Burnsville in Brief

Highlights for March 2021 City of Burnsville Home Page

Welcome Note from City Manager Melanie Lee

Welcome to our newest community reporting tool — the Burnsville in Brief dashboard. We are excited to continue to share the work being done throughout the community towards the City Council’s Strategic Priorities, but in a new, interactive and engaging format!

The last year reinforced that we need to be flexible and creative and we remain committed to that. From developing an innovative food forest and the return of planning community events to conducting a comprehensive review of our city code and creating a Behavioral Health and Community Engagement team, we take pride in doing our part to help Burnsville be a vibrant city, boldly leading, welcoming to all. There are so many ways you can be a part of your Burnsville and we are happy you have chosen to be here.

Burnsville City Council Strategic Priorities Guide Everyday Efforts

Burnsville Council Strategic Priorities of safety, community engagement, community development, sustainability, transportation & infrastructure and organizational services

Community Development

graphic of hand holding a phone showing a home energy report

Introducing Home Energy Squad Visits

The City partnered with the Center for Energy and Environment to offer discounted home energy audits to homeowners. This is a new and innovative collaboration offering several resources for homeowners and businesses. The behind-the-scenes work was completed in March and the program began roll out in April. This work is part of the Economic Development Strategic Plan Goal #4 - Enhance and build awareness around the City’s existing housing and commercial programs and develop new programs as appropriate.

Visit the HES website to learn more about this program or schedule your home energy audit.

March Permit Activity

rendering of the future flats at Neill Park
  • The Flats at Neil Park (120 luxury apartments) by The Stencil Group began construction.  Located at Valley Ridge (136th Street/CR5)
  • Gallery on Nicollet apartments (172 units) by Chase has been issued a grading permit. (Heart of the City located at Nicollet/Travelers Trail)
  • The newly expanded TJ MAX at Burnsville Marketplace on Aldrich Ave/CR42 opened on March 18th
  • Permits are under review to convert the Shell Station on Nicollet Ave/CR 42 into a Holiday Gas Station

Visit the City's project finder map for more information about these and other development projects happening in the City.

Mixed-Use Planning

photograph of street corner for Heart of the City featuring Grande Market Square

Planning staff has started the process to change the land use of eight areas within the City to Mixed Use at the direction of City Council. 

The intent of mixed use zoning districts is to promote integrated land uses where residential land can be combined into neighborhoods with retail, office, entertainment, and recreational facilities in close proximity to transit, creating a walkable and accessible community.

More information about the process and schedule can be found at burnsvillemn.gov/2270/Mixed-Use-Planning.


firefighter putting out flames with Burnsville fire logo

SAFER Grant Application

The Fire Department applied for a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant for three firefighter/paramedics. If this grant is awarded, the additional firefighters would be used to increase the engine staffing minimum to three.

Initially, the system design included shared staff from the ambulances for fire calls. However, an increase in EMS calls means the availability of the ambulance staff to also staff the fire engine becomes less frequent. By adding a third staff member to the engine, it allows the fire engine to operate independent of the ambulance staff on some low acuity fire calls like fire alarms, dumpster fires and car fires, leaving an ambulance available to respond to medical calls. The addition of a staff member to the second engine also bolsters our ability to increase the number of staff that can rapidly be deployed to those high-risk fire scenes, like a structure fire, increasing the safety and effectiveness of the response.

Multi-Unit Fire

Fire truck and extended fire ladder on scene at an apartment complex

The Fire Department responded to a reported building fire at Meridian Pointe Apartment on March 23. Arriving crews found flames showing from the roof. The fire was quickly knocked down on the roof and held in check by a single attic sprinkler head until our crews extinguished the remaining fire. Six units were posted as uninhabitable due to water damage to both ceilings and electrical outlets/switches. There were no injuries reported and all other residents were allowed to reoccupy their units.

Honor Guard Training

Police honor guard at a City ceremony

(pictured: Police color guard at the 2021 State of the City Address)

The Fire Department received a donation in 2020 from the Burnsville Lions Club to help the department establish a honor guard. Three fire personnel attended an Honor Guard Clinic at Camp Ripley during the last week of March. The clinic covered basic and advanced drill and ceremonies, casket team operations (pall bearer operations, casket movement, flag folding, loading and unloading), basic and advanced planning for all types of honor guard operations (vehicle and personnel staging) and funeral operations.


business portrait of Bethany Brewer

The City Welcomes a New Organizational Development Manager

With a commitment to becoming an employer of choice and creating an environment with a high level of staff engagement and sense of belonging, we are excited to welcome Bethany Brewer as our new Organizational Development Manager. Bethany joined us in late March and brings a passion for helping people and organizations be their best. Bethany will be an excellent addition to our great human resources team and will be a valuable guide as we continue to move forward in our important work with employee engagement, strengths and inclusion and belonging.

2021 State of the City Address

Mayor Kautz delivering the Burnsville State of the City Address from the Ames Center stage

The Communications and Community Engagement Department was proud to support Mayor Kautz in delivering her 26th State of the City Address on March 17. In addition to assisting in speech development and event logistics, the department’s multimedia team filmed the full speech and produced two supplemental videos.

Process Improvement Project

multimedia staff sitting in front of equipment and monitors

One of the main priorities for Organizational Services in 2021 is to build and implement a process improvement methodology in order to best serve the organization so that the organization can best serve the community. As we work to reimagine our internal services, it is our priority to promote efficiency and maintain the highest standards of resource management. As we prioritize process improvement, we will:

  • Evaluate and document our business processes
  • Identify what we should start, stop and continue doing to best leverage our resources
  • Improve our effectiveness among our internal services to promote the best possible public service

Organizational Services is actively piloting the projects within our departments. We will seek internal and external feedback to evaluate our effectiveness throughout this process.


new inclusive playground equipment at Red Oak Park

Awards of Excellence

The Burnsville Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department wins two Awards of Excellence from the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association.

