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2014_blackdog.pdf
Xcel sets April for end of coal burning at Burnsville power plant 201447 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.
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Fall in Burnsville46 viewsAn undeveloped area of Burnsville near County Road 11 and McAndrews Road identified by the water tower in the background.
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I love Burnsville 201545 viewsI Love Burnsville 5K, June 2015.
Year_in_Review_2016.pdf
Year in Review 201642 views(lengthy text may be searched in .pdf file)
time_capsule.pdf
Forward in time - capsule will be placed in 2002 to be opened in 2064 (2 pages)40 viewsJuly 27, 2002 - Thisweek News.

When workers built the Ames Sculpture at Burnsville Parkway and Pleasant Avenue, they left a 2 foot by 3 foot opening in the limestone and concrete base to hold a time capsule of historic documents and momentoes to be opened in 2064 - the 100th anniversary of Burnsville's incorporation as a village.
year_2011_in_review.pdf
Crichton's passing made headlines last year40 viewsJanuary 5, 2012 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News looks back at the year 2011 in Burnsville.


Crichton’s passing made headlines in 2011

By Burnsville Editor Jan 5, 2012

Scoutmaster’s crimes, apartments, Walmart also made news

by John Gessner- Thisweek Newspapers

After 18 years on the Burnsville City Council, Charlie Crichton didn’t need much introduction.

To many, he was a one-word personality – just “Charlie,” said Mary Sherry, a fellow council member.

Crichton, who made fans and won elections as a strident tax hawk and frequent contrarian, died in March at age 83.

His death was perhaps Burnsville’s biggest news story of 2011, a year of progress, heartbreak and glimpses of the city’s future.

A former Boy Scout leader was sentenced for sexually victimizing boys in his troop. A Walmart store was approved for the north end of town. A long-awaited interchange project was finally approved.

City officials prepared for future development while also spending hundreds of enforcement hours at an aging and ill-kept apartment complex. An obsolete shopping center was torn down to make way for senior housing.

And a lucky Burnsville couple won the biggest prize of all.

Here are some 2011 news highlights from the pages of Burnsville-Eagan Thisweek.

Crichton

Crichton was a former council member and mayor in Arden Hills before coming to Burnsville, where he was first elected in 1992. The only Burnsville election he lost was a 2000 bid to unseat Mayor Elizabeth Kautz.

In his 18 career votes on Burnsville’s annual budget and tax levy, Crichton voted for only three. Many of the votes were 4-1 tallies on tax hikes his council colleagues considered reasonable.

He opposed creating the Heart of the City downtown redevelopment district and building the $20 million arts center.

Always visible in the community, Crichton also attended many events at the center, where he was fondly eulogized in a public memorial after his March 13 death, which followed a brief illness.

“He loved this city with everything in him, and he was so proud to be a part of it,” said Crichton’s wife, Terry.

A rare special election was held July 26 to choose Crichton’s replacement. Most of the candidates pledged to govern in his mold. One of them, Bill

Coughlin, won.

A number of options are now under consideration for establishing a permanent memorial to Crichton somewhere in the city’s park system.

Scoutmaster imprisoned

Convicted child molester Peter Stibal, one of the first Eagle Scouts in the Burnsville Boy Scout troop in which he later served as assistant scoutmaster and scoutmaster, was sentenced June 24 to 21 years in prison.

On May 3 a jury convicted Stibal, 46, of two counts each of first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving one victim, a member of Troop 650. The crimes occurred from 2003 to 2005, when the boy was 13 to 15.

On June 24 Stibal pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for abusing three other troop members, ages 11 to 14, from 2003 to 2008.

In an interview after the sentencing, the lead detective on the case lauded the four boys who told their stories to police, particularly the first to come forward.

“I interviewed many kids from the troop,” said Burnsville police officer Jeff Pfaff. “I think we have other victims out there that just were not ready to tell us. But these guys were. They were ready to talk. Somebody broke the ice and they said, ‘Yep, it happened to me, too.’ ”

Jackpot!

