Medina gets City of Excellence Award

The League of Minnesota Cities has selected the cities of Medina, Coon Rapids, Eagan and Madelia to receive City of Excellence Awards for 2014.

Winning entries were chosen in three population categories and in a special topical category. The city of Medina was recognized for converting the former Clam Corporation office building at 600 Clydesdale Trail into a new home for the Public Works and Police departments. The League of Minnesota Cities described the project as “engaging residents in cost-effective space expansion.”

Medina purchased the 69,000-square-foot office and warehouse in 2012 and remodeled it a year later at a cost of $7.5 million. The function-designed building will accommodate both departments for up to 40 years and free up space for administrative functions at City Hall, officials said. The project was a culmination of several years of research and collaboration involving city officials, city residents and members of the business community.

In 2007, a facilities study concluded that the city would be best served by a $15 million rebuild of City Hall and a new police department on its existing site, as well as construction of a new public works facility, the League of Minnesota Cities said. In 2011, two citizen focus groups reviewed the 2007 study and advocated addressing the most immediate needs of public works only.

When the office and warehouse building became available, the city could act on the focus group’s recommendation for a new public works facility, while also resolving its need for new space for police and administrative functions. And all that at only half the price of the original proposal, the League said.

To compete for consideration as a City of Excellence, cities nominated a project, program or initiative that was intended to improve the quality of a city service, develop an effective or innovative way to solve an old or common problem, modify a program from another community or organization to fit city needs, discover a way to save the city money without compromising service results and/or creative involvement of city staff or citizens in making a decision.

The 2014 City of Excellence Award nominations were judged by a panel of past League of Minnesota Cities presidents, including Karen Anderson, a former mayor from Minnetonka; Judy Johnson, council member and former mayor from Plymouth; and Marvin Johnson, mayor of Independence.