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A ‘once in a lifetime’ dance on Broadway

At Monday’s Alexandria City Council meeting, Mayor Sara Carlson presented City Attorney John Lervick with a plaque, thanking him for his 39 and a half years of service with the city. (Al Edenloff/Echo Press)

Plans are moving ahead to have a street dance on Alexandria’s Broadway on Friday, July 18.

It’s part of a celebration to mark the completion of the first phase of the massive reconstruction project that’s taking place.

At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council issued a special event permit to Raaper’s Eatery and Ale to hold the block party and dance on Broadway between Third and Sixth Avenue.

Andy Rassat, the owner of Raaper’s, said downtown business owners approached him about having the dance and plans took off from there. He said the event will “showcase the look of the new downtown.”

About 750 are expected to attend. Some pre-dance activities may begin in the early afternoon hours. The dance will start at about 7 p.m. and everything, including clean-up, will conclude by 11 p.m. to meet the city’s noise ordinance rules.

Mayor Sara Carlson called the event, which will include a live band and beer garden, a “once in a lifetime” celebration because it’s very rare to close a section of Broadway, which also serves as State Highway 29. But the Minnesota Department of Transportation gave the city the go-ahead to do it, Carlson said.

“It’s now or never,” she added.

The permit was approved on the condition that organizers draw up a site plan showing where everything will be located.

Festivities are still being planned but activities may start in the early afternoon and include a bean bag tournament and a vintage car show.

The timeline is a bit tight; the road work where the dance will take place is set to be completed on July 11, one week before the event.


In other action, the council presented a plaque of appreciation to former City Attorney John Lervick, who is retiring from practicing law on June 30.

Lervick served the city for 39 and a half years, working with seven different mayors and dozens of council members.

He described the work as enjoyable and rewarding and noted that he had a “good team” behind him, those at the law firm of Swenson, Lervick, Syverson, Trosvig, Jacobson and Schultz.


The annual city audit performed by CliftonLarsonAllen was approved. The audit showed the city had just over $10 million in unassigned fund balances in 2013, enough for about five and a half months of expenditures, which exceeds the state recommendation of five months.

Expenditures increased significantly, going from $15.6 million in 2012 to more than $22.1 million last year. Most of the increase came from public works spending, which surged from $3.7 million in 2012 to $9.5 million last year, largely because of a waterline extension project to the phase four annexation area. The city issued new debt to pay for the project.

The city’s total revenues were $16.7 million in 2013, up from 2012’s $15.2 million. As in past years, most of the city’s revenues, $7.2 million, came from taxes.

Other revenues in 2013 included intergovernmental revenue of $3.78 million, special assessments of $1.94 million, charges for services of $1.73 million, other revenue of $1.26 million, licenses and permit fees of $487,356, interest of $134,023 and fines and forfeits of $109,684.


The council approved Kinkead Cemetery Association’s request to vacate “walkways,” which are actually just unmarked sections of grass, in the south lawn portion of Sunset Memorial Park. The association plans to re-plat the area with new lots of different dimensions.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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