Issuu on Google+

Three local theater groups are gearing up for the state one-act festival with shows in Lakeville this month. See Thisweekend Page 7A A NEWS OPINION SPORTS Thisweek Burnsville-Eagan FEBRUARY 18, 2011 VOLUME 31, NO. 51 Opinion/4A Legal Notices/5A Announcements/6A Sports/8A Classifieds/9A Seniors/12A Business expansion is cause for optimism, Mayor Kautz declares by John Gessner THISWEEK NEWSPAPERS Business has expanded impressively in Burnsville despite a weak national economy, Mayor Elizabeth Kautz declared in her annual State of the City address. From her vantage point as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Burnsville â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which attracted at least 40 new businesses in 2010 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is outperforming the rest of the nation, said Kautz, who ascended to the presidency last year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are doing so much better than other cities across our nation,â&#x20AC;? said the six-term mayor, who gave her 16th State of the City address Tuesday at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and still are to a degree â&#x20AC;&#x201C; gripped by the worst recession since the 1930s,â&#x20AC;? Kautz told an audience that included other elected officials and members of the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Businesses have been rocked by fewer customers, shrinking revenues, steeper overheads, tighter credits and an uncertain future,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;City Hall has shed 20 full-time employees, pared back expected spending by three and a half million dollars over two years, and learned to do with less.â&#x20AC;? Business activity in 2010 gives reason for optimism, she said, noting that: â&#x20AC;˘ Two of the new businesses â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a Costco retail warehouse and a relocated Lifetouch, a leading supplier of school and event photography â&#x20AC;&#x201C; brought 350 jobs. â&#x20AC;˘ Nine new restaurants opened last year in Burnsville. â&#x20AC;˘ The Burnsville Medical Alliance helped attract three new medical businesses and supported expansion of five existing businesses â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including Apothecary Products, which added 60,000 square feet. â&#x20AC;˘ Goodrich Integrated Senors and Systems launched a major expansion Photo by Rick Orndorf last year that will add 200 to Mayor Elizabeth Kautz gave an upbeat State of the City address Tuesday, calling business 300 new engineering jobs in expansions in 2010 as cause for optimism. The president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors See Kautz, 13A said Burnsville is outperforming the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cities economically. Eagan man to lead DFL Party Walmart eyes north Burnsville Martinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main goal: to give Dayton a legislative majority after 2012 election by T.W. Budig ECM CAPITOL REPORTER Ken Martinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s challenge as new DFL State Party chairman in a small way may be reflected in his brother. Martin, of Eagan, recently spoke of a brother living in the northern exurbs, a carpenter by trade hard hit by the recession, who votes Republican. He votes Republican, Martin said, because heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrongly convinced Democrats want to take away his guns, tax him out of his home, tell him when and where he canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t snowmobile. None of that is true, Martin explained. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He votes his fears over his hopes, over his pocketbook issues,â&#x20AC;? Martin said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We just have to take those (wedge) issues off the books.â&#x20AC;? The party has to construct an overriding message, Martin explained. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the big challenge. And Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going to work on what that message is,â&#x20AC;? he said. Martin, 37, is a veteran at crafting messages. While he most recently was one of the public faces of Democratic Gov. Mark Daytonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s election recount efforts, Martin was front man in the group that successfully pushed for passage of the recent outdoor constitutional amendment. He helped lead former attorney general Mike Hatchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gubernatorial campaign, and has led other campaigns. by John Gessner IN BRIEF a possible new home for its Burnsville Volkswagen dealership, which had outgrown its longtime location across the freeway on Embassy Road in north Burnsville. Instead, Luther is now building a new Volkswagen dealership on Buck Hill Road near Burnsville Center. The dealership is in temporary quarters further south on Buck Hill Road. Before Luther bought it, the would-be Walmart site was owned by cement and aggregates company Holcim Inc. Cement towers on the property were removed several years ago, Faulkner said. The property is zoned B-3, general business, she said. The city has gotten inquiries from would-be developers â&#x20AC;&#x153;off and on over the years,â&#x20AC;? Faulkner said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great location for visibility,â&#x20AC;? she added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about 100,000 cars a day that would go down 35W.â&#x20AC;? THISWEEK NEWSPAPERS To see a video interview with Ken Martin, go online at www. and click on the link from this story to www. yo u t u b e. c o m / wat c h ? v = - Jo VtjceerU. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So my background is really in campaigns,â&#x20AC;? Martin said. Martin becomes state party chairman, replacing former chairman Brian Melendez, in a time that has seen Democrats lose control of the Minnesota Legislature, a long serving DFL congressman upset in the 8th Congressional District, though a Democrat won the Governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office for the first time in decades. But Dayton was not the DFL-endorsed party candidate. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I believe passionately in making sure this party is strong and focused on winning elections,â&#x20AC;? Martin said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen this party become more and more marginalized over the years. As candidates, elected officials, donors and activists have left the party in frustration.â&#x20AC;? Still, someone recently told him that he had the knack of not just seeing where the party is, but where the party can go, Martin explained. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I see what this party could be, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not quite there,â&#x20AC;? he said. Photo by T.W. Budig Ken Martin of Eagan was selected as the chairman of the Minnesota DFL Party recently at a committee meeting in Cokato. Martin looks to the Minnesota Republican Party as a source of ideas. Republicans â&#x20AC;&#x153;do a really masterfulâ&#x20AC;? job on some things, and Democrats have some catching up to do. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They do a good job on getting their message out. They do a good job on coming up with a clear, concise message that simple and easy to understand and can be sold in all parts of the state,â&#x20AC;? Martin said. Their chairman also gets out â&#x20AC;&#x201D; he will, too, Martin said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going to be very active and aggressive in making sure weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re getSee DFL, 14A Airball? Walmart is looking at a possible store location along Interstate 35W in north Burnsville. The retail giant is considering a 29-acre site on the southeast corner of Cliff Road and I-35W, according to Jenni Faulkner, Burnsvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s community development director. Walmart representatives met with city staffers in mid-January, Faulkner said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They are doing their due diligence,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a lot of work to do on their end.â&#x20AC;? Walmart has already signed a land-purchase agreement for a store in Lakeville, Burnsvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s southern neighbor. Construction is planned this year of a 150,000-squarefoot store on property northwest of the new Interstate 35 interchange at County Road 70, according to Lakeville officials. The Burnsville site is owned by Luther Automotive Group. It bought the property years ago as John Gessner is at burnsville. District officials cautiously optimistic about Daytonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s budget proposal But local school leaders expect Legislature will push for cuts by Jessica Harper THISWEEK NEWSPAPERS Photo by Rick Orndorf Students tried to distract staff member Kim Hook from her free throw attempt during a staff-versus-students contest at Metcalf Junior High in Burnsville Feb. 15. The annual Renae Gustafson Memorial Scholarship Basketball Game is a fundraiser in honor of a physical education teacher and coach at the school who died in a 2007 car crash while on spring break in Florida. The annual scholarship is awarded to a female graduating senior who attended Metcalf, is going on to post-secondary school and was involved in athletics in grades seven through 12. General 952-894-1111 Distribution 952-846-2070 Display Advertising 952-846-2011 Classified Advertising 952-846-2000 Democratic Gov. Mark Daytonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent proposal to keep education funding flat provided some glimmer of hope for struggling school districts this week, yet district officials remain cautious. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m glad Dayton agreed to hold education harmless ... but I understand (the governor and Legislature) are trying to fill a huge hole,â&#x20AC;? said Ron Hill, a board member in the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District. If general education funding remains flat as Dayton proposed Feb. 15, District 191 would be able to maintain a balanced budget without cuts, Hill said. However, several local district officials said they expect the Republican-controlled     ďż˝ ďż˝  Legislature will reject much of Daytonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proposals and instead call for cuts. â&#x20AC;&#x153;His plan calls for increased taxes, and that will be difficult to get through,â&#x20AC;? said Art Coulson, a board member in Rosemount Apple Valley-Eagan School District 196. Coulson said he would be disheartened by cuts to education funding. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need to figure out what the cost of educating students to an excellent state is, and we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cut our way to excellence,â&#x20AC;? he said. District 196 officials are preparing for funding cuts ranging between 2.5 percent and 5 percent. If the state were to cut general education funding by 2.5 percent, District 196 would face $8.5 million in budget adjustments, said Jeff Solomon, the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finance director. Another $3.5 million would need to be adjusted if the state cut 5 percent of education funding. District officials could use $5 million in one-time money from the Federal Education Jobs Fund to help balance the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s budget, Solomon said. District 191 officials declined to say how the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s budget would be affected by potential funding cuts, saying itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too early to speculate. Increases elsewhere Although district officials believe the Legislature will nix Daytonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plans to maintain general funding, they remain cautiously optimistic that the See Education, 14A  ďż˝ ďż˝ ďż˝           ďż˝       & !""'!  ! $            ���       ! "# $ % %  % & '    ( '      )'(  *  )       % & )  +,- . /&   )%      ��       %'   0  )% '% 1.         $ďż˝        2   '%      %  (  . 3      ) ( )) %   % "'   (   ' )' )& ,, *ďż˝,,  )& *ďż˝ *ďż˝,, &. "     ( 2       $ďż˝ )&  )     ( 4& 5    &   '% 4& "  &. 6& & 2   & % 72  ) '  )  ) ( 4&8      ((.          (  %    &. "%    )  ) '% & % 4& !    . 9   ( .      )1   %  '%  . 4& 5    &8    )  5  5: *ďż˝,;<;$. 4& 5    & % =59  ) ,  596  ) ,�������*. "%       ((                  '% 5 9 $.*ďż˝. "% %         %   %       0 >    & &. 4& !  % 5= 6    ) *��??. @ *ďż˝,, "% 4& A  3 .   

Thisweek Burnsville and Eagan

Related publications