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Kawohlteam's Blog

By The Kawohl Team | Agent in Woodbury, MN
  • St. Croix Valley Apple Festival

    Posted Under: General Area in Washington County, Quality of Life in Washington County, In My Neighborhood in Washington County  |  September 29, 2011 9:15 PM  |  830 views  |  No comments

    From Afton to Prescott apple orchards are celebrating Apple Fest. For the first two weekends in October, come enjoy the apple picking at several of the orchards located along St. Croix Trail.  These orchards offer additional activities as well, such as hay rides, pumpkin patches, play areas or petting zoos. Extend your stay and pack a lunch to take in the fall foliage at Afton State Park or St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park.

    http://bit.ly/oiFsvD

  • Cottage Grove plans road upgrades in 2011

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Cottage Grove, Traffic & Public Transportation in Cottage Grove, In My Neighborhood in Cottage Grove  |  December 17, 2010 7:16 AM  |  491 views  |  No comments

    The Cottage Grove City Council has approved a pair of road projects that will repair roadways in two residential neighborhoods and will extend a portion of West Point Douglas Road in the summer of 2011.

    The $1.6 million residential roadwork will rehab streets in the Pine Coulee and Countrywood neighborhoods in south Cottage Grove, south of Highway 61, as well as the small Howard’s Addition neighborhood that includes Granada Avenue and 71st Street, south of 70th Street, in the northwest area of the city. The project is part of the city’s annual road rehabilitation program, known as the pavement management program. Council members approved the roadwork Dec. 1.

    Separately, a $1.6 million West Point Douglas Road project will reconstruct a portion of the Highway 61 frontage road and will extend the roadway roughly 800 feet to a traffic signal-controlled intersection at Highway 61 and Manning Avenue. That, said Jennifer Levitt, the city’s engineer, will make it safer for drivers to merge onto Highway 61 south of Innovation Road by closing an uncontrolled, at-grade highway access.


    Assessments used

    Both projects will rely heavily on assessments. The city’s improvement policy calls for 45 percent of project costs to be assessed to benefiting residential properties, meaning property owners in the Pine Coulee and Countrywood neighborhoods are projected to pay $6,000 and property owners in the Howard’s Addition neighborhood are projected to pay $6,150.

    This year’s pavement management project – which reconstructed roads and sewers in the similarly-rural River Acres neighborhood – cost property owners as much as $5,500. Initial estimates were upward of $6,200, but Levitt said lower than projected bids helped slash project costs and, in-turn, assessment bills.


    Neighbors, businesses express concerns

    Some residents of the Pine Coulee and Countrywood neighborhoods, as well as the nearby business owners, expressed concerns about the closing of the current access point. But city and Minnesota Department of Transportation officials say residents are better served by moving traffic to the controlled intersection at Highway 61 and Manning Avenue.

    “MnDOT’s general goal is to improve the safety along (Highway) 61 by reducing direct access to/from (Highway) 61 at uncontrolled intersections,” wrote Adam Josephson, MnDOT’s east metro manager, in a letter to Levitt last month. “Access to (the Pine Coulee/Countrywood) neighborhood and business area is best served at the (Manning Avenue) signal.”

    Nearly $600,000 in Minnesota Department of Transportation funds will help limit the cost of extending West Point Douglas Road to the city – as well as the businesses impacted by the project, like Erickson Marine and Gerlach Service, Inc.

    Levitt said the city capped assessments to businesses for the project at the amount an independent appraisal indicated each of four parcels in the area would benefit from the road extension, between $20,000 and $50,000 each.

    The extension of West Point Douglas Road will mark the first time commercial properties have been assessed by the city for costs associated with road work since the 2007 project that constructed a pair of roundabouts at Jamaica Avenue and Highway 61.

  • Woodbury digs out after winter blast

    Posted Under: General Area in Woodbury, Quality of Life in Woodbury, Traffic & Public Transportation in Woodbury  |  December 15, 2010 3:04 PM  |  403 views  |  No comments

    It was a snow-filled weekend in Woodbury after a winter storm accumulated well more than a foot of new snow around town. And the impact of the blizzard conditions was felt across the community as several activities were either postponed or canceled altogether.

    The snowfall began late Friday evening and lasted through Saturday evening, said Tim Thurmes, assistant street supervisor. A total of 14.5 inches of the white stuff was measured by public works officials.

    To clean up the meteorological mess the city deployed 17 dump trucks and 10 pickup trucks along with its fleet of snowplows to remove snow through the city’s thoroughfares.

    Thurmes said the snow removal went fairly smoothly.

    “Our trucks are always ready for any kind of snowfall — we’re always ready for every storm,” he said. “It’s a matter of keeping with it and keeping ahead of the snow.

    “I think we did a fantastic job on Saturday.”

    The biggest challenge to snow plow crews, Thurmes said, were cars that were either parked on the street or stuck in the snow.

    “I had cars stuck everywhere, so I couldn’t get my truck in,” he said. “I skipped streets that were full of cars.

    “We need everyone to keep the cars off the roads and keep the roads open so we can get through.”

    Residents across the community dug their way out of their driveways into Sunday evening.

    Efemona and Dami Kosi were battling an embankment at the end of their driveway at their home on Winterberry Drive Sunday afternoon.

