Burnsville City Council Strategic Priorities Guide Everyday Efforts
Welcome Note from City Manager Melanie Lee
Burnsville parks provide amazing benefits for us all and we are proud of our continued commitment to outdoor environments and natural resource conservation.
Exciting things are happening with Burnsville parks and natural resources - City staff, Council Members and Park and Natural Resources Commissioners recently explored some of the new projects around the city including:
- Burnsville's Food Forest
- Organics Collection Site
- Market Garden
- Red Oak Park Inclusive Playground
- Red Oak Park's Pickleball Court Surface
- Nicollet Commons Water Feature Improvements
- Neill Park Tennis Courts
- Kelleher Park Boardwalk
- Wolk Park Improvements
Fun in the Sun
This summer, popular favorites paired with new offerings provided a variety of recreation activities for all ages to enjoy.
- Pickleball: This summer we introduced four-week introductory pickleball lessons and those who attended had so much fun, most continued with the Advanced Beginners step, both taught by world-champion Pickleball instructor Rachael Kroog.
- Adult Softball: Burnsville’s softball program excelled in 2021 and continues to be on the leading edge of the softball community with the largest USSSA-sanctioned softball program in MN once again this year - 174 teams! Softball food truck nights were a popular addition this year, a solution to the pandemic concession stand closure.
- Bean Bag and Sand Volleyball leagues continued strong momentum with 12 teams each this summer.
Kids Belong in Burnsville: From the introduction of Learn to Play Cricket to our summer concerts, kids and families enjoyed all the beauty and fun of Burnsville parks.
- 211 Kids of Summer loved breakdancing instruction, the water trucks and days of endless summer fun!
- The Pop Up Park program traveled to seven locations this summer bringing the fun out to more than 100 kids.
- We saw great attendance with our youth activities and sports including Preschool Soccer (66), Tennis (43) and Skateboarding (36).
Check out some addtional highlights in our Parks, Facilities and Recreation section including our new Market Intern Program, the debut of PLAY BALL Sandlot Games, Birnamwood Golf Course and the Burnsville Ice Center.
Record Year for Building Inspections
The Building Code Division is experiencing another record year for inspection projects.
For the third consecutive year, new multifamily housing and office warehouse buildings make up the majority of the inspections. Since 2018, over 1,500 multi-family units have been approved. This brings the total number of multi-family dwelling units in the city to over 10,000 units.
(Pictured: Overlook Maple Island, office warehouse on 126th Street and Gallery on Nicollet)
Development of Former Roasted Pear Site
The City received an application for a new coffee shop and fast food restaurant. The plan is for the former Roasted Pear site located at 14200 Nicollet Avenue to be demolished and replaced with two new buildings. This application is currently under review by City Staff. The proposal will be before the Planning Commission and City Council at a future date.
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.
Building Connections Through Business Visits
Continuing our commitment to building strong relationships throughout the business community, City staff visited and celebrated milestones with six local businesses throughout the month of August. This includes welcoming new businesses, ribbon-cutting ceremonies and GrowMN! visits. We are excited to build upon these connections and geared up to create more.
(Pictured: ribbon-cuttings at Stems and Vines and MRCI)
Be sure to subscribe to the Opportunity Belongs Here newsletter to keep track of business activity including new development, property for sale or lease, grant opportunities, events and more.
Gearing Up for Back-To-School
Burnsville Fire and Police collaborated with Berean Baptist Church at their School-A-Palooza: Gearing Up Kids From Head to Toe.
More than 1,700 community members attended. In addition to a fantastic back-to-school celebration, the event provided haircuts, winter coats, shoes, school supplies and backpacks.
20th Anniversary of 9-11
Burnsville Fire Captain Walker, Assistant Chief Dwyer and Firefighter Kubista climbed 110 stories wearing a photo badge representing a fallen hero from FDNY (New York City Fire Department).
As we embark on the 20th anniversary of 9-11, we will Never Forget FDNY’s fallen heroes and their families.
A Snapshot in Time
Burnsville Fire Department’s number one priority is responding to emergency calls for service. Some days are quiet and others hectic, and every day is different.
