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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There was a time in the 1990s when new tax increment financing districts were popping up all around Farmington. A popular financing tool for redevelopment, TIF was used for several of the community’s projects. That was nearly two decades ago. On Monday, Farmington finance director Robin Hanson said only two TIF districts remain on the books.
It might be wise for area kids to put “new sled” at the top of their Christmas wish lists this year, because the city of Farmington will open a new sledding park as soon as the snow falls. Farmington parks and recreation crews were at the new Hillview Park this week, clearing trees and brush, in order to get the city’s newest park ready for visitors this year. Located at 5970 183rd St. W., Hillview Park is being designed specifically as the city’s first sledding park. Even though the park is new, the city has owned the property where it is located since 1976.
Lugging around a fire hose full of water while wearing heavy, fire retardant clothing is a pretty physical activity, so it’s important for firefighters to get their exercise. And now Farmington’s firefighters can be reimbursed for staying physically fit. On Monday, Farmington Fire Relief Association president Jeff Allbee asked the city of Farmington to help reimburse firefighters who belong to health clubs. A reimbursement program is already in place, he said, but the fire relief association covers those costs out of its general fund.
There are days when this job feels like a job. And then there are days when it feels like I shouldn’t be allowed to have this much fun and call it work. The latter was kind of how this past Saturday was for me, as I spent most of my day at Farmington High School, snapping pictures of the Youth In Music Marching Band Competition that had somehow wound up at Tiger Stadium. Now, I’m going to preface all of this by saying that I am, in fact, a proud band geek of the 1980s. I played baritone saxophone in the Hastings High School marching band, concert band, pep band and jazz band.
Math skills don’t always come easily for kids. Some students truly struggle to learn even the basic concepts. But Farmington Community Education has a special class coming up next week to help students with their math skills. Called Math Facts the Easy Way, the two-night session aims to teach elementary kids new ways to do math problems. This isn’t the first time community education has offered this program, youth development coordinator Katie Johnson said.
Utility fees in the city of Farmington will go up. Of that, there is no question. But a new plan outlined Monday may lessen the blow every year. The city of Farmington charges residents utility fees for water use, sanitary sewer use and storm water management.
Getting around the mid-section of Farmington will be a little tricky next summer, thanks to a major road reconstruction project scheduled for County Road 64/195th Street. But city officials believe that once it’s done, the new road and its amenities will be worth the inconvenience. To explain the entire project, its timing, and the need, Dakota County Transportation staff and city of Farmington staff will hold an open house for residents next week. Stretching from just shy of the 195th Street bridge over the railroad tracks on the east to Flagstaff Avenue on the west, the road reconstructio
Saturday morning was cold. It was damp. Certainly, Saturday morning was not a fun time to be outside. For most people, that is. But there was a group of 60 or 70 people who did have quite a bit of fun in the cool temperatures last weekend. They were the folks who participated in RACE 2.0, a 5k run to raise money for a ladder truck for the Farmington Fire Department. Despite the cold and crummy weather, the participants of RACE 2.0 had warm clothes and even warmer smiles.
Even though the Farmington High School Tiger Marching Band is participating in this weekend’s Youth In Music marching band competition, it will be a while before the band competes against other schools. But that’s okay with teacher Erin Holmes, who works with the FHS marching band.
But for one unfortunate event early in the week, Farmington’s 2014 homecoming week was relatively quiet. It didn’t start out that way, though. Thanks to a prank on the first night of this year’s homecoming week, 17 students now face possible charges from the Dakota County attorney’s office. It’s a lesson learned for all involved.