Metro briefs: Farmington outsources trash collection

4December 2021

Farmington has approved a contract with Dick’s Sanitation for once-a-week garbage and recycling pickup, ending more than half a century of city-led residential trash collection.

City officials wanted to outsource trash collection because the costs of providing the service were rising — and that would have been passed on to customers, said Mayor Josh Hoyt.

The switch, which the city has been discussing for more than two years, begins the first week in January.

“It will be a fairly seamless transition,” said Public Works Director Katy Gehler.

The price of garbage pickup in 2022 will increase $4.05 a quarter for a 90-gallon can and go up 3% each following year. That increase was more modest than expected and likely less than the city could have charged, Hoyt said.

Farmington will use money from the sale of its five waste haulers and 6,800 waste containers to Dick’s to pay residents’ and businesses’ first-quarter solid waste bills.

Erin Adler

Columbia Heights

City wins Adopt-A-Drain challenge

Columbia Heights is in possession of the Golden Garbage Grabber and a small trophy after its residents defeated Blaine, Andover and Fridley in an Adopt-A-Drain Challenge.

Between March and October, residents adopted 163 drains, cleaned drains throughout the city 349 times and got 55 new people to adopt a drain.

“Your efforts are really greatly appreciated,” said Britta Dornfeld of the Coon Creek Watershed District when she presented the awards during a recent City Council meeting.

Collectively, residents in the four competing cities adopted 421 drains, reported 896 drain cleanings and got 161 new adopters to sign up through Adopt-A-Drain Minnesota.

Adopt-a-Drain asks volunteers to keep a drain in their neighborhood clear of leaves, trash and other debris to reduce water pollution and prevent flooding in fall and winter.

Tim Harlow


North Memorial Health to build new clinic

North Memorial Health is building a clinic to expand primary, specialty and urgent care services in the northern suburbs.

The facility at NE. 109th and Lexington avenues — which will replace the Blaine clinic at 11855 NE. Ulysses St. when it opens in October — will have 70 exam rooms plus space for cardiac rehabilitation and care, rheumatology, endocrinology and pain care. The clinic also will have in-house imaging and a community room for educational programs.

“This new clinic will help us meet the growing need for primary, specialty and urgent care services for customers in the Blaine community,” said J. Kevin Croston, North Memorial Health’s CEO.

Tim Harlow


City to rename avenue after former mayor

In Bloomington’s South Loop District, 28th Avenue South will soon be named Winstead Way in honor of the city’s longest-serving mayor.

Gene Winstead served the city for more than three decades, with the last 20 spent as mayor.

Mayor Tim Busse in October proposed renaming the street between American Boulevard E. and E. Old Shakopee Road to memorialize Winstead, and the council recently adopted a resolution to set the shift in motion.

Most of the cost involved in making the change is going toward Metro Transit’s 28th Avenue S. station and park and ride, which will both be renamed at a cost of about $15,000.

City signage changes are estimated to cost $1,700. There are three properties with existing 28th Avenue S. addresses: Metropolitan Council, Ceres Development and Delta Metro Lands.

Kim Hyatt

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