines for the local economy, not profit makers, he said.

“Considering that when we built it we said it would always lose money, I’m happy to say on that particular point we’ve been proven wrong,” said City Council Member Dan Gustafson, who was on the council that built the $20 million building, whose major funding was $16.5 million in general obligation bonds being repaid over 20 years.

In June the council awarded a new five-year contract to the center’s management firm, VenuWorks, which was challenged for the contract by the firm that manages U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

South River Hills Day

It’s not as big as it used to be, but South River Hills Day is a Burnsville tradition that refuses to die.

June 2 marked the 45th anniversary of the day when swarms of shoppers roam dozens of garage sales in South River Hills, the northeast Burnsville neighborhood bounded by Cliff Road, Highway 13 and the Eagan border.

When Bill and Tress Gladhill announced the previous April their pending departure as leaders of the event, a neighborhood institution stepped up to replace them.

It’s Detlefsen Insurance, the State Farm agency owned by longtime civic booster and 1969 Burnsville High School graduate Kirk Detlefsen, who opened his office building at Cliff Road East and River Hills Drive in 1978.
Aircraft noise94 viewsMetropolitan Airport Commission addresses the issue of noise in areas including Burnsville. 2017.
Burnsville Mayor looks ahead in annual address 201884 viewsFebruary 23, 2018 the Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News reports on Elizabeth Kautz's annual state of the city address on February 14, 2018. Besides looking back, she spoke on Burnsville's plan for 2040.
Bicentennial Garden Not forgotten 2015 (2 pages)82 viewsIn a Sun This Week News article, August 20, 2015 - Chuck and Charlotte Bock and Len and Mimi Nachman tell the story behind the creation of the Bicentennial Garden in 1976 and the planned upgrades in 2015.
Year in Review - Burnsville looked to the future in 201782 viewsDecember 28, 2017 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News looks back at the year 2017 including the activities of the Burnsville Historical Society.
Chancellor Manor Makeover 201074 viewsMore than a makeover at Burnsville's Chancellor Manor
A remade public housing complex in Burnsville means more services for residents - and fewer police calls. By ALEX EBERT Star Tribune AUGUST 28, 2010 — 10:13PM
Children played soccer outside a newly renovated courtyard at the Chancellor Manor pubic housing development. Since the renovation, calls to police have fallen dramatically.
Fresh paint, winding concrete walkways and neatly manicured trees make the apartments and townhouses of Chancellor Manor look more like college dorms than Dakota County's largest subsidized housing development. Yet after a yearlong renovation, people say the biggest change is something you can't see: Not nearly as much crime.
After a
Officials of the city of Burnsville and the county also praise the development's higher curbside appeal, which might yield higher property values in the surrounding area.
The 14-building complex with three-story apartments and two-story townhouses is located near County Rd. 42 and the Burnsville Center.
It was built in 1972 to accommodate federal Section 8 housing vouchers. Most residents are non-English speaking immigrants whose salaries average about $13,000 a year, said Dick Brustad, vice president of the Community Housing Development Corporation, which owns the property.
In the last three decades the "tired and worn-out" property's care started to slide and crime became a serious issue with "less than aggressive oversight," said Mark Ulfers , executive director of the Dakota County Community Development Agency.
management switch -- and more than $24 million from various government and private entities -- the 500 residents are seeing better security, central air and community programming such as English and cooking classes.
Marsha White, center, was surrounded with a hug by her daughters, from left, Kayla White, 16, Krista White, 19, Lexi Wesley, 12, inside their townhouse.
White said that her home has new lighting
fixtures, new central air and new light
Marsha White, center, was surrounded with a hug by her daughters, from left, Kayla
White, 16, Krista White, 19, Lexi Wesley, 12, inside their townhouse. White said that her
home has new lighting fixtures, new central air and new light fixtures.
In 2000, Burnsville police received around 600 calls for service from the complex. Drug deals and gang graffiti were commonplace. A man was stabbed to death outside of an
apartment in 2003. A few years later, a man cut himself on the glass of a fire extinguisher box, spilling blood in an apartment and creating an uproar as residents called for improvements.
Fearing the federal government could pull money from the property, Dakota County, US Bank, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development raised enough funds for the private non-profit Community Housing and Development Corp. to buy the 200-unit complex and give it a security and aesthetic makeover.
Cue dozens of security camera installations, reinforced doors with heavy deadbolt locks and magnetic keys and newly unattached garages so residents and police can see clearly what happens in the parking lots.
The result: police calls for service plummeted 32 percent this year. Calls are down to 183 from 272 during the same period last year, said Burnsville Police Officer Casey Buck.
"Since new management came in, typical calls are similar to what you'd see at any apartment complex," Buck said.
And the renovated Chancellor Manor offers more for its residents that have less. English and cooking lessons. Boy Scout meetings. Grade school tutors. It's a "reinvigoration" of services the complex hasn't seen in ages, Ulfers said. Dakota County also opened up 10 units for homeless residents.
The property was scheduled for reassessment last Thursday, and politicians and administrators are speculating that the improved "curbside appeal" and increased safety could lead to higher property values around the once- troubled development.
Although the outcome appears to be rosy, changing was also a big inconvenience said Marsha White, a 10-year resident.
Since the structures were revamped without moving tenants, White let builders into her home as early as 7 a.m. some days to knock out a moldy wall and install new faucets and alarm systems.
Initially, residents were skeptical about the renovations.
There had been minor improvements over the last decade, but none really seemed to make a big difference, White said. But this time seemed like a real change to her.
"This is a 180," she said. "Just because you live in subsidized housing doesn't mean you have to let it go to hell."
The Last Days of Coal at Black Dog Plant 201574 viewsThe Star Tribune April 13, 2015 reports that Black Dog will complete its conversion to cleaner-burning natural gas, ahead of a federal order to clean up its operations or shut down.
Burnsville Area filled with attractions 201272 viewsThe Burnsville area is home to several attractions that make it a destination to people in the south metro, the region and beyond.
One of the busiest venues around is the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, which opened near the Heart of the City in January 2009.

