Burnsville in Brief

Highlights for December 2021 City of Burnsville Home Page

Burnsville City Council Strategic Priorities Guide Everyday Efforts

Burnsville Council Strategic Priorities of safety, community engagement, community development, sustainability, transportation & infrastructure and organizational services
sunset at Sunset Park with headline Focus on Burnsville, our 2021 report to the community

Focus on Burnsville

In Burnsville, we believe in a community focus.

Safety, community engagement, community development, sustainability, transportation and infrastructure, and organizational services are the foundation for our initiatives, activities and efforts.

We invite you to take a look back at some of our 2021 highlights in this year's Focus on Burnsville, our report to the community.

You Belong in Burnsville.

Community Development

Mayor Kautz at the Metro Transit Orange Line ribbon-cutting

Orange Line Grand Opening Celebration

On Dec. 4, we gathered with community members, local businesses and city leaders at Nicollet Commons Park for the grand opening celebration of the new METRO Transit Orange Line.

The METRO Orange Line is a 17-mile Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route that connects Minneapolis, Richfield, Bloomington, and Burnsville along I-35W. The Orange Line provides frequent, all-day service in both directions, seven days a week.

Learn more about the Metro Transit Orange Line.

Heart of the City Connection

The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA) has a new route dubbed the Orange Link, that provides fast and convenient service in Burnsville with timely connections to the new METRO Orange Line in Heart of the City. Orange LINK will operate every 30 minutes from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Ride the Orange LINK route to popular destinations, including Burnsville Transit Station, Burnsville Center, Fairview Ridges Hospital and Burnsville City Hall.

The Flats at Neill Park

artistic rendering of the Flats at Neill Park new multi-housing complex

The opening of this new 120-unit apartment building is anticipated for late February or early March. Nestled on just under five acres of land located off County Road 5 and 136th Street, this complex is in a prime spot across from Neill Park.

The Flats at Neill Park feature several high-end amenities including a fitness center, outdoor yoga studio, tenant storage, a community lounge and even a rooftop patio that welcomes dogs. Layout options include studio, one bedroom and two bedroom options ranging from 560 to 1,005 square feet.

New Development at Former Roasted Pear Site

artistic renderings of a future Starbucks and a Taco John's

Who's craving tacos and caffeine? At their Dec. 21 meeting, the Burnsville City Council approved a new development on the former Roasted Pear site at 14200 Nicollet Avenue. The development is expected to include a Starbucks and Taco John's.

See what's building in Burnsville! You can follow the status of this application and other new developments throughout the City of Burnsville through our online Development Project Finder Map.


campfire with fire permits QR code and safety icon

2022 Recreational Fire Permits

Nothing says "Minnesota" like a sitting around a campfire, roasting marshmallows, enjoying the inviting evening air. Did you have a 2021 residential recreational burn permit? If so, it expired with the new year and now is a great time to renew!

If you enjoy those backyard get-togethers and plan to have a recreational fire on your property, you must request an annual permit. It is free and easy to apply - right from your phone or computer.

Plan ahead now and get this checked off your spring to-do list.

Request a Recreational Burn Permit

Bystanders Step in to Help

Citizens help save lives. On two separate cardiac arrest incidents, bystanders provided CPR and applied an AED to the patient prior to the arrival of the fire department. Firefighters arrived and continued advanced life support care and transported the patients to the hospital.

We will be honoroing these everyday heroes with Life Saving Awards in early 2022.

Strategic Future Planning

The Fire Department hosted an all-day leadership retreat on Dec. 16 at the Ames Center. This workshop provided Fire Chief Officers, Fire Captains and the Firefighter Union President an opportunity to strengthen and develop our current leadership; reflect on what is working and identify areas for improvement; and discover ways to innovate and collaborate to continue to serve the community with excellence now and in the future.


Burnsville Community Television 2021 Highlights

In addition to ensuring public access to City meetings and information, both in-person and remotely, 2021 was a milestone year for Burnsville Television community engagement.

• 154 full broadcast shows totaling 278 hours of programming

• 47 different volunteers in 2021

• Produced programming from 28 community locations

• New coverage of community events including Park and Rec sports leagues, Rockin' Lunch Hours, Juneteenth, Burnsville Police and Fire badge ceremonies, high school concerts, Polar Plunge, Dakota County Fair, Fire Muster concerts, Harvest Party and many more

• Broadcast additions of high school softball, boys swimming and badminton

2022 Budget Adoption

tree graphic showing the branches of new budget initiatives

In December, the Burnsville City Council adopted the 2022 Budget, including a tax levy increase of 4.8% compared to the previous year. This year’s budget makes important investments in both the organization and broader community while further aligning existing resources with the visions, values and strategic priorities of the Council.

