Besides the presents, the big meal and family gatherings, Christmas 2009 will be long remembered for one other thing: the snow. It was relentless. Snow began falling on December 23 when a little over a half-inch of flakes, 0.6 inches, accumulated. Christmas Eve brought another 10.5 inches, followed by 4.5 inches on Christmas Day and another two inches on December 26. All totaled, Alexandria received 17.6 inches of snow during the four-day period, according to statistics from Accuweather.com. The steady snowfall cancelled many church services and other activities in the area. There were s
A winter storm warning remains in effect for Douglas County until 6 a.m. Saturday. Periods of moderate to occasional heavy snow are forecast today through tonight. Snow accumulations of three to five inches are possible and total snowfall for the three day period are expected to range from 13 to 18 inches. Surface visibility will be reduced as the storm's winds pick up and sweep across rural areas. A winter storm warning means that significant snowfall is expected that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency. Is the storm interfering with your holiday plans?
If you enjoy pretty Christmas lights, there are plenty of homes in Douglas County to check out. The Echo Press invited readers to tell us where their favorite holiday displays are and the newspaper received a stocking's full of suggestions. Here are some of your nominations for the best-lit displays, and, if provided, a brief description of the lights. A number of readers told us there are at least two noteworthy displays on Ash Street near 15th Avenue in Alexandria. One is the Weber family's display at 1513 Ash Street. The whole house is lit up, said a reader, and the lights are timed t
Just how important are the census numbers? Alexandria - and taxpayers - are still directly feeling the effects of the 2000 census. The city has lost out on hundreds of thousands of dollars each year because its population back in 2000 was pegged at 8,820 - 1,180 people short of the 10,000 mark it needed to hit to be considered a regional center. The state gives regional center cities more local government aid (LGA), believing that those cities deserve more money because they provide additional services to a wider area. So although Alexandria grew nearly 10 percent between 1990 and 2000, an
After a big snowfall, which roads do the city of Alexandria plow first? How long does it take? Are their parking restrictions in the winter? These questions and more are addressed in a snow removal policy that was adopted by the Alexandria City Council at its Monday night meeting. Public Works Coordinator Bryan Bjorgaard put together the policy after noticing that the city doesn't have a written procedure explaining snow removal. Bjorgaard said the strategy the city uses to plow streets and sidewalks depends on a combination of factors - time the snow began, its duration, type of snow, te
It could be a lot worse. That's one thing Alexandria taxpayers can take comfort in when weighing the city's proposed levy increase of 8 percent for 2010. City leaders said that Governor Tim Pawlenty's decision to "unallot" or pull back $206,691 in local government aid this year and his proposal to unallot another $476,915 in LGA next year hit the city's budget hard. At the city council's Monday night meeting, Administrator Jim Taddei said that the 2010 LGA unallotment amounts to 28 percent of the aid that the city was designated to receive. The city, Taddei said, had the option of increasi
One of the big items on the Alexandria City Council's agenda Monday was the second and final reading of an amendment that allows "special use vehicles," such as golf carts. On a split 3-2 vote, the council approved an amendment that was similar to the one adopted by the council on November 23. Referred to as "Option A," the ordinance allows individuals, organizations, groups and others to apply for a special use permit, which would have to be displayed on the vehicle. Golf carts are prohibited on 32 specific roads, streets and highways.
It could be a lot worse. That's one thing Alexandria taxpayers can take comfort while weighing the city's proposed levy increase of 8 percent for 2010. City leaders said that Governor Tim Pawlenty's decision to "unallot" or pull back $206,691 in local government aid this year and his proposal to unallot another $476,915 in LGA next year hit the city's budget hard. At the city council's Monday night meeting, Administrator Jim Taddei said that the 2010 LGA unallotment amounts to 28 percent of the aid that the city was designated to receive. The city, Taddei said, had the option of increasing
Local businesses that get an e-mail saying they've won an award from the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) should be forewarned: The award may not be what it appears to be. In fact, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the award program is nothing but a widespread scheme to try to get businesses to fork over money for a plaque. The Echo Press has received news releases stating that local businesses have won a "Best of Alexandria" award from the USCA.
When Alexandria Mayor Dan Ness found out that Governor Tim Pawlenty had, at least for the moment, spared local government aid (LGA) from the chopping block, he was relieved. "I was cautiously optimistic and elated," said Ness when contacted by the newspaper on Wednesday, a day after Pawlenty's decision.