Other events include the Fire Muster, Art and All that Jazz and Wednesdays in the Park.
Bill Ganz, age 75 irreplaceable volunteer at food shelf 201372 viewsThe Burnsville Sun/ThisWeek News October 17, 2013 reports how Bill Ganz volunteers with the 360 Communities Food Shelf program, at least 28 hours a week.
Ridges Care Campus 201766 viewsEbenezer Ridges Campus. This award-winning community offers skilled nursing, assisted living, memory care, transitional care, adult day and intergenerational care all on the same campus.

From independent living and assisted living, to memory care adult day care and skilled nursing care for short and long term stays, Ebenezer Ridges Campus has everything seniors need to make their living situations more independent, healthful and meaningful. A truly unique senior community, Ebenezer Ridges Campus buildings are each connected, which allows access to lounge areas, a chapel, a coffee shop, a gift shop and a beauty/barber shop.
Burnsville by winter 201665 viewsA photo of a Burnsville Winter - compliments of the City of Burnsville.
Dakota County Fair59 viewsSince 1865. A celebration for those near and far that showcases all that the county has to offer. Plenty of things to do and see for young and old such as children's activities, entertainment, food and merchandise vendors, livestock and agriculture competitions, midway rides and much, much more.
Xcel sets April for end of coal burning at Burnsville power plant 201458 viewsOctober 15, 2014 Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:

Xcel sets April for end of coal burning at Burnsville power plant
By Paul Walsh Star Tribune

Xcel Energy Inc. said Wednesday that April is when the Black Dog power plant in Burnsville will halt its use of coal, leaving it with two other coal-burning facilities in Minnesota.

The utility said it notified state regulators of the approximate target date for the end of the coal era at the facility, a shift that was necessary because of the "cost associated with the modifications needed to operate these coal units under new federal air emission rules," said Dave Sparby, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel company.

"Retiring the units will benefit our customers by not only avoiding those costs, but also reducing emissions," Sparby continued.

Once April comes and goes, Xcel will have two coal-fired plants remaining: one in Oak Park Heights and the other in Becker, Minn. Xcel will continue to operate the natural gas unit at Black Dog.