Here's a brief look at what a day in the life of a firefighter/EMT look like:
On Friday, August 20, personnel were requested to respond to nine incidents; some interesting and critical calls within a short hour and a half timeframe. From responding to an injury in the middle of Terrace Oaks Park to assisting with calls for cardiac arrests, our responders are always ready and willing to serve. (Also a special thank you to Eagan Fire for their mutual aid response with their utility terrain vehicle.)
Working Together for Optimal Efficiency
Throughout the year, Organizational Services has been piloting process improvement projects in an effort to improve our effectiveness in internal services and promote the best possible public service.
- Human Resources rolled out a new recruiting process and is currently continuing with a new approach to onboarding
- Communications reimagined internal communications with the redesign of Insite, an employee intranet website
- Finance streamlined the audit process
- Information Technology is completing a project to enhance helpdesk ticketing
As we conclude pilot projects this year, Organizational Services will be rolling out a program available to all departments in 2022 through Burnsville University. We look forward to continuing to create simple processes that best leverage our resources and enhance our service to the community.
Job Descriptions that Reflect Community Needs
The human resource team recently updated our job descriptions with a new format and approach, focused on our organizational values. Employees will experience a new updated look with an emphasis not only on what their work includes but how we create experiences in our community through innovation, collaboration and excellence. The HR team is coordinating with department directors to connect, review these new job descriptions and answer questions. The project reflects our commitment to and belief that connecting people to their work and organization is a key ingredient in great public service.
Learn more about our organizational values and how they make a difference in the work of our people in our City of Burnsville Values video.
Introducing a New Budget Dashboard
The City’s new Budget Planning Dashboard provides information about next year's proposed budget and can be useful in understanding how staff and Council make budget decisions. Information will continue to be added and updated as the budget conversation progresses this fall.
PARKS, RECREATION AND FACILITIES
Grow Burnsville Market Garden Internship Program
We call it a "Market Garden" because we've set up to create the most produce in the most efficient space possible.... but since the produce isn't being sold, it really could be called a "Giving Garden." - Paige Hawkins, Market Garden Supervisor
Our piloted Market Garden Internship program this summer turned a bare plot of land into a community harvest. Six high school interns led by a Market Garden supervisor were given the broad instruction to “make as much produce as you can grow” in the new 800-square-foot space in Civic Center Park. From designing the garden and selecting the seed, to watering the harvest and weeding out pests, the Market Garden Staff worked diligently all summer to produce dozens of pounds of fresh produce and herbs to donate to local food shelves.
"I have gardened, and I have cooked before, but this is really helping me learn about what vegetables are best to grow in this area, the different ways I can use them, and the best ways for me to get the most out of each harvest." - Alex Zimmerman, Market Garden Intern
Meet the Market Garden interns and learn more about Grow Burnsville at our Harvest Party on Sept. 18, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. in Civic Center Park.
PLAY BALL Sandlot Game
A Season Above Par & Cool Fun
Birnamwood: This was a hot summer with 22,723 rounds as of late August and a growing interest in youth golf thanks to our involvement in Youth on the Course (helping to lessen cost barriers); being the practice course for Burnsville and Apple Valley High Schools including weekly tournament play with other area schools; and our popular junior leagues and tournaments. The dedication of our crew kept Birnamwood looking beautiful despite drought conditions and excessive heat this summer. BCG continues to be certified as an Audubon Sanctuary since 2002. Book your fall tee time at burnsvillemn.gov/golf.
Burnsville Ice Center:
- In partnership with ISD 191 and Play It Again Sports, we offered a free summer skating camp to third and fourth graders, introducing the ice to a whole new community of skaters.
- In collaboration with the Burnsville Hockey Club and the high school hockey coaching staff, the Burnsville Blaze clinics returned for its ninth year to bring together skaters throughout the area.
Dog Days of Summer
The Alimagnet Dog Park volunteer group P.A.C.K. (People of Alimagnet Caring for K9s) hosted the annual Dog Days of Summer event on July 31.