Just days after a meeting with their financial advisor left them doubtful about pending retirement plans, Thomas and Kathleen Morris won the largest prize in Minnesota Lottery history.

Their $228.9 million Powerball Jackpot came courtesy of Tom, a sales engineer, who bought five tickets on Aug. 10 at the SuperAmerica store at 16161 Cedar Ave. in Lakeville. He was on his way to a work assignment in Indiana.

The Michigan natives have been married for 38 years.

“I’d like to say, we have a lot of nice friends that added that it couldn’t have happened to a nicer couple,” Kathleen said at an Aug. 12 news conference at Lottery headquarters in Roseville. “That was nice to hear.”

Changing city

Burnsville grew older and far more racially diverse but barely more populous in the last 10 years, according to 2010 U.S. Census data released in March.

Burnsville has the largest percentage of nonwhite residents – 22.5 percent – among Dakota County cities, the 2010 Census found. The mature suburb has been the slowest-growing among suburbs south of the river, with a gain of just 86 residents since 2000.

Burnsville’s black or African-American population rose from 4.1 percent in 2000 to 10 percent. The percentage of Hispanic or Latino residents rose from 1.4 percent to 7.9 percent. The Asian population grew from 4.1 percent to 6.5 percent, and the multiracial population from 1.4 percent to 3.7 percent.

Burnsville had people 65 or older in 13 percent of households in 2000, compared with 17 percent toward the end of the decade, Dakota County’s Office of Planning and Analysis reported.

At both times, Burnsville had more households with seniors than Apple Valley, Eagan, Farmington, Lakeville and Rosemount.

Apartments

Burnsville has dealt with problem apartment complexes before, but none like Country Village Apartments, whose chronic problems with mold, widespread disrepair and pests came to city officials’ attention when the Fire Department responded to a kitchen fire in May.

The problems came to a head on Dec. 20, when the City Council voted 4-1 to approve the complex’s 2012 rental license but give owner Lindahl Properties LP a series of deadlines for fixing dozens of fire and property code violations.

The council defeated, 3-2, a Dec. 20 motion to revoke the license, which would have had dwellers of the complex’s 101 occupied units needing new homes by Jan. 1. As of Dec. 20, only about 40 of the 138 units met code requirements for licensure, Deputy City Manager Tom Hansen said.

The nonprofit Scott Carver Dakota CAP Agency had been asked by the city to help relocate residents in the event of a mass exodus forced by a council decision to revoke.

Help is still available, but “most of them want to stay,” said Rebecca Bowers, the agency’s vice president of development. “They want their apartments to be fixed up and they want to stay.”

The number of vacancies rose from 21 on Oct. 18, when the council barred Lindahl from accepting new tenants, to 37 on Dec. 20.

Occupants of at least two units at Country Village moved to another west Burnsville complex, River Ridge, which had been cited for numerous code violations when it was called Charleswood Apartments.

Pine Ridge Capital, a firm specializing in turning around distressed real estate and other assets, bought the property early this year and launched unit-by-unit renovations.

Interchange

After years of prodding and persuading, Burnsville officials were able to take a victory lap Dec. 6 with a key vote on the Highway 13/County Road 5 interchange project.

The City Council approved a joint-powers agreement with Dakota County that serves as the official launch of the long-awaited, $44.23 million project.

The interchange will replace a traffic-numbing signalized intersection with a section of County Road 5 rebuilt over a stretch of four-lane state highway that will be lowered by 20 feet.

“The City Council in Burnsville was the voice in the wilderness here,” City Manager Craig Ebeling said. “In the ’90s, no one was talking about this project other than you.”

Redevelopment

Valley Ridge Shopping Center, part of which dates back to 1963, was demolished in late summer and fall, making way for senior housing.

The Dakota County Community Development Agency, in partnership with Presbyterian Homes, is redeveloping the site at Burnsville Parkway and County Road 5.

There will be 140 units on the 13.4-acre property – 80 affordable, independent-living units owned and managed by the CDA, and 60 assisted-living and memory-care units managed by Presbyterian Homes. There’s land left over for possible office and retail development on the east side of the property.