According to 2013 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data released about two weeks ago, Black Dog was the fifth-leading source of carbon dioxide emissions in the state. The greenhouse gas is considered a contributor to global warming.

Topping the list dominated by coal-burning plants was Xcel's facility in Becker, which supplies 24 percent of the power needed by Xcel's Upper Midwest customers. The utility's plant in Oak Park Heights ranked fourth.

Xcel spokeswoman Patti Nystuen said the utility has "no additional changes at this time" in the works for the use of coal by the Becker or Oak Park Heights facilities.
Map of Burnsville 201757 viewsThis map shows parks and names of schools in Burnsville.
Burnsville Winter56 viewsA winter photo at the Heart of the City - circa 2016 - Compliments of the City of Burnsville.
I love Burnsville 201556 viewsI Love Burnsville 5K, June 2015.
Holiday Lighting - Ed Delmoro55 viewsby John Gessner Thisweek Newspapers
After a dozen years as Burnsville’s one-man committee to raise funds for holiday lighting in the Heart of the City, Ed Delmoro still greets each season like a child waiting to pounce on Christmas morning.
“Every year I’m like a little kid,”said Delmoro,76. “Every year I get excited again: ‘It’s time to get the lights going again.’”
Delmoro’s work will brighten the Heart of the City again beginning Nov. 24, the night before Thanksgiving, when tree lights and decorative snowflakes are switched on during an annual holiday lighting ceremony.
Between the snowflake sponsorships and contributions for tree lights, Delmoro said he raises about $37,000 as vice president of winter lighting for the nonprofit Burnsville Community Foundation.
“We’ve pretty much got the Heart of the City decked out,”said Delmoro,a Burnsville resident since 1982. “What I like is that it’s seen as a community thing. I have over 60 sponsors that are not in the Heart of the City — they’re businesses down on (County Road) 42 or elsewhere in the city, which tells me that it really is a city event.”
A retired vice president of sales for Soo Line Railroad, Delmoro was serving on Burnsville’s Heart of the City Steering Committee in 1998 when the holiday lighting program was born.

The citizen group secured donated lights from Target and decorated a large pine tree at the Nicollet Avenue entrance to Civic Center Park.
The following year Delmoro expanded his sights to the newly streetscaped Burnsville Parkway. At the time, there was still an empty gas station and an empty Kmart store on land in the Heart of the City that has since been redeveloped, Delmoro said.
“I wouldn’t say it was blighted, but it needed renewal,”he said. The Heart of the City committee arranged for Saturday-morning visits from the St. Paul Farmers Market beginning in 1999.

“That was the summer draw,”said Delmoro, who pictured holiday lighting program as the winter attraction.
In September 1999 Delmoro opened his Burnsville Chamber of Commerce directory and began cold-calling to raise funds for the lighting program.
“I thought, ‘You know what? I’ve been a salesman all my life. If they hang up on me or slam the door in my face, I’m used to that.’It was just the opposite.”
Delmoro raised enough money to light the trees along Burnsville Parkway from Aldrich Avenue to Nicollet Avenue.
In 2000 he began selling snowflakes to decorate the lightposts in the newly streetscaped Heart of the City. The lighted flakes are about 40 inches around. Attached to the blue “Burnsville”banners on the lightposts are smaller banners carrying the name of the post’s snowflake sponsor.
About 200 of the roughly 225 posts in the Heart of the City are sold, many to families, Delmoro said. Sponsors make a one-time contribution of $250.
“The snowflakes are sponsored for a three-year period,”Delmoro said. “We’re now on our fourth crankover of that program, which will take it through 2011. And that’s been good. People adopt their snowflake, and they become very possessive of it.”
At renewal time, many sponsors wouldn’t think of letting another sponsor take their adopted pole, Delmoro said. Sponsors get to pick their poles from the available supply.
“I can pretty well drive through the Heart of the City and call out names,”Delmoro said. “I know which pole belongs with which person.”
LED lights are now used for the holiday program, which drew kudos from Dakota Electric in its customer magazine.
“They say the new LED saves Burnsville 101,000 kilowatts each season, enough energy to operate 10 homes for a year , ”Delmoro s a i d .
He stressed that the Burnsville Community Foundation —not the city —pays all the costs of the lighting.
“We pay for the contractor, we pay for the electricity, we pay for any staff time that’s involved with the city —and there are still people that think it’s tax money, after 12 years,”Delmoro said.
He said the program has blessed him with ties to his community that go beyond his neighborhood and church. That was especially apparent when Delmoro’s wife, Linda, died in March 2005.
“When Linda died, I found out who the real beneficiary of this giving was,”he said. “There was such an outpouring from people that I connected with and met through asking for money. I was embraced by the community, and I thought, ‘Wow, the more you try to give, the more you get back.’”
For information about donating or sponsoring a snowflake, call Delmoro at (952) 890- 1770.
Random Burnsville photos appearing on the 2012 Community Directory54 viewsThe Burnsville Sun/This Week News publishes a yearly Burnsville Community Guide. This is the cover of the 2012 directory.
Drinking from a limestone quarry 201454 viewsMinnesota Public Radio - April 15, 2014 reported:

