Greetings from City Manager Melanie Lee
It was truly an honor to celebrate Night to Unite this year with so many Burnsville neighbors. The Burnsville community gathered on Tuesday, August 3, as neighborhoods reconnected and welcomed new and familiar faces. Police, Fire, City Staff, City Council and School Board members had the opportunity to attend many parties throughout the City and enjoyed building connections and relationships with our community members. In addition to the popular police squads and firetrucks, we even had some special vehicles go out this year that haven’t in the past including City dump trucks, a front end loader and other Public Works vehicles.
Thank you for allowing us to take part in your events and we’re already looking forward to 2022!
Burnsville City Council Strategic Priorities Guide Everyday Efforts
New Apartments Coming to the Heart of the City
In July the City Council approved a multi-family development in Heart of the City for MWF Properties. The project consists of a 135-unit senior affordable apartment building and a 162-unit market rate apartment building.
The site is located at Burnsville Parkway, Pleasant Avenue and Gateway Blvd. The developer plans to begin construction on the market rate building this year and the senior building next year after a funding plan is finalized.
Check out our Development Project Map Finder for updates on various development projects throughout Burnsville.
We are excited to introduce our newest team member - Meghan Suba is our new Building Permit Assistant for our Protective Inspections Department. She is the first person you will see as you arrive at our permitting lobby. She previously worked as a Permit Technician in California and has brought her skills here as a welcome addition to our qualified team.
The Dangers of Excessive Storage
Licensing and Code Enforcement have received an unusual number of excess storage complaints recently, sometimes referred to as hoarding. These situations can be very difficult and involve working closely with Dakota County and Burnsville Police and Fire. Properties with excess storage can be unsafe to first responders, the occupants and even to surrounding residents. Hazards may include dangerous conditions such as combustible loading (fuel for fire), filth (rotting food, garbage, human and animal excrement), pests (cats, mice and roaches) and illness (such as respiratory issues).
Resolution involves working closely with the resident, their case worker (if applicable) and adherence to the property maintenance code before the property can be occupied again. Compassion and understanding are vital components to a successful outcome.
Training and Preparation for the Unexpected
In collaboration with multi-family apartment complexes throughout the Burnsville community, Fire personnel have been doing onsite pre-plans. A pre-plan provides crews an opportunity to identify challenges and plan ahead in regards to hose deployment, manpower on scene and truck placement prior to an actual incident. As part of this planning, Fire crews were able to locate hydrants and stretch dry hose lines around the actual buildings.
Efficiency through Technology
The Minnesota State Fire Code requires annual inspection, testing and maintenance of fire protection water supplies which include water lines and fire hydrant systems. A Private Hydrant Inspection Monitoring Dashboard was created in 2019 to allow city personnel to view real-time inspections, progress and fails. This technology tool continues to provide an organized and efficient way to track our efforts.
There are 1,356 private hydrants in the city. Property owners of 1,291 hydrants have requested to have a contractor hired by the city inspect their hydrants annually. The other 65 hydrants are inspected by independent contractors chosen by property owners.
We continue to see great strides in the construction of the new Fire Station 1. Fire personnel have toured the grounds and look forward to utilizing this new location in the near future. Watch for updates in the fall Burnsville Bulletin on continued progress and for details on when we will be able to welcome the community to the new station.
A New Approach to City Code
The City of Burnsville has started a citizens-involved process to update the entire City Code with the goal of transitioning to easy-to-understand language, cleaning up outdated content and simplifying the process to eliminate unnecessary barriers.
The new Code Review Task Force held its kickoff meeting on Wednesday, July 28. They will meet monthly to research and advise on a full update to the City Code to help make it clear, understandable and effective to the community. This is an important endeavor and we welcome public comments.
Creating a Better User Experience
We’ve been working on a new way to better connect people with jobs at the City of Burnsville. Our soft launch and implementation of the NeoGov talent management software will be concluding at the end of the summer. This project is one of our first organizational services process improvement projects, designed to create great experiences for our organization and community.
A new online portal on the City web site called WaterSmart allows residents and businesses to view their up-to-date water use, receive leak alerts, compare water usage and trending information and much more to help conserve water. The system was introduced in late July through a collaborative effort between Organizational Services and Public Works.
To date, over 1,500 users are participating (and that number continues to grow)! The average single-family home in Burnsville uses approximately 5,000 gallons of water each month.
PARKS, RECREATION AND FACILITIES
Business Partnerships for Crystal Beach Concessions
Earlier this summer Recreation staff collaborated with local business owner, Mike Ayoub of Byblos Lebanese Grill, to resume food, drink and equipment rentals at the Crystal Beach concession stand. Concessions were closed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic leaving a void in a valued service for those visiting the park. Further, staff shortages and a desire to provide a more diverse menu led the City to publish a Request for Proposal to operate the stand this summer.
