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Mayor prepares for State of the City address

Farmington mayor Todd Larson wasn't sure about giving his first State of the City address in 2009. After all, he'd only been in office for a couple of months when he had to deliver last year's address.

This year, though, he's got a full year of being in office behind him, and he's got some things he's looking forward to working on. He's still fine-tuning the copy he'll read, but he's feeling a lot better about next week's 2010 State of the City address.

Larson doesn't want to give away everything he'll talk about in his March 25 address, but this week, he touched on just a couple of the highlights.

Maybe one of the biggest tasks the city council tackled in 2009 was the city budget, and, more specifically, working through the $350,000 reduction in funding from the state of Minnesota.

He'll also talk about the opening of the new bridge on 195th Street, something that created a much-needed east-west route through the mid-section of Farmington. While he's on that topic, he'll talk about some of the other road projects around the community from last year.

In 2009, the city of Farmington started its single-sort recycling program. After a full year, it has brought good news by way of garbage collection. Because the community's recycling has increased, the amount of garbage collected decreased last year. As an added bonus, lots of the recycling collected was processed into energy instead of placed in a landfill.

"That program seems to be doing its job," Larson said.

He's also going to touch on fire and police calls from the last year. For the latter, he said, some crimes are up; others, like the number of DWIs, are down quite a bit.

His first year in the mayor's seat has been more time consuming than he thought it would be, but Larson is having fun all the same.

"It's not overwhelming," he said. "I'm having a blast doing it, and people seem to be really positive toward me, which I was worried about."

Already three months into 2010, Larson is looking forward to what the rest of the year brings. On Monday, he met the city's new finance director, Teresa Walters. He'd talked to her on the phone a couple of times, but this week's council meeting offered his first chance to meet here face-to-face.

"I like her a lot. I'm looking forward to working through our next budget session with her," he said.

Larson is also pleased the city council and School District 192 Board of Education have started meeting and looking at some future community planning options.

The 2010 State of the City address will be delivered Thursday, March 25, beginning at 8 a.m., at the Eagle's Club. The cost is $15 per person. The event is sponsored by the Dakota County Regional Chambers of Commerce.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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