Douglas County Public Works is settling into its new location at 526 Willow Drive in Alexandria. It opened at its new site south of the fairgrounds earlier this week. It also has a new phone number, (320) 762-2999. The old public works building along 3rd Avenue West will be remodeled as part of new Douglas County Jail project. The county's Housing and Redevelopment Authority issued the bonds for the county to pay for the $6.8 million public works project. Here are some facts about the public works department: Dave Robley, who is also the county engineer, is the director of public works.
A street department worker's job is often a thankless one. People expect the roads they drive on to be bump free, that their commute into work won't be delayed by snowdrifts or washouts. Smooth, passable streets are easy to take for granted but it takes a lot of work to keep them that way. Those attending the last Alexandria City Council meeting received a glimpse into that side of the street when Public Works Coordinator Bryan Bjorgaard presented his annual report. In his "State of the Street Address," Bjorgaard talked about two big challenges facing his department - repairing potholes an
Families in Douglas County are having a harder time hanging on to their homes than other counties in the region. Douglas County recorded 147 foreclosures in 2008, according to a new report from the Minnesota Home Ownership Center. Foreclosures for other counties in the west central area were: Otter Tail - 101 Grant - 13 Stevens - 12 Pope - 18 Becker - 64 Wilkin - 16 Traverse - 4 Clay - 76 Douglas County's foreclosure rate - the number of foreclosed mortgages as a percent of owner-occupied households - was between 1 and 1.7 percent, the highest percentage in the nine-county region.
The city of Alexandria is taking the lead on a project to build a joint law enforcement center near the new county jail. At its meeting Tuesday night, the Alexandria City Council approved changes to its "memorandum of understanding" with Douglas County regarding the preliminary expenses of the project. The city is designated as the lead agency and the city and county agreed to split the costs for the project's civil engineering, architectural and construction management services. The Douglas County Board has also approved the amended agreement. Here are the specific costs that will be spli
"Mental illness is a treatable brain disease." That's the message the Douglas County Advisory Council on Adult Mental Health wanted to spread far and wide Thursday. The effort worked. Tucked inside a balloon, the message soared high into the air and drifted southeast, over trees, hilltops, homes and businesses before finally settling down on a quiet dairy farm near Howard Lake, about 86 miles away as the crow flies. A 12-year-old girl found the balloon - one of dozens that was released last Thursday in honor of Mental Health Month in May.
Some questions have surfaced about the Alexandria Area YMCA's aquatic center. Some are wondering how big the pool will be, what water activities will be offered, why a bigger pool can't be built and if the facility matches what the community wants. The Echo Press interviewed Jeff Bartholomew, executive director of the Alexandria Area YMCA, about those topics and more. Here, in question and answer format, is what the newspaper found: How big will the pool be? The YMCA's aquatic center will include 4,528 square feet of water space.
As a newspaper person, I hear a lot of questions - questions the public asks at meetings, questions for me to field as an editor, questions that pop up online or in casual conversations at local events. It's good to ask questions, to seek answers, to be curious.
Alexandria Mayor Dan Ness gave a grim scenario of what could await the city in 2010: Half of its 18-employee police department would be gone. Or: The parks and recreation budget would be eliminated. Or: The airport and the Runestone Community Center would close and the city would still have to cut another $100,000 from its budget. Those are the hard choices the city could be faced with, Ness said, if Governor Tim Pawlenty follows through on his plan to use "unallotment" to balance the state's budget by cutting local government aid (LGA). Ness and mayors from St.
The city of Alexandria is now taking the lead on the project to build a joint law enforcement center inside a new county jail. At its meeting Tuesday night, the Alexandria City Council approved changes to its "memorandum of understanding" with Douglas County regarding the preliminary expenses of the project. The city is designated as the lead agency and the city and county agreed to split the costs for the project's civil engineering, architectural and construction management services. The Douglas County Board has also approved the amended agreement. Here are the specifics costs that will
The Smokey Timbers Camp is looking a lot better these days, thanks to a hard-working crew of students from the Alexandria Technical College (ATC). About 90 students descended upon the primitive camp on the north shore of Lake Miltona a couple weeks ago. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.