Burnsville’s biggest redevelopment opportunity is in the 1,700-acre area west of Interstate 35W and north of Highway 13 known as the Minnesota River Quadrant.

In July, city officials unveiled proposed projects to grease redevelopment of the mostly industrial area, which includes a landfill and limestone mine.

They include improvements to the I-35W/Cliff Road interchange, at a cost of up to $5.3 million, and $4.9 million in road improvements, utilities and turn lanes on 126th Street and Dupont Avenue. The city is already committed to spending up to $6.4 million on the 5/13 interchange project, which will improve access to the area.

CVS Pharmacy won City Council approval in October to build a store on the TCF Bank site, a prime corner in the Heart of the City. Plans also include an outlot for future development – possibly a 5,000-square-foot retail and office building. Property owner Wellington Management Group would keep the outlot and sell 1.6 acres of the 2.45-acre site to CVS.

Walmart

Walmart will make its Burnsville debut this fall. In May the City Council approved plans for a 155,000-square-foot store on the southwest corner of River Ridge Boulevard and Cliff Road.

Officials hope the project will spur redevelopment at the city’s northern entrance, including the Minnesota River Quadrant west of the freeway.

Arts center

In October, Brian Luther was named executive director of the Burnsville Performing Arts Center. Luther replaced Jon Elbaum, who resigned in August to become executive director of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, N.Y.

Luther, of Eagan, recently served as general manager at the 10,000-seat MetroCentre in Rockford, Ill. He’s also worked as an event manager with Minnesota Sports and Entertainment, which operates the Xcel Energy Center and Roy Wilkins Auditorium.

The center, which relies mostly on shows that rent its two performance spaces, established an “angel fund” with which to stage its own shows. It announced its first performance series – five shows that began with the Duluth Festival Opera’s “Pocahontas” on Oct. 1 and will conclude with a performance by Celtic Crossroads on March 29.

In October, PAC officials forecast a 2011 year-end operating loss of $386,000, compared with $368,000 in 2010. The loss was $526,000 in 2009, the PAC’s maiden year. Officials in October projected a $366,000 operating loss for 2012.

Freshman legislators

Sen. Dan Hall and Rep. Pam Myhra of Burnsville, freshman Republicans who ousted DFLers John Doll and Will Morgan, respectively, in 2010, took office last year.

Hall was noted for sponsoring “Hannah’s Law,” which requires CPR training for all teachers and assistant teachers in child care centers, and a bill to toughen penalties for harming a police dog.

Myhra was chief House author of education-reform measures to boost literacy in the early elementary grades, with the goal of having all students reading by the end of third grade, and develop an A-F system of grading the performance of individual schools.

Crime and punishment

• Robert Michael Thomas, 47, of Burnsville, was sentenced to four years in prison Oct. 27 for fatally shooting James Edward Koenig, 38, also of Burnsville, during a Sunday-afternoon football gathering at Thomas’ townhouse at 14046 Plymouth Ave. S. on Jan. 23. Thomas had pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

• A 22-year-old Apple Valley man was charged with fatally shooting a friend and former classmate while both were handling firearms July 23 at a home in Burnsville.

Derrick Wallace Dahl was charged July 26 with second-degree manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm in a municipality, both felonies, in the death of Benjamin Allen Hanson, 22, of Welch, Minn.

He’s accused of shooting Hanson in the head with a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun that he thought wasn’t loaded.

• Joel Munt, 35, of Burnsville, was sentenced to life in prison Sept. 26 for shooting and killing his ex-wife, 32-year-old Svetlana Munt of Mankato, on March 28, 2010, in a Mankato park.

• Leah Christina Graeber, charged with criminal vehicular homicide in a crash that killed an 11-year-old Burnsville boy in July 2010, was in March found incompetent to proceed with her own defense.

Graeber, of Savage, Graeber was driving southbound on Highway 13 when her vehicle crossed the grassy median and vaulted into northbound traffic, striking a van near Washburn Avenue in Burnsville.

