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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 Farmington-Lakeville FEBRUARY 18, 2011 VOLUME 31, NO. 51 Opinion/4A Announcements/5A Public Notices/8A Sports/12A Classifieds/9A Senior Spotlight/14A A Kenrick Avenue extension: Panther coach recovering Will they or wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t they? from serious Proposed project in Lakeville sparks concerns about public expenditures by Aaron Vehling THISWEEK NEWSPAPERS For the bulk of the first decade of the 2000â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, development in Lakeville was a given. Build a road and commercial, residential and even industrial entities would follow. This has been true throughout history during periods of economic progress. Lakevilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s existence would not have been a given had the railroad barons not followed the path they did. Since the economy executed an about-face in 2008, though, commercial and residential development declined, leaving concepts as mere aspirations and pockets with burnt holes. Though Lakeville has not been hit as hard as some metro area cities with clusters of commercial vacancies, there are plenty of property managers throughout the city who are looking for tenants. But as development slowly begins to return to Lakeville â&#x20AC;&#x201C; according to NorthMarq, the commercial real estate market bottomed out last year â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the discussion of thoroughfares has returned to City Hall. The road discussion centers on the potential Kenrick Avenue extension, which would cost about $2.6 million and provide a quicker connection between the Argonne, Southfork and Timber- crest shopping centers on the east side of I-35. As it stands, to travel between retailers such as Rainbow and Target, a driver must traverse either the freeway or County Road 50 and 185th Street West. The City has not spent any money yet on the Kenrick-extension project. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a project today,â&#x20AC;? said City Administrator Steve Mielke at a Jan. 24 work session. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a concept.â&#x20AC;? head injury Now or later? Property owner Fortune Realty, Inc., of Eagan and city staff have had a few conversations about an expansion, but Fortune has not actively sought the exSee Kenrick, 8A Photo by Rick Orndorf Panther girls hockey coach Buck Kochevar talks to his players during the Class AA state tournament last year. As of Wednesday he was listed in fair condition. Lakeville North girls hockey program goes on emotional roller coaster after Buck Kochevar falls during practice by Andy Rogers THISWEEK NEWSPAPERS The Lakeville North girls hockey team suffered a disappointing loss Tuesday, but also experienced a much bigger victory. The loss came in the Section 1AA semifinals when the No. 2 seeded Panthers were edged by No. 3 Farmington, 5-4, in triple overtime. The victory came after doctors at the University of Minnesota Medical Photo by Laura Adelmann At a Valentines Day workshop, Farmington city officials and council members gathered around a table covered with the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s massive spreadsheet detailing a plan for paying back millions in bond debt. by Tad Johnson Farmingtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s days of pooling cash to pay bond debt are numbered. Referring to a megaspreadsheet several feet in length, at a Feb. 14 city council workshop, Farmington city officials outlined a plan to pay millions in old bond debt without raising the levy until 2027. The plan involves money-shifting to repay debt built during years of rapid development that suddenly stopped with the economy in 2008. This year and until 2023, the plan schedules bond payments ranging from $2.8 million to $1.04 million annually, until 2024 when payments drop to $321,298. In 2025 through 2027, total annual debt payments are under $200,000. To achieve the payoffs, the city is relying on transfers of about $400,000 annually from the storm water and water utility funds for the first five years. Residents and developers have paid monthly fees to those funds, and the money will be used specifically to cover trunk â&#x20AC;˘ Adeel Lari, eWorkPlace Telework Twin Cities project manager and former Minnesota Department of Transportation manager; and â&#x20AC;˘ Margaret Schreiner, legislative coordinator at Dakota County. District 15 is currently served by Daniel Wolter of Eagan, the director of University News Services for the University of Minnesota. The other candidates in District 16 include: â&#x20AC;˘ Current District 16 representative Wendy Wulff, a former Lakeville City Council member; â&#x20AC;˘ Paul Chellsen of Apple Valley, a Minneapolis storm water technician; â&#x20AC;˘ Kari Davis of Apple Valley, director of diversity See Applicants, 8A THISWEEK NEWSPAPERS Council asks for more information about past practices THISWEEK NEWSPAPERS and led to internal bleeding. He was transported by helicopter to the University of Minnesota where he underwent surgery. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He was out for two minutes just laying on his back,â&#x20AC;? Schrick said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The girls were so calm, but I was starting to get really nervous. It was something I never I want to go through again.â&#x20AC;? Several coaches, friends and family memSee Coach, 13A Met Council applicants include Wulff, former state legislative candidates Farmington council introduced to cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s payoff plan for millions in debt by Laura Adelmann Center told them their head coach, Buck Kochevar, was going to be OK on Tuesday morning. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hockey is so miniscule compared to the reality of life,â&#x20AC;? said Rich Schrick, Lakeville North assistant coach and close friend to Kochevar. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re just happy to be alive. It could have happened to anybody.â&#x20AC;? Kochevar fell and hit his head on the ice during practice on Monday, which fractured his skull improvements, according to City Engineer Kevin Schorzman. Additionally, $1.03 million of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual levy, assessments and deferred assessment income are all part of the bond payment plan. By 2014, the city plan incorporates deferred assessment income from Vermillion River Crossing, a 40-acre project that didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t develop as expected in 2008, with only a McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and a clinic there now. An abatement agreement for Vermillion River See Payoff, 13A Six candidates for the Metropolitan Councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s District 15 and 16 seats participated in public interviews Wednesday, Feb. 16, at Prior Lake City Hall. Candidates include four former state legislators, DFLers who lost their seats in the 2010 election. Among those seeking the District 15 seat, which includes Burnsville and Eagan, are former state Sens. Jim Carlson and John Doll and former state Rep. Sandra Masin. Former state Rep. Phil Sterner is a candidate for the District 16 seat, which includes Apple Valley, Rosemount, Lakeville, Farmington and a portion of Eagan. Jim Carlson John Doll Sandra Phil Sterner Masin The other three candidates in District 15 are: â&#x20AC;˘ Steven Chavez of Eagan, an attorney and the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current Planning Commission chairman; Plans bud for Grow Farmington initiative Local leaders narrow priorities to spur commerce in the city by Laura Adelmann THISWEEK NEWSPAPERS Farmington business and city leaders are planting seeds they hope will help the city to bloom into a destination with unique shops and events that invite and charm visitors. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Find it in Farmingtonâ&#x20AC;? was proposed as a slogan that could define the city vision that further emerged at the Feb. 9 Grow Farmington meeting. That vision developed General 952-894-1111 Distribution 952-846-2070 Display Advertising 952-846-2011 Classified Advertising 952-846-2000 as business and city leaders collaborated on ways to manifest goals from which they identified top priorities to market the city. Those priorities include promoting the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natural features, creating and promoting special events, developing a unique brand for the city and uniting north and south Farmington. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to grow, the best way is to bring everyone together,â&#x20AC;? Farm- ington City Council Member Jason Bartholomay said. He is also chair of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Economic Development Authority. About 30 leaders participated in the event, sharing many ideas for implementing the goals. Suggestions included establishing a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bike Blastâ&#x20AC;? event or a Special Olympics type of race, finishing the trail system and getting senior citizens involved in community activities. The group agreed a consistent marketing brand needs to be developed and cross-promoted among businesses and the city, with signs, ribbons, business cards, banners and advertising all conveying a uniform message and image of Farmington. Among the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier assets is its green space, said Lee Smick, city planner, who encouraged Photo by Laura Adelmann focus on ways to promote Farmington business and city leaders worked in small groups to the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trout stream and brainstorm plans for meeting the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top goals for encourSee Plans, 8A aging local economic development.     ďż˝ ďż˝   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˝. 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