Ten years ago, Kraemer Mining and Materials could see complications coming at its limestone quarry in Burnsville.

Groundwater seeping into the quarry had to be pumped into the nearby Minnesota River — more than 3 billion gallons a year. The pumping cost money, but more significant was that the company was bumping up against limits set by the Department of Natural Resources for how much it could pump. That put constraints on expansion.

In the meantime, the people supplying drinking water to residents and businesses in the growing cities of Burnsville and Savage also had a problem. They, too, were being constrained by the state in their desire to tap groundwater.

They could see water levels dropping in the Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer, and they knew they couldn’t stay on the same path for another 10 or 20 years and continue to plan for growth. What’s more, groundwater pumping was threatening an unusual kind of wetland in the area. Known as a calcareous fen, it and others like it are protected under state law, much like trout streams are.

The result? People in Burnsville and Savage have been drinking quarry water for the past five years. The cities updated the Metropolitan Council on the project last month and expect to renew their partnership soon for another five years.

It’s an example of thinking differently about water and coming up with a solution that both helps preserve a sensitive environmental area and gives some assurance for a long-time supply of drinking water.

“Forget whether you like the fens or not,” said Steve Albrecht, public works director in Burnsville. “If you want to have a long-term supply of water you have to like this. We hit both sides of the aisle.” It’s a reflection of sharing resources, something Albrecht said water officials will need to do increasingly.

Like trout streams, calcareous fens are protected partly to preserve a valued piece of the environment and partly because their status can be a good indicator for what’s going on underground, where we can’t see.

There are about 200 of the fens in Minnesota, fed mainly by groundwater instead of rain or other surface water. They are rich in calcium and harbor a variety of unusual plants. Typically, they are found at the base of escarpments lining the Minnesota and other rivers.

Together, Burnsville and Savage use 3.5 billion gallons of water a year. They now take about a third of that from a Kraemer quarry via a half-mile pipe that feeds the Burnsville water treatment plant. This has allowed the cities to pump less water from underground than they used to, DNR hydrology records show. And that may be allowing a stressed aquifer to rise to previous levels, said Julie Ekman, a DNR manager.

Kraemer executive vice president and chief operating officer Dave Edmunds said the company brought the idea to officials because it knew it was facing potential water management issues. It worked with planners and local officials under the auspices of the Metropolitan Council. It lobbied for state bonding money to help pay for the additional treatment and other equipment needed and kicked in $3 million of its own money.

In the end, the state paid $5.5 million and the cities another $5.5 million to make it happen. The company pays lower fees to the Department of Natural Resources and has to pump less water as a result.

Edmunds said he knew of no other quarry that was being tapped to provide drinking water to people. A handful of communities in northern Minnesota get water from abandoned mine pits, the Minnesota Department of Health says.

One complication in Burnsville is that surface water, even when it has just emerged from underground in the quarry, places different treatment demands on users. Water from the quarry tastes different from the water from Burnsville and Savage wells, resulting in a lot of resident complaints at first.

The city plant always treated water for iron and manganese but had to add an activated carbon filter to get rid of organic material entering the quarry water. As treatment has adjusted, complaints have dropped to just one or two a month, Albrecht said.
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