The Maple Grove City Council welcomed 2013 with the first meeting of the year Monday, Jan. 7.
Re-elected councilors Leann Sargent and Erik Johnson were sworn in to their four-year terms. The Mayor and councilors each gave comments about what is ahead for the city, such as focusing on completing Hwy. 610.
Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson came before the council to present an update.
Mayor Mark Steffenson started out comments from the council about what the city is looking forward to in 2013.
He also spoke about the city’s accomplishments in 2012. He said the city completed its Public Works building, had the grand opening of the new Law Enforcement Training Facility and the Bass Lake Road improvement project just received the City Engineer’s Minnesota Project of Year award.
In 2013, Mayor Steffenson said, “The one thing I would like to see, and will hopefully see, is a continued focus on the completion of Highway 610. Hopefully we will get some funding for that at last, that will complete the road over to the freeway.”
Councilor Sargent added that is hopes to see the completion of Hwy. 610 in her lifetime. She thanked the city staff and directors, along with City Administrator Al Madsen, because they help the council with their job. “I would like to pledge to listen, to decide on issues impartially and honestly,” she said.
Next, Councilor Karen Jaeger said, “I plan to continue, as I have in the past, to continue working with developers to get more affordable housing in our city.”
Councilor Phil Leith said the city would be doing a community survey in 2013. He also said the council will be working on a plan for the Gravel Mining Area.
Councilor Johnson concluded, “I am hopeful about the future of Maple Grove.”
Commissioner Johnson, who represents Hennepin County’s 7th District, was before the council to give a quick update.
He said the County approved a $1.78 billion budget for 2013, which is about a 2 percent increase over 2012. “You will see about a 1.5 percent overall tax levy increase on the Hennepin County portion of the property tax,” he added.
In 2013, he said he would like to get together with Maple Grove and a few other larger cities in his district to see if their are specific things that can be done better, including collaborating with the county or cities.
Johnson’s district represents the cities of: Maple Grove, Champlin, Corcoran, Dayton, Greenfield, Independence, Loretto, Maple Plain, Medina, Minnetrista, Mound, Rogers, St. Bonifacius, Spring Park, portions of Hanover, west Orono, northwest Plymouth and Rockford.
He thanked the council for is service.
In other action, the council:
APPROVED the retirement of Police Sergeant Dan Barnier, effective Jan. 18. Also, approved was authorizing staff to begin the recruitment process for the vacant position.
SET a special council meeting for Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 6 p.m. at the Maple Grove Government Center. The mayor, councilor and city administrator will meet with the city’s legislators.
ADOPTED an ordinance amending the city code regarding the acting mayor. This amendment gives clearer language that the acting mayor the authority to executive documents in the absence of the mayor.
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