    Efemona, an eighth grader at Crosswinds Middle School, said the family stayed home most of the weekend and wasn't able to make it to church Sunday morning because of all the snow that piled up at the end of the driveway.

    Dami, a student at Century College, said the snowstorm wouldn't have been so bad, if it hadn't led to the Vikings game being canceled on Sunday.

    "We’ve been stuck inside all weekend," he said. "I was looking forward to it."


    Many events canceled


    Even though the plows were out in full source on Saturday, several events throughout the city had to be canceled.

    Everything from the city’s annual “Breakfast with Santa” event to Woodbury High School’s scheduled ACT test were canceled due to the wintry weather.

    The test will be rescheduled, Woodbury High School officials informed parents and students via voice mail message.

    Parks and Recreation staff was looking to reschedule a portion of the “Breakfast with Santa” event, said Julie Lehr, city communication coordinator.

    “We’re doing what we can do to recreate this event,” Lehr said. “But, we live in Minnesota, what can we do?”

    The snow also impacted athletic events and activities.

    All District 833 high school sports teams had their activities canceled Saturday. And the dome field at the Bielenberg Sports Center had to be closed all day Sunday, as a precautionary measure, in the wake of the Metrodome’s collapse in Minneapolis, Lehr said.

    “The dome is in tact,” she said. “It’s just a lot of shoveling around entrances and exits.”

    The dome was planned to reopen Monday afternoon.

    Lehr said the snowfall had no impact on the ice arena.

    Other cancellations due to the snow storm included most Community Education activities and even a few music concerts.

    Some churches canceled their holiday-themed events and saw lower attendance numbers at weekend services.

    Woodbury Lutheran Church called off one of its “Wonderful News” holiday concerts on Saturday, but the Friday and Sunday concerts went on as planned, business administrator Mark Stutelberg said.

    “It’s disappointing because people look forward to the concert and people put in a lot of work,” he said.

    Additionally worship services and a women’s event were canceled on Saturday.

    Sunday’s events saw 50 percent fewer numbers than anticipated, Stutelberg said.

    “I think people just couldn’t get out of their driveways,” he said.

    Over at Resurrection Lutheran Church, Sunday’s events went on as normal and there were no events scheduled on Saturday, said Sarah Storvick, the director of children’s and youth ministries.

    “They were able to go ahead with everything, we didn’t have to postpone anything,” she said. “We were grateful to the plowers.”


    Not clear yet


    Thurmes said plow truck operators were out again Monday clearing some of the “mainland roads” such as Bielenberg Drive, Tamarack Road and Lake Road.

    “Eventually we’re going to try and open them back up,” he said.

    Thurmes said the city roads should be completed by the end of this week, however the cul-de-sacs won’t be clear until early next week because right now they are running out of room to put the snow.

    “It’s hard because there’s so much snow out there,” he said. “The equipment can only get so tight so it’s going to take some time.”

  • Woodbury Chamber of Commerce annouces business, citizen of the year winners

    Posted Under: General Area in Woodbury, Quality of Life in Woodbury, In My Neighborhood in Woodbury  |  December 9, 2010 1:36 PM  |  292 views  |  No comments

    The Woodbury Chamber of Commerce’s Education Committee has selected the 2010 recipients for ""Business of the Year" and "Citizen of the Year."

    Award recipients are selected through nominations submitted from the community.

    Kim Snyder, of the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce, was named the “Citizen of the Year.”

    Both the Woodbury Community Foundation and Data Doctors Computer Services were named “Business of the Year.”

    The winners will be recognized as part of the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce Gala Event on Friday, Jan. 21 at the Prom Center in Oakdale.


    For more details on the event go to www.woodburychamber.org

  • Woodbury maintains strong financially!

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Minneapolis, Home Buying in Minneapolis, Home Selling in Minneapolis  |  November 29, 2010 1:44 PM  |  357 views  |  No comments

    Did you know the City of Woodbury holds the AAA bond rating?  This is the highest possible rating available.

    Audit: The city's annual audit came in at an unqualified opinion, in other words, the highest assurance a CPA firm can issue.

    Awards: Woodbury has earned national recognition for excellence in financial reporting for eight years in a row from the Government Finance Officers Association.

    Nice job City of Woodbury!!!!

  • Woodbury maintains strong financially!

    Posted Under: General Area in Woodbury, Quality of Life in Woodbury, In My Neighborhood in Woodbury  |  November 29, 2010 1:42 PM  |  260 views  |  No comments

    Did you know the City of Woodbury, MN holds the AAA bond rating?  This is the highest possible rating available.

    Audit: The city's annual audit came in at an unqualified opinion, in other words, the highest assurance a CPA firm can issue.

    Awards: Woodbury has earned national recognition for excellence in financial reporting for eight years in a row from the Government Finance Officers Association.

    Nice job City of Woodbury!!!!

  • Woodbury Wins Clean Water Award

    Posted Under: General Area in Woodbury, Quality of Life in Woodbury, In My Neighborhood in Woodbury  |  November 23, 2010 4:20 PM  |  141 views  |  No comments

    The city of Woodbury has received the Minnesota Blue Star Award for its efforts to protect local water quality. The award, part of a statewide program honoring clean water communities recognizes the city's efforts to keep urban runoff pollution from degrading nearby lakes, streams and wetlands. Way to go Woodbury! Click on the link below to learn more.

    http://www.ci.woodbury.mn.us/environ/water.html

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