  • New Yappy Hour event, programming and events category
  • Red Oak Inclusive Playground and Bankshot™ Court, parks and facilities category

The projects were chosen by the awards committee amongst over 100 applications from Parks and Recreation departments around the state. A MRPA Awards Committee member will be presenting the Awards of Excellence at a City Council, Board or Commission meeting in the near future.

Burnsville Golf Superintendent Works the PGA Tour Players Championship

The Tourment Players Club Sawgrass in Ponte Verde, Florida was host to the 2021 PGA Tour Players Championship. The host course relies on volunteers from around the world to help with the grounds management during the tournament. Dan Rootes, Burnsville's Golf Course Superintendent, was one of 10 Minnesota golf course superintendents selected to join the team which provided him with an invaluable experience and lessons learned to bring back to our very own Birnamwood Golf Course for years to come.

photo of Dan Rootes at PGA Players Championship


Photo of three members of the new Community Engagement Behavioral Health Unit

Community Engagement Behavioral Health Unit

Our Community Engagement Behavioral Health Unit (CEBHU), formerly the Community Service Unit, is in full swing! In addition to community outreach, the team has developed work-flow process, reporting, follow-up actions, threat assessments and methods to prioritize people and cases. Support materials, such as door hangers with next steps/contact information and resource guides providing quick reference to supporting agencies and services such as homeless shelters, employment help and mental health services, are also underway. The team is working collaboratively with area officers and other police divisions utilizing an advisory tool to offer best response to those in need.

Behavior health is a vital aspect to serving the community. CEBHU is specifically trained to address calls concerning mental illness, mental health, alcohol and drug abuse, and homelessness. The team also seeks to determine stabilization needs, completes on-site assessments and provides aftercare follow-up to the crisis.

We also welcome Amy Johnson from Dakota County Community Services who joins the unit two days a week. She is licensed at the independent, clinical level with a Masters in social work from the University of St. Thomas. The collaborative effort between the Burnsville Police Department and Dakota County Social Services seeks to overcome barriers to medical, mental health and substance use services by meeting people in their own environment, establishing trust and assisting them on a path to treatment and recovery.

Dakota Chiefs Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Security Planning

photo of the Burnsville Mobile Command Center vehicle

Public Safety for Burnsville residents and businesses remains a top priority now and during the Chauvin Trial. All Dakota County Chiefs/Sheriff continue to work collaboratively and are prepared to activate an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) should it become necessary during or after the trial. Our teams are well-trained and prepared to provide public safety services each and every day. We have mutual aid partnerships with other law enforcement agencies and have trained together in order to work collaboratively with our partners.

National Drug Take Back Initiative

Photo of Burnsville Police Department building exterior

On Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., we invite the community to bring old or unneeded medications and substances to the Burnsville Police lobby. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will hold this National Take Back Initiative event in order to remove potentially dangerous drugs from our nation’s homes. Law enforcement agencies that serve the State of Minnesota will join once again for this large-scale community service project. This national take-back initiative will provide another unified opportunity for the public to surrender pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications to law enforcement officers for destruction.


Burnsville Mayor Kautz and Grow program manager Sue Bast holding award in front of City Hall

Grow Burnsville

The City is honored to have received first place in the United States Conference of Mayors for their Childhood Obesity Prevention and Environmental Health and Sustainability Awards. Our competitive grant submission resulted in a $125,000 award (top award for our population size) to launch Grow Burnsville, an initiative to to build a long-term solution to help the rising challenge of food inequity in our community. City staff are already developing locations for new community gardens, designing a youth intensive market garden, making plans for a food forest where anyone can come and pick self-sustaining fruits and berries, and planning several food-based events. We are excited to bring Grow Burnsville to the community this summer!

The City's winning grant application addressed issues and concerns in four sections of our sustainability plan including ground cover, land use, local food and community health.

Multi-Modal Study

Cover of multi-modal study with icons for biking, transit, vehicles and walking

The City of Burnsville has been working to meet all of our citizens where they’re at when it comes to transportation. Many citizens drive their cars to get around, but we also have many citizens that bike, walk, operate a wheelchair or ride the bus for work or pleasure. We want a transportation system that is as equitable to all as possible so we are working to create a city-wide multi-modal and complete streets plan for the blue print to achieve a transportation system that works for everyone.

Visit our project website for more information and watch for upcoming opportunities for community input.

Snow Season Recap

This year's snow and ice reason was considered average with approximately 41 inches of snow resulting in the City responding 32 times. Seven of these were “full plows” where we had all divisions of public works assisting with snow removal. The City’s public work’s employees did a great job once again keeping the community moving during and after these snow events. We are now prepping for summer filling potholes, street sweeping and preparing lawn mowers!

Welcome Tony

We are pleased to introduce the City's new Utilities Superintendent Tony White. This important position directs drinking water production and distribution, and collection of sewage. Tony replaces Linda Mullen who retired after 13 years of City service. Tony has worked for the City's utility division for the past eight years including being the primary operator at the City’s water treatment plant. Tony is ready for this opportunity and will do great directing the City’s water and sewer operations!

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

Warm weather is coming — are you planning backyard fires? Stay in-the-know about fire rules and apply for a no-cost annual recreational bon fire permit.

Police Statistics