The 2022 Budget places an emphasis on several new and continuing initiatives to guide our financial planning and a steady path forward.

See your tax dollars at work with a closer look into the Burnsville budget with our transparency portal, budget discussions, the planning process dashboard and more at burnsvillemn.gov/budget.

Burnsville University Looks Ahead to the New Year

cover of the 2022 Burnsville University course catalog

Burnsville University is excited to launch the second annual BU course catalog. It is full of learning experiences customized to meet the needs of our organization so that employees can be at their best.

Our new Learning Management system will make it easier than ever for staff to take part in BU. Learn makes viewing and registering for courses quick and simple and also keeps a record of your learning accomplishments.

This year, staff will be able to choose from more than 100 training and development experiences in leadership, strengths, professional development, employee safety, wellbeing and more.

Learn more about the Burnsville workplace culture at burnsvillemn.gov/jobs.

Community Survey Results

infographic of residential survey satisfaction and engagement drivers

In 2021, we invited you to share your experience, feedback, impressions and ideas in comprehensive residential and business surveys conducted by an independent research organization.

The survey results show that residents place an emphasis on activities for children and older adults, local businesses, amenities for visitors, sustainability efforts, biking and walking, and feel that Burnsville is a place that celebrates diversity and inclusiveness.

Interested in learning more?

Take a look at the survey results.


exterior of Burnsville City Hall with smaller interior photos of staff working

A Look Toward Future Space Needs to Best Serve the Burnsville Community

The City of Burnsville began the process of selecting an architectural and design firm to perform a Municipal Facilities Space Needs Assessment for the Maintenance Facility and City Hall buildings. The selected firm will work with City staff and decision-makers to identify needs and develop options that ensure a high efficiency workplace. The desired outcome will provide an assessment of existing space needs, a preferred concept plan, cost estimating and timelines.

Key study objectives include:

  • Design welcoming, well-organized facilities oriented to serving our community and promote inclusion and belonging
  • Engage project stakeholders during all architectural and design phases
  • Design high-quality facilities that reflect our values of innovation, collaboration and excellence
  • Design a building plan and site plan that is functional for current services and flexible for future changes to services
  • Ensure design meets sustainable building guidelines and uses Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) as a guide for design elements
  • Design meets or exceeds American Diabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, building and zoning codes, and wellness goals
  • Design spaces that are safe, secure and welcoming while providing a great public experience

Beating the Winter Blues

Outdoor fun, especially in the winter, is a great way to balance these days of shortened daylight hours. Burnsville has a number of opportunities for people of all ages to get outside and recreate this winter.

  • Experience skating at our outdoor ice rinks
  • Walk, snowshoe, ski and skijor on approved trails
  • Take a ride down our popular, well-lit sled hill

Burnsville has three staffed warming houses at Neill, North River Hills and Paha Sapa parks. These sites are open Monday through Friday 4 – 9 p.m., Saturdays noon – 9 p.m. and Sundays 1 – 9 p.m. There are also a number of neighborhood rinks that are unstaffed but have push-button lights, set to timers, scheduled to automatically turn off at 9 p.m.

Skiers, walkers, snowshoers, skijoring and dogs on leashes are all welcome to enjoy designated trails at our various parks. (Please follow the posted signs at each location.) Terrace Oaks Park is home to three groomed trails for skiers only. There are also three groomed trails at Alimagnet Park. These are relatively flat and considered easier trails. Those who are new to cross-country skiing may find these trails more to their liking since the terrain is easier and the pace is generally slower. All trails at Alimagnet are multi-use.

One of the best sledding hills in the Twin Cities opened for the season on Dec. 29. Lights at the Neill Park hill are on daily from 4 – 9:00 p.m.

Don't miss our Cosmic Skate Party at the Neill ice rink on Thursday, Jan. 20! This free, all-ages party will feature a live DJ, free hot chocolate, and a few goodies for both skaters at the rink and sledders on the hill. No need to register – we'll see you there!

three girls sitting on sleds in the snow


formal photo of Officer Murray

Brent Murray Named Officer of the Year

Sgt. Brent Murray has been a member of the Burnsville Police Department since 2002. After 19 years of service, his many accomplishments and demonstration of the department’s core values have distinguished him as an exemplary officer and earned Murray the honor of being named Burnsville’s 2021 Officer of the Year.