The crash killed 11-year-old Joel Michael Balistreri, who was riding in the van with his family. His parents and sister were injured.
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Orchard Garden Station - photo 201739 views
Orchard Gardens Railway Station

Location: County Road 5 and 155th Street
This small railroad station was built in 1910 on the new Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester and Dubuque Traction Railroad, better known as the “Dan Patch Line.” Running between Minneapolis and Northfield, the line stopped at this area called Orchard Gardens, a subdivision of five to ten-acre plots platted that year. The railroad constructed the trackside shelter near the area’s main road for passenger and produce service to the Twin Cities. In 1918 the railroad was reorganized as the Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern.

Additional Information:
According to the National Register nomination, Orchard Gardens farmers concentrated on onion production until 1920 when disease damaged this crop. Eggs, milk, apples and flowers replaced onions on the station's dock. A new commuter crowd evolved in the 1920s and 30s after agricultural depression forced many local landowners to find employment in Minneapolis. In 1983, the Skyblazers 4-H club of the Burnsville-Lakeville area renovated the station as part of their annual community service program.
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June 9, 2017 I Love Burnsville39 viewsPeople gathering for the Friday evening performance and movie at I love Burnsville at park at Ames Center.
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The Orchard Garden Station rafters 201737 viewsThis small wooden structure - built as a railroad station "depot" was designated a historic site and still stands on Co. Rd. 5. This photo shows the simple wooden roof.


Orchard Gardens Railway Station

Location: County Road 5 and 155th Street
This small railroad station was built in 1910 on the new Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester and Dubuque Traction Railroad, better known as the “Dan Patch Line.” Running between Minneapolis and Northfield, the line stopped at this area called Orchard Gardens, a subdivision of five to ten-acre plots platted that year. The railroad constructed the trackside shelter near the area’s main road for passenger and produce service to the Twin Cities. In 1918 the railroad was reorganized as the Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern.

Additional Information:
According to the National Register nomination, Orchard Gardens farmers concentrated on onion production until 1920 when disease damaged this crop. Eggs, milk, apples and flowers replaced onions on the station's dock. A new commuter crowd evolved in the 1920s and 30s after agricultural depression forced many local landowners to find employment in Minneapolis. In 1983, the Skyblazers 4-H club of the Burnsville-Lakeville area renovated the station as part of their annual community service program.
timecapsuletobeopen2064.pdf
Time Capsule to be open 206437 viewsWhen workers built the Ames Sculpture at Burnsville Parkway and Pleasant Ave, they left a 2 x 3 foot opening which will hold a time capsule of historical documents and momentoes. It will be opened in 2064 - the 100th anniversary of Burnsville's incorporation.
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Ridge Point Apartments 201737 viewsLocated on the Ebenezer Ridges Campus in Burnsville, Ebenezer Ridge Point Apartments provides affordable homes for people age 62 and older. This independent living community is financed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which provides Section 8 rental assistance to low-income older adults.
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County Road 42 traffic and businesses37 viewsTraffic on County Road 42, Burnsville October 2019.
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Orchard Gardens Railroad Station 201736 viewsSide view of the Railroad station. Although a National Historic site - there is no plaque or information on the building or site.

Location: County Road 5 and 155th Street

This small railroad station was built in 1910 on the new Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester and Dubuque Traction Railroad, better known as the “Dan Patch Line.” Running between Minneapolis and Northfield, the line stopped at this area called Orchard Gardens, a subdivision of five to ten-acre plots platted that year. The railroad constructed the trackside shelter near the area’s main road for passenger and produce service to the Twin Cities. In 1918 the railroad was reorganized as the Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern.

