NEWSBRIEF: North Oaks, Shoreview and St. Anthony recognized by League of Minnesota Cities

North Oaks, St. Anthony named “Cities of Excellence”

The League of Minnesota Cities announced its four 2019 City of Excellence award winners on June 27, with North Oaks and St. Anthony among the honorees. The award, presented at the league’s annual conference in Duluth, recognizes outstanding municipal projects and comes with a plaque and check for $1,000. 

North Oaks was recognized for its citizen-led tick task force, a partnership between the city and homeowners’ association.

Before the task force was launched, the city’s number of tick-related illnesses was five times higher than those of neighboring communities. This was due in part to an abundance of trails and wooded areas, as well as a higher than normal deer population.

The task force partnered with experts to develop grounds maintenance recommendations and a deer management program, as well as educational efforts among community stakeholders. A city survey tool was put in place to track progress.

The city’s tick-borne illness rates are now comparable to those of neighboring communities, and the city is working to reduce the deer population to levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. 

St. Anthony was recognized for its advanced oxidation water treatment plant. In 2015, the city learned that a chemical called 1,4-Dioxane exceeded the health risk limit in one of its three wells. The contaminated well was shut down, and the source of the pollutant was identified as the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant. 

St. Anthony chose to modify the existing water treatment plant to eliminate the contaminant using ultraviolet light and hydrogen peroxide. After reviewing various options, the city decided that this was the most cost-effective solution. It was also the first of its kind in the state.

As a result of the city’s collaborative approach with project partners, including the U.S. Army, the new treatment system was completed under budget in just 18 months.

The 2019 City of Excellence award nominations were judged by a panel of former members of the league’s board of directors, including Carol Mueller, mayor of the City of Mounds View; Brian Scholin, councilmember in Pine City; and Craig Waldron, former city administrator and currently a professor of public administration at Hamline University.

 

St. Anthony mayor presented with service award

St. Anthony Mayor Jerry Faust received the league’s 2019 C.C. Ludwig Award for outstanding service at the June 27 ceremony. 

According to his nominators, “Mayor Faust has provided clear direction, concise vision, and has successfully accomplished many well deserving achievements during his tenure.” 

Prior to his service as mayor, Faust was a planning commission member and a councilmember for the city. In recent years, he has served on the board of directors for the League of Minnesota Cities and as commissioner for the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. Faust, a Vietnam War veteran, is also a member of the Regional Council of Mayors.

The C.C. Ludwig award is named for a former league executive director and is considered to be the organization’s highest award for elected officials. Established in 1962, it is presented annually in celebration of outstanding service. 

 

Shoreview receives 2019 Sustainable City Award 

The League of Minnesota Cities presented the City of Shoreview with the 2019 Sustainable City Award on June 27 at the league’s annual conference. 

Shoreview was recognized for a water consumption and awareness project aimed at creating a conservation ethic among residents. Following concerns about the local availability of groundwater, the city partnered with a software company to gather citywide water consumption data and make it publicly available.

Through the data, Shoreview residents have more frequent exposure to their water usage and can see how it compares to that of similar households.

The League of Minnesota Cities is a membership organization dedicated to helping cities throughout Minnesota build quality communities through effective advocacy, expert analysis, trusted guidance and collective action. For more information, visit www.lmc.org.

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