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Ramsey County

Upgrades planned for off-leash dog parks

Ramsey County plans to upgrade three of its regional off-leash dog parks and is seeking public input on the projects.

The Metropolitan Council is giving the county $225,000 to improve its off-leash dog areas at Rice Creek Regional Trail Corridor, Shoreview; Battle Creek Regional Park, Maplewood; and Bald Eagle-Otter Lakes Regional Park, White Bear Township.

County staffers have created three concept plans for the 13-acre fenced dog park at Rice Creek and asked for public feedback. All three plans include creating a dedicated small-dog area within the park, adding a water source, creating shade areas with benches and ADA-accessible paths.

Community engagement for Battle Creek and Bald Eagle will begin next summer.

Shannon Prather

West St. Paul

City drops sidewalk assessments

West St. Paul has decided to fund sidewalk construction through its general fund, rather than by assessing homeowners and businesses for their portion of the sidewalk.

The City Council on Monday approved the change, which will allow city officials to be "more proactive" in installing sidewalks and trails, said Council Member Anthony Fernandez.

"It's a huge thing and people should be excited about it," Fernandez said, adding that West St. Paul is "light years behind" other cities in this area.

The sidewalk issue came up in the 2018 City Council election and in council discussions. Some have argued there are more than enough sidewalks; others say that as a first-ring suburb, West St. Paul should be more pedestrian-friendly.

Erin Adler

Brooklyn Park

City launches new website

Brooklyn Park officials last week launched a new city website, brooklynpark.org, that they say is easier to navigate and more engaging than the old one.

Mayor Jeffrey Lunde said in a statement that the new website "looks nothing like a typical government website. It is colorful and easy for customers to get to where they want to go quickly."

City officials have planned to overhaul the website for two years. The new one, they say, has better search functions, easy access to city contacts and services, an Instagram gallery and police data. Tabs lead users to information on programs, health and equity.

The city contracted with Red Rokk, a web development company based in Bellingham, Wash., to create and design the new website.

Kevin Duchschere

Edina

City Council to host online town hall

The Edina City Council will host a virtual town hall meeting next week, allowing residents to post questions or comments for council members through the city's Facebook page, Facebook.com/EdinaMN.

The online format meets part of the city's goal to provide several avenues for the public to engage with city leaders. As with other town hall meetings, council members won't be able to share opinions or comment on issues to be addressed in future public hearings.

The online session will be held from 8 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 29. An in-person town hall meeting is slated for 10 a.m. on Nov. 16 at the Edina Senior Center.

Mara Klecker