“Sgt. Murray is an outstanding leader who is universally respected by his staff,” said one of Murray’s fellow officers. “The entire patrol division looks to him as a resource due to his exceptional knowledge of law, case law and police procedure.”

During his time with the Burnsville Police Department, Murray served as a Patrol Officer for four years, an Investigator for three years and has been a Sergeant for the past 12 years. Murray has received 10 Distinguished Service Awards and 4 Meritorious Service Awards.

Bell Ringing

Thank you Burnsville Police Chief Tanya Schwartz for helping raise money for the Salvation Army by volunteering as a bell ringer during December's busy shopping season.

November Blazing Award

photo of school resource officers with Joe Meyer

School Resource officers recognized Joe Meyer with the November Blazing Award. No matter what the situation, good or bad, Meyer does his job with a smile because he cares immensely about the students and staff at Burnsville High School.

On numerous occassions, Meyer has de-escalated tense situations with his compassion, patience and caring demeanor. He sets a great example by going out of his way to support everyone. Day in and out he makes a difference.

Sharing Smiles

three photos of an officer and Santa delivering bikes and gift cards

Officer Archambault and Community Engagement Manager Amber Jacobson gave special escort to Santa Mark as they traveled around the community to deliver bikes and gift cards to help families brighten the season.

Thank you to Thomson Reuters and Erik's Bike Shop for the bike donations and to a generous resident who donated Target gift cards. And a very special thank you to all the kids and families who shared their smiles with us on that awesome afternoon.


collage of photos showing salting, snow removal, ice making and ice clearing

Working Hard so You Can Play Hard

Winter has definitely arrived and our crews are hard at work clearing city streets, trails and sidewalks, repairing watermain breaks and preparing cold weather recreational facilities for use. Our first significant snow event of the year was a whopper — delivering 18 inches of snow to Burnsville on Dec. 10-11. Our public works crews faced the challenge and did a great job clearing the snow!

The temperature changes unfortunately lead to watermain breaks, and we’ve repaired a handful of those as well to keep our customers with water.

The recent cold has allowed for some excellent ice rink conditions at several of our parks, and our groomed cross country ski trails continue to be improved as we get additional snow.

Enjoy Burnsville Parks winter opportunities!

I-35W/County Road 42/Buck Hill Road Exit Ramp Grant

Diagram of future exit ramp at I-35W, County Road 42 and Buck Hill Road

The City, in partnership with Dakota County, received a grant from Minnesota Department of Transportation's Economic Development (TED) program for construction of a new exit ramp from southbound I-35W under County Road 42 to Buck Hill Road. The project was awarded $3.1 million in TED grant funding, covering more than half of the estimated total project cost of approximately $5 million.

Project development is expected to occur in 2024, with construction starting in 2025. This is a great step toward achieving our Center Village redevelopment goals and is expected to reduce traffic challenges in the I-35W/County Road 42/Buck Hill Road area.

The above graphic is schematic in nature and the project may be different from what is represented in this preliminary drawing.

Buck Hill Collaboration

snow making machines in operation at Buck Hill

Buck Hill collaborated with the City of Burnsville to relocate their snow-making pumps from the bottom of Buck Hill to the top. This change allows them to make more snow faster and will prevent their snow-making equipment from flooding during large summer rain events.

Moving this type of equipment is not as easy as it sounds and required a significant collaboration with our Utility and Engineering Divisions so that we could understand any implications for the City’s overall water system.

The new system has been working great for Buck Hill and the City has been able to adjust as necessary for this change without affecting other customers. We are always trying to find ways to best serve our customers' needs.

Staff Food Drive Supports Brain Power in a Backpack

food donation drop off at the high school

Burnsville City Staff conducted its second end-of-the-year food drive in December, supporting Independent School District 191’s Brain Power in a Backpack this year. This is a student-run program where ISD 191 students and families identified as having food insecurity are provided food in their backpacks to help them out in tough times. The program delivers 650-700 bags per week. It’s very difficult to learn when you are hungry and this is one way we can help.

Pictured above: Food donation drop off with Forestry/Community Landscape Specialist Ella Collins and ISD 19 Brain Power in a Backpack Coordinator Pamela Voigt

Want to know what's coming up next in the City? Check out our Events and Meetings calendars for the latest activities.

By the Numbers...

Fire Statistics: Click through the charts below for a closer look at Burnsville Fire Department activity including types of calls, call by property type and more.

Police Statistics: Total Calls for Service in September 2021 is 4,446 (+20% year over year). This includes 410 traffic stops.

View additional police statistics including criminal offenses