West St. Paul City Council learned about the West St. Paul police reserves and plans for Explore West St. Paul Days, and approved business including the Dakota 911 system and proclaiming Arbor Day and Migratory Bird Day.
West St. Paul Police Reserves
Police Chief Brian Sturgeon introduced the police reserve officers, a volunteer program celebrating its 25th anniversary. There are 13 police reserve officers and three community safety volunteers.
The police reserves help with all kinds of police work, including outreach and education, scene and crowd control, and responding to non-urgent, non-emergency calls.
Collectively, the police reserves have volunteered 68,723 hours since 2000. There are also several long-term volunteers: Two of the 13 members—Mike Whebbe and Chris Jacobson—are original members and two joined in 1999—Mark Crowley and Larry Raasch.
“We couldn’t operate our department as effectively and efficiently as we do without the reserves,” Sturgeon said.
Explore West St. Paul Days
With the shutdown of Celebrate West St. Paul Days in 2020, the City of West St. Paul has been looking to revive the local festival. They’ve renamed it Explore West St. Paul Days and it’s slated for August 11-13. During the Open Council Work Session (OCWS), city staff presented the latest proposal.
The festivities include a city open house and fireworks on Thursday, a parade and movie in the dome on Friday, and an art, culture, and environmental fair Saturday afternoon and a concert in the park Saturday evening.
The art fair includes a plan to invite artists to submit sculptures and display four of them during the fair. People will vote on their favorite sculpture and the city will purchase the winning sculpture to be installed in Marthaler Park.
There will be an option for local businesses or organizations to add their own events in conjunction with the city that can be added to the calendar. One such example is a community bike ride planned for Saturday morning by West St. Paul Reader in conjunction with Dakota County. A city-wide garage sale will also be added.
Other Items on the Agenda
- Dakota 911: Council approved a joint powers agreement with Dakota County for the 911 emergency system, formerly known as Dakota Communications Center (DCC) and now named Dakota 911. The new agreement has the county paying half the cost, though there was conversation about the need for the county to pay an increasing share. Dakota County District 4 Commissioner Joe Atkins, who thanks to redistricting is running for District 2 this year, was present to answer questions.
- Summer hours: During OCWS the city presented a plan to test summer hours for city hall. They’ll open earlier Monday through Thursday but then close Friday afternoon. Council was supportive of the new hours.
- Pool: As part of the consent agenda, the council approved a new contract with the YMCA to operate the city pool. Look for the pool to open on June 11.
- Proclamations: The city proclaimed May 14 as Arbor Day and Migratory Bird Day. The Environmental Committee is planning a celebration, including a tree planting.
Learn more about how city council works with our Guide to West St. Paul City Council.
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