More than 1,000 people (many with their furry friends) enjoyed Dog Days of Summer activities such as hot dog bobbing, poop toss, K9 demonstrations, a silent auction and goodie bag giveaways. Visitors were also able to shop, learn and win prizes from the 28 participating vendors or grab lunch from Rusty Taco, Manny’s Meat Logs and Northern Aloha Ice.
The annual event allows P.A.C.K to support their mission to improve the overall experience for people who visit Alimagnet Dog Park by offering activities and making regular improvements to the park.
Mark your calendars for Yappy Hour on Sept. 25 from 3 - 5:30 p.m. at Alimagnet Park.
Welcome LeAnn Creger -
Dakota County Social Service
We are honored to introduce LeAnn Creger of Dakota County Social Service who will be joining our Behavioral Health Unit one day a week.
LeAnn has worked at Dakota County in the Crisis Response Unit for 28 years. Prior to Dakota County, she worked for a runaway youth program in St. Paul. She attended the University of Minnesota and then went to St. Mary’s for a graduate’s degree in Counseling Psychology. Her continuing development includes completed coursework and supervision and has a license in Marriage and Family Therapy.
Car Show at Ebenezer
The young and young-at-heart enjoyed a beautiful day at the Ebenezer Ridges campus during this annual car show.
Officers showed the crowd their squads alongside classic cars. This was a great time to connect with the community and provide an insider's look at the cool gadgets within police vehicles.
Berean Church School-A-Palooza
In mid-August, officers helped with the School-A-Palooza which helps gear up kids to get ready to go back to school. Berean wanted to make sure families have the needed resources to get their kids off to a great start this school year. Families could shop for gently-used books, clothes, new shoes and coats as well as new school supplies and backpacks. Breakfast was available and kids even had the opportunity to look their best with fresh haircuts!
Pink Patch Project
Several Dakota County agencies served at a Dakota County Fair booth to help raise money for the American Cancer Society.
Partners included the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office, Rosemount Police, Hastings Police and Farmington Police. This is the first year Burnsville Police and Inver Grove Heights Police joined this initiative.
Taking a Close Look at the Heart of the City
The Heart of the City is now more than 20 years old - can you believe it? Over that time, this vital area has seen changes, including rezoning to a Transit Oriented Development (TOD). A TOD maximizes the amount of residential, business and leisure space within walking distance of public transportation.
Our Public Works and Community Development have teamed up to focus on a Heart of the City Framework Update.
- How should the City move forward in this area?
- We have paver blocks that have fallen apart due to salting in the wintertime, should those be replaced with a new pavement material?
- Should the city proactively install more streetscaping and multi-modal improvements in the district?
- How does the new zoning district affect future development?
These are just some of the many questions we will be examing throughout this process and we welcome your thoughts. Learn more and share on the project website at www.burnsvillemn.gov/HOC.
Safe Routes to School
Pedestrian Demonstration Project
When the Gideon Pond Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) started seeing concerns with children walking to school and trying to cross 130th Street safely, they shared those concerns with the City’s traffic committee. City engineering and police staff then partnered with the PTO, the school and MnDOT’s Safe Routes To School (SRTS) program to develop a pedestrian crossing demonstration project designed to shortened the crosswalks on 130th Street to make it safer for kids walking from north of 130th Street to get to Gideon Pond Elementary school on the south side of 130th Street.
The current improvements are temporary in nature, but may be made permanent with new curb lines in the future if they prove to be effective.
The City’s Engineering Department has made great progress on our annual street improvement program.
Dedicated to Sustainability
Sustainability is one of the City Council's strategic priorities and our updated sustainability plan, approved in late 2020, highlighted the need for a full-time Sustainability Coordinator.
The City’s Natural Resources department used some creativity to reorganize in a way that did not increase staff numbers or costs to the general fund.
Sue Bast, who previously split her time between sustainability and other responsibilities, will now focus her efforts at our new Sustainability Coordinator. Sue has been working on this since the City’s original sustainability plan was approved in 2009 and is an expert in this area.
Congratulations Sue on your new role!