Additional Information:
According to the National Register nomination, Orchard Gardens farmers concentrated on onion production until 1920 when disease damaged this crop. Eggs, milk, apples and flowers replaced onions on the station's dock. A new commuter crowd evolved in the 1920s and 30s after agricultural depression forced many local landowners to find employment in Minneapolis. In 1983, the Skyblazers 4-H club of the Burnsville-Lakeville area renovated the station as part of their annual community service program.
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Valley Ridge Senior Housing 201736 viewsValley Ridge. once the site of a shopping center by the same name, is a spacious building complex with independent senior housing, assisted living, and memory care located at 1921 Burnsville Parkway West.
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June 9, 2017 I Love Burnsville36 viewsThe Friday evening I Love Burnsville event included cake and entertainment. Photo provided by: Burnsville Convention & Visitors Bureau.
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Holiday decorations 201736 viewsResidents decorate for Christmas and the holidays. Photo compliments of Experience Burnsville.
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Dakota County Historical Society photo contest - Burnsville photos36 viewsIn 2010 the Dakota County Historical Society invited photographers to submit photos for the Society's archives. Jack Kennelly's submissions of the Burnsville area appeared in the March, 2010 (Volume 51 Number 1) of their publication Over the Years. These includes the Ames sculpture, a vegetable, fruit farm in Eagan and Orchard Garden's Station.
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Pleasant View Cemetery sign 201735 viewsLocated on Highway 13 across from the Burnsville High School.
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Valley Ridge Senior Housing 201735 viewsValley Ridge. once the site of a shopping center by the same name, is a spacious building complex with independent senior housing, assisted living, and memory care located at 1921 Burnsville Parkway West.
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Halloween Skate 201635 viewsThe Burnsville Ice Center’s annual Halloween Skating Party was Sunday October 30, 2016. Costumes were encouraged, meaning skaters might skate next to a zombie, Spiderman or a Pokémon. This event includes prize drawings and trick-or-treating. Free mini-private lessons will be offered for new skaters of any age. Admission is free. Skate rental is $3. Skate rental and private lesson space is limited. The Burnsville Ice Center is at 251 Civic Center Parkway. Photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.
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Burnsville Sanitary Landfill35 viewsThe landfill is located at 2650 Cliff Road West.
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Burnsville in the winter circa 201735 viewsA winter scene of Burnsville with one of its water towers visible off County Road 11.
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Burnsville Water Tower35 viewsOne of Burnsville's water towers viewed from Buck Hill. Photo compliments of Experience Burnsville.
wedinpark.pdf
Wednesday in the Park 2017 program34 viewsA yearly summer event, the Wednesday in the Park Concert Series sponsored by Burnsville, Eagan, Savage - Independent School 191 Community Education Department and the City of Burnsville provides musical entertainment for your listening pleasure. Shown is the 2017 scheduled program.
international_festival.pdf
International Festival sponsorship 201234 viewsThe International Festival of Burnsville is a time to celebrate diversity and rejoice in the variety of cultures that are in our community! This is done with the sharing of art, food, music and other creative expression.

Set in the beautiful Nicollet Commons Park, the global array of cultures and community showcases the beautiful world we live in.
As a sponsor of this event, you can celebrate along with people representing all corners of the world! A number of sponsorship opportunities are available.
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June 9, 2017 I Love Burnsville34 viewsFriday, June 9

Wrap up I Love Burnsville Week and kick off this summer’s movie and concert series with an evening of food, entertainment and fun. The event will include live music, shaved ice, food trucks and an outdoor movie featuring the Minnesota-favorite “The Mighty Duck. Photo provided by: Burnsville Convention & Visitors Bureau.
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June 9, 2017 I Love Burnsville34 viewsListening to music and enjoying the Friday evening I Love Burnsville event. Photo provided by: Burnsville Convention & Visitors Bureau.
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June 9, 2017 I Love Burnsville34 viewsthe Mayor and others at the I Love Burnsville Friday events. Photo provided by: Burnsville Convention & Visitors Bureau.
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Burnsville Sanitary Landfill34 viewsThe landfill is located at 2650 Cliff Road West.
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Glo Run 201934 viewsNEW in 2019 GLO RUN NIGHT RACE FOR ALL AGES SEPT. 28, 2019.

Moms, dads, kids and people of all ages are invited to a “Run in the Dark at Lac Lavon Park.” Participants will receive glowing items before the race to help light up the course. Runners can wear their own neon attire for extra fun and glow. Neon signs and lights throughout the course will guide runners on the one-mile route.DJ music and carnival games before the start will help participants get their blood flowing. All participants will receive a t-shirt. Photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.
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