Mr. Ayoub began operating the stand at the beach Memorial Day weekend and his efforts have been well received by visitors to Crystal Beach. Recently staff received an email from a visitor saying “Residents of Burnsville are well-served by having what’s clearly a family business like this operating the concession during the summer.”
A Collaboration to Help Provide for Those in Need
Hunger can’t be fought alone and Burnsville Recreation is joining with several public and private partners to help provide food and essentials to children and families in need this summer.
Heaven Child Care Inc., is a local business that provides meals for local residents under the age of 18. They serve children seven days a week at Cliff Fen Park through the end of August. The program is funded through Dakota County as part of “Summer Eats MN” and they estimate they are providing an average of 300 meals a day.
Additionally, Feeding our Future utilizes a food program to increase healthy food access for Burnsville residents every Sunday at Oak Leaf West. Their goal is to provide meals that contain groceries recommended by the USDA for two meals per day, seven days a week for children under the age of eight in our community.
July Party on the Plaza Partners with International Festival of Burnsville
The City of Burnsville Recreation and Community Engagement teams collaborated to offer the second of three Party on the Plaza events this year on July 22. The community festival was hosted at the newly renovated Nicollet Commons park as part of a partnership with the International Festival of Burnsville.
Hundreds of families and community members gathered to enjoy 12 unique arts and crafts vendors, six specialty food trucks, and live entertainment from four performers: McNasty Brass Band, Mariachi Jalisco, the Somali Dance Troupe and Salsa del Soul. The majority of the crowd got up and danced, clapped or sang along with each of the performances! The event also featured a collection of lawn games and sports for families and kids to enjoy including bags, air square and an inflatable soccer field.
This fun, all-ages event continues next month with our final Party on the Plaza event on Thursday, August 26. Join us once again for live entertainment, food trucks, vendors and games - fun for the whole family!
Burnsville PD Receives Policy and Training Award
Congratulations to the Burnsville Police Department for achieving Gold-level recognition as part of the Lexipol Connect Customer Recognition Program which recognizes law enforcement agencies for excellence in policy maintenance and training.
Lexipol issues updates and Daily Training Bulletins reflecting state and federal laws and best practices. This ensures our officers have the information they need to operate safely and legally.
Pictured: Chris Wicklund, Captain of Professional Standards, holding Burnsville's Lexipol Connect Gold Award.
Connecting Community Through Reading
A special thank you to the Free Book Buggie for their community donation of over 100 books!
The Burnsville Police Department plans to use this donation by keeping books in squad cars, the Police lobby and in interview rooms for kids to take whenever the opportunity arises.
Pictured: Sergeant Siem handing out books.
Thank You for Your Service
Burnsville Police Department has had four recent retirements.
- Dawn Ausen, Records Technician, retired after 16 years of service
- Officer Jay Scribner, Badge #83, retired after 22 years of service
- Officer Chris Goodreau, Badge #73, retired after 24 years of service
- Investigator, Jeff Klingfus, Badge #108, retired after 18 years of service
Officer Union Representative, Nick Joyce, was voted in as a new board member with Law Enforcement Labor Services. Nick will be a great asset for Law Enforcement Labor Services and their entire membership across the State of Minnesota.
Nicollet Commons Park Water Feature Celebration
We were very proud to re-open the Nicollet Commons Park water feature right on schedule on July 2. We introduced the new features to the public during a grand re-opening ceremony on July 22 in association with Rockin' Lunch Hour, Rockin' Readers and Party on the Plaza. This popular community attraction provided visitors with some needed relief during those hot July days. Thank you to everyone who helped complete the rehabilitation and those who helped make the ceremony a success.
The improvements to the water feature were both usability enhancements and sustainable. The enhancement improvements included more spray jets, above ground spray towers and domes, LED lighting, an improved audio system and more control options for the users and operators of the park. The sustainability improvements included repair of damaged pipes and a reclaim system estimated to save 2,000,000 gallons of water a year, replacement of the filter system and better controls and access to valves making the system more operatable for our employees.
35W Frontage Road Makeover
Most suburban city street maintenance departments are able to fill potholes and complete localized patching projects - all of which Burnsville certainly does with pride - however the Burnsville Street Department goes a step beyond. Burnsville is relatively unique in our ability to complete curb-to-curb pavement resurfacing projects. We typically complete this type of work in one or two smaller areas each year that hasn’t been identified for a major capital improvement and needs some renovation.
The photo comparison shows the before and after on the 35W Frontage Road north of Cliff Road. Great work Burnsville Street Department!
New Burnsville Location for Organics Drop-Off
Associated with the Grow Burnsville initiative and Burnsville’s overall sustainability goals, the City partnered with Dakota County to offer a community-wide organics drop-off site in Burnsville. It is located just north of the new Market Garden/old outdoor ice rink site on the Civic Center Campus. There are already nearly 500 residents signed up to use this free service which will reduce the amount of waste that is landfilled and help create a product that enhances topsoil for construction projects and other purposes.