Osseo mayor reflects on ending term

Osseo’s Mayor Al Lindquist has conducted his last council meeting of his two-year term that officially ends Dec. 31.

“I loved being Mayor,” Lindquist said. “I loved promoting Osseo, which I spent a lot of time and effort doing.”

Osseo City Administrator Doug Reeder said, “Al Lindquist was a very hard working Mayor for Osseo. He enjoyed being Mayor and was very comfortable meeting with residents and business owners and in representing the city at various meetings throughout the metropolitan area.”

Councilor Allan Hartkopf presents outgoing Mayor Al Lindquist with a plaque for his service as mayor for the past two years during the Dec. 10 Osseo City Council meeting. (Photo by Alicia Miller)
Councilor Allan Hartkopf presents outgoing Mayor Al Lindquist with a plaque for his service as mayor for the past two years during the Dec. 10 Osseo City Council meeting. (Photo by Alicia Miller)

According to Lindquist, the biggest item accomplished during his term as mayor was the final approval of the interchange at Highway 169 and County Road 30/93rd Avenue in April 2011. This project will begin in spring 2013 and end in the fall 2013.

“We negotiated with MnDOT and traded signage to have better access to Osseo,” he said. “This was really a big deal to me. Osseo assisted working with Brooklyn Park to get that completed.”

Citing another accomplishment, the former Osseo Elementary School building was given conditional use approval to use the site for the ACHIEVE special education program. The building will open in fall 2013. “This move will bring 40 new instructors into town,” Lindquist said.

Also in 2011, the city’s Central Avenue project won the Project of the Year Award with the City Engineer Association of Minnesota. The “Devil’s Triangle” project was also completed in 2011.

“The Capital Improvements Plan and Financial Management Plan were put in place,” Lindquist said. “In the past, we’ve never had a plan in place that goes out five years to show us financially what we have to do to put the financial foundation of the community in place. Councilors Rick Weber and Duane Poppe helped put that in place for the council to approve.”

The City Council Chambers received audio and visual upgrades in 2011, as well the construction of a transit shelter on the corner of Central Avenue and Third Street. The shelter was constructed through a Hennepin County Transit Oriented Development Grant.

In 2012, the city welcomed the InterMarque Spring Kickoff Vintage Foreign Car Show, appointed Douglas Reeder as City administrator and Osseo became North Memorial’s first Heart Safe Community.

“Mark Lynde should get credit for this,” Lindquist said. “He really got the ball rolling on this project.”

Plans for the Block 6 project, Five Central, began to move ahead with a 71-unit apartment building this year as well.

Lindquist added that a survey of city residents shows they like the city the way it is. “The city says Osseo is not a suburb, but is a town in itself,” he said. “Lots of new people are moving to town because it’s a walkable community. The theme here is ‘Discover the style and quality of life that Osseo has to offer.’ ”

He said there were more than 20 new businesses that came to Osseo in the last two years.

“For more than a decade, Al Lindquist has been a catalyst for promotion of Osseo,” said Osseo Deputy Clerk LeAnn Larson. “In conjunction with the Lions Club, he started Movies in the Park in 2005. He was a primary fundraiser for donations toward the Osseo Bandshell in Boerboom Veterans Park. More importantly, he has been a tireless and enthusiastic supporter of Osseo wherever he has been. Thank you, Al, for working so hard for Osseo!”

Reeder said, “I enjoyed working with him and wish him the best in whatever he does.”

Lindquist had been active in the city prior to begin elected as Mayor in 2010.

“Osseo is a wonderful place to live,” he said. “Accessibility to everything in Minneapolis and St. Paul is so close.”

In December of 2005, ground was broken for the Osseo Bandshell located in Boerboom Veterans Memorial Park. Lindquist was instrumental in raising $180,000 for the bandshell.

He also began the Osseo Concerts and Movies in the Park events that take place during the summer months.

Lindquist also started the Osseo Trolley service in April 2007. Anyone looking for a ride within the city of Osseo could call Lindquist, who would pick them up and bring them to a destination in the city.

“The trolley is not running now because of the winter time and it is too icy,” he said. “The rides will pick up again in April.”

Lindquist said, “The most important thing about our community is the people that live in it. The wonderful, kind and thoughtful people that live in it.”