Interested in serving on a city board, committee or commission?

Now is your chance.

The council agreed to place an advertisement in the newspaper listing the open positions in 2022.

The vacancies are in the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission Joint Board, Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District, Board of Public Utilities, Cable TV Commission, Charter Commission, Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Planning Commission, Police Civil Service, Runestone Community Center Commission, Storm Water Utility Committee and the Cultural Inclusiveness Committee.

More information about the roles and responsibilities of the positions are available at City Hall.

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The deadline for applications is Nov. 29.

New trail along Rosewood Lane?

The council will submit an application to receive state funding for a trail and bike path project along Rosewood Lane, a one-mile stretch between 10th Avenue and Hazel Hill Road.

A resident requested the trail extension and the idea was discussed at the city’s highway committee meeting on Oct. 1, according to City Engineer Tim Schoonhoven. He noted that the city has had similar requests before.

Rosewood Lane is a relatively narrow, rural design street with three-foot paved shoulders. The subdivision includes a 20-foot wide strip of land along the west side (back side) of the Rosewood Lane lots for use as a trail but the trail has not been constructed.

The city recently received a solicitation from the Minnesota Department of Transportation seeking applications for State Park Road Account funding. The city tapped into that fund years ago to pay for a trail along Lake Geneva Road, Schoonhoven said.

This funding is specifically intended to go towards projects that improve access to public lakes, rivers, state parks or recreational areas, Schoonhoven said. Since this trail would provide access from the residential areas along Rosewood Lane to the boat landing and fishing pier on Lake Victoria, the trail would qualify for funding under this program.

Applications are due on November 1, 2021.

The highway committee recommended submitting an application for a trail project to be located on the west side of Rosewood Lane between 10th Avenue and Hazel Hill Road, and the council agreed.

Other items from the highway committee:

Voyager Elementary School traffic concerns. School Principal Dana Christianson contacted the city and said there were a few inattentive drivers at the crossing during the first week of school, even though the school has a crossing guard at the location. Christianson said the problem has gotten somewhat better since then. City staff will continue talking with the school and investigate options for a potential pilot project in the spring to calm traffic and increase visibility at the crossing, according to Schoonhoven.

Robert Street traffic concerns. A business owner contacted the city with concerns about the traffic on Robert Street by McDonald's North. Traffic is cutting through the parking lot and not stopping at the entrance to Robert Street. City staff looked at the crash history at the intersection of the frontage road and Robert Street and at the intersection of Highway 29 and Robert Street and found that both intersections have a relatively low crash rate. Each averaged about one crash per year. The council approved the committee’s recommendation to address the issue by installing a stop sign at the McDonald's driveway to Robert Street; prohibiting parking along the south side of Robert Street; and adding a centerline stripe on Robert Street to help direct traffic.

Cedar Street. The city was recently contacted by a resident about traffic issues on Cedar Street. It’s a collector street and is intended to carry greater traffic than a typical local street. City staff conducted a speed study on Cedar Street and found that the average speed is 28 mph, under the legal speed limit of 30 mph. There were a relatively small number of vehicles (0.5%), which were found to be traveling excessively over the speed limit. The highway committee reviewed this information and recommended increased monitoring and enforcement of the speed limit by the police department.

Special events for Halloween, Christmas

Permits were issued for events celebrating Halloween, Christmas and the arts.

They included:

  • Christmas in the Fort and Light Up Broadway on Friday, Nov. 26 from 3 to 5 p.m. The Runestone Museum Foundation received permission to temporarily close Broadway between Second Avenue and Third Avenue for the event, which takes place next to the museum in Fort Alexandria. Organizers plan to provide a police escort for Santa in an ALP Utilities vehicle as part of the event. Decorated ATVs from Runestone Off-road ATV Riders hope to usher in Santa and Mrs. Clause to the museum. The downtown Christmas lights will go on as part of the holiday celebration.

  • Kalon Prep Academy’s first-ever Spooky Sprint 5K on Saturday, Oct. 30, starting at 9 a.m. from City Park to the Central Lakes trail. Proceeds will go to the Pinky Swear Foundation that provides financial and emotional support to children with cancer and their families. It’s a 5K (3.1 mile) costume run. To register, go to www.kalonprep.org.

  • HomeGrown Nutrition LLC’s HomeGrown Costume 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, Oct. 30, starting at 8 a.m. from Big Ole Central Park.

Art Market is a big hit

A first-ever "Art Market" at Big Ole Central Park this past summer received glowing reviews, according to organizers Sandy Susag and Mimi Seykora.

The event kicked off July 31 with art, music, activities, and food from the farmers market and continued every Saturday at the park until the end of September. The Alexandria Art Guild, Downtown Alexandria, and Carlson Music Center sponsored the event.

Susag thanked the council for its support and said the event drew very positive feedback from the vendors, musicians, artists and the public. "It worked out really well," she said.

Organizers are looking into the possibility of having a covered shelter for activities in the future.

Seykora added that visitors from out of town were amazed by all the activity downtown. Local businesses also benefited, she said.

"It's a great idea," said Mayor Bobbie Osterberg. "Thank you for taking on the challenge."

Remembering the painful loss of a child

The Alexandria City Council proclaimed Oct. 15, 2021 as Pregnancy and Infants Loss Remembrance Day and encouraged others to join in the observance.

Infants Remembered in Silence, or IRIS, is a non-profit organization that was founded 34 years ago to offer support for parents whose children died from miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirth, neo-natal death, birth defects, sudden unexplained death of a child, sudden infant death syndrome, illness, accidents and other types of infant and early childhood deaths.

Bereaved parents from around the world gather annually for a candle lighting at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15.