Kara Hildreth / contributor
Farmington Mall shops curb appeal and is busy marketing renovated commercial space to lease in the newly-renovated strip mall. "I want it to be vibrant and successful and I hope people will come through and help us make it a vibrant property — a gem of Farmington," said Rafik Moore, managing partner of Caspian Group that purchased the Farmington Mall in March. "We welcome any business owners and we want them to be successful," Rafik said. "We revitalize properties and that is how we give back to the community," he added.
A neighborhood designed with a rural aesthetic appeal will soon crop up in Farmington. The new development will be marketed as a place to build a dream home within a neighborhood designed toward a more agrarian, country lifestyle. Fairhill Estate at North Creek will build at the southwest intersection of Highway 3 and 190th Street West in Farmington. Empire Township is to the south. The Farmington City Council heard and approved the preliminary plan and PUD amendment at the Aug. 21 regular council meeting. Rural aesthetic
Farmington's outdoor city pool is closed for the season and will not reopen next summer. The city pool opened in 1971 and completed its 47th season, well beyond the normal life expectancy for an outdoor pool that is 30 to 35 years. "Attendance numbers at the pool continue to decline, resulting in decreased revenue from user fees to cover the pool's operation and maintenance costs and an increase in the amount needed to subsidize the cost of pool operations and maintenance," said Randy Distad, director of city parks and recreation.
Aldi grocery store may build a new storefront at Vermillion River Crossings commercial development in Farmington. Farmington Mayor Todd Larson said Aldi grocery chain is looking to buy land and build a new storefront location in Vermillion River Crossings located off Highway 50. This commercial development deal has been in the works for a while, Larson said. Developers have been working with city staff to build in the open commercial land that has been for sale for years.
Rambling River Center is ready to celebrate its 35th anniversary next week with a Hawaiian luau and the public is welcomed to attend the party planned with tropical festive food and theme music. "We are super excited to celebrate 35 years in the community," said Missie Kohlbeck, center leader and parks and recreation supervisor for the city of Farmington. "When it first opened in the early 1980s, it was the coming together of two groups, one that met in a basement of a church and one from the fairgrounds," Kohlbeck said.
After reorganizing some city departments and hiring the city's first full-time, professional fire chief, council members believe Farmington City Administrator David McKnight continues to meet and exceed expectations. McKnight received an annual performance review Aug. 7, during a closed meeting for nearly 45 minutes. Review results were part of a report at the Monday, Aug. 21, regular council meeting. Each council member filled out performance evaluation forms prior to the evaluation that did not indicate any reference to individual council members.
The law enforcement landscape across the country has led to a change in how Farmington police respond to police calls today. Rarely does a single police officer respond to the calls, according to Farmington Police Chief Brian Lindquist. He shared highlights of his annual police report with Farmington City Council earlier this month. "The dynamics of law enforcement have changed immensely and the landscape is not the same as if was a few years ago," Lindquist said.
A Hy-Vee grocery store is still on the horizon for Farmington. Hy-Vee is excited to open in Farmington as it continues to open more locations across the Twin Cities, according to Tara Deering-Hansen, communications vice president for Iowa-based HyVee. Farmington Community Development Director Adam Kienberger said the project will begin when Hy-Vee seeks final approvals for site plans and building permits.
Volunteer Farmington Tiger Fan Club booster parents raised concerns this month about how a tentative collective bargaining agreement for teachers could affect booster clubs. Tiger Fan Club President Sue Dentinger spoke on behalf of booster parents who packed an Aug. 14 school board meeting. Tiger Fan Club formed in May 2015 to support Farmington sports and club activities. Dentinger said they were notified the week prior that booster-paid positions were added to a compensation schedule with payment amounts subject to category and years of service.
Suspects believed to be seeking to steal smartphones were outsmarted by Farmington police earlier this month. Farmington police were monitoring radio traffic across Dakota County Aug. 12 and heard that suspects had made off with stolen property from Verizon stores in Lakeville and Mendota Heights, according to Farmington Police Chief Brian Lindquist. Police decided to wait outside the Verizon storefront in downtown Farmington to see if the suspects were headed there. Within five minutes, the suspects arrived.