Minnesotans will go to the polls to elect a new Governor, Members of Congress and state representatives on November 2. All Scandia residents vote at the Community Center Hall, 14727 209th St. N. Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.
Scandia will also choose a Mayor and two City Council members. The Mayor serves a two-year term, and the Council members will serve four-year terms, all commencing on January 3, 2011 (the first Monday of the new year.)
Candidates for city offices are— Mayor: Michael C. Harnetty and Randall F. Simonson Council member: Tom Krinke, James R Schneider, Sally Swanson and Pete Crum
Registering to Vote— If you were previously registered to vote in Scandia, and have voted at least once during the last four years, you are already registered. If you moved since you voted last, even if it is just to a new address within the city, you must update your registration. For the November 2 General Election, voter pre-registration closes at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 12. After that date, you may register at the polls on Election Day or at the same time you cast an absentee ballot. When you register to vote on Election Day, please be prepared to show proof of residency.
Absentee Ballots are Available Now— You may vote by absentee ballot if you are unable to vote in person on Election Day because you are: away from home; ill or disabled; an Election Judge serving in another precinct; or, unable to go to the polling place due to a religious holiday or belief.
Procedures for absentee voting have changed for 2010. Absentee ballots are no longer available at the city office.
In person absentee voting: For most Scandia residents, the most convenient location to cast an absentee vote in person may be at the Washington County Headwaters Service Center, Forest Lake (19955 Forest Road North.) You may also apply and vote at the Property Records and Taxpayer Services Department at the Government Center in Stillwater, or at the other County service centers in Woodbury or Cottage Grove. Vote during regular business hours Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Saturday before the election.
Absentee voting by mail: Apply early so you can mail back or deliver your absentee ballot before Election Day. Your absentee ballot must reach your precinct by 8 p.m. on Election Day. You may call, write, or fax to request an application. You can return your application by fax, but not your ballot.
For more election information including links to downloadable registration and absentee ballot application forms, please see the city website at www.ci.scandia.mn.us and click on “Election Information” on the home page.
Anyone interested in filling the vacancy created by the resignation of John Lindell should submit an application no later than Friday, October 15. Applicant must be a Scandia resident, an eligible voter and over 21 years of age. They will serve until an election is held. Click here for details.
At the September 7 meeting, the City Council took the first steps toward adopting the budget and tax levy for 2011. The Council set the maximum, "not to exceed" tax levy at $2,013,651, a 5% increase from 2010. The final budget and levy will be set in December.
The 2011 levy will include $117,728 to recover "unalloted” funds due to Scandia to pay for the state’s Market Value Homestead Credit program in 2010 and 2011. The city is now paying the full cost of this state program. (Scandia receives no state aid.) It also includes $51,484 in new debt payments for the Fire Rescue Truck purchased in 2010.
The maximum city tax increases to individual homeowners are expected to range from 0.0%to 2.4%, depending on the change in market value of the property and how it compared to the city’s median change (-12.6%) from 2010 to 2011.
No new major initiatives are proposed for 2010. No large road paving projects are planned, but the contractual road repair budget would increase from $250k to $300k. Replacement of one of the city's two dump truck/ snow plows is being considered for 2011. Not including expenses for preparing an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement), the costs for which will be paid by the project proposer, the city’s draft operating budget for 2011 would be 3.5% less than the 2010 operating budget.
In November, each property owner will receive a “Truth in Taxation” notice with their estimated 2011 property tax bill. Scandia will hold a public meeting on its 2011 budget and tax levy on Tuesday, December 7 at 6:00 p.m. at the Community Center. The budget and tax levy will be finalized after the adoption hearing scheduled for Tuesday, December 21, 2010.
Scandia maintenance supervisor John Morrison retired in June after 14 years with the township and city. John also retired from the Fire and Rescue Department.
Steve Thorp is now supervising the city maintenance staff, in addition to his duties as Building Official.
Jeff Anderson joined the city’s maintenance staff on September 13, 2010. Jeff brings many years of experience with road and utility construction, repair and maintenance, excavation, grading and heavy equipment. Jeff and his family are Scandia residents.
A public hearing on updates to the Scandia Development Code has been scheduled for the Tuesday, October 5, 2010 Planning Commission Meeting (7:30 p.m. in the Board Room at the Community Center.) The earliest date that the new Code might be adopted by the City Council is (tentatively) Wednesday, November 3, 2010.
The Development Code is composed of all the ordinances that regulate the use and development of land. These ordinances must be consistent with the local comprehensive plan. Scandia adopted its latest Comprehensive Plan on March 17, 2009, and changes must be made to be consistent with the new plan. This is also the first update since Scandia changed its form of government from Township to City.
Anyone considering developing their land, or planning some significant change to their property would be the most affected by the new Code. The Council, Planning Commission, consultants and staff have worked hard to simplify the Code and permit application processes in many areas. For example, a new Administrative Permit process will eliminate the time-consuming step of City Council approval for many simple permits.
Copies of the proposed new code chapters, the new zoning map and other materials relating to the code update are available for review at the City office during regular office hours (9:00 a.m. to Noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.) Documents are also available for download.
In March 2009, the City Council ordered preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Tiller Corporation’s Zavoral Mining and Reclamation Project. Tiller Corporation proposed to operate a gravel mine and processing facility on a 114-acre site located east of State Highway 95 (St. Croix Trail) at State Highway 97 (Scandia Trail) owned by Dr. James Zavoral.
In August 2009, consultants (AECOM) were hired to prepare the EIS for the City, and a Project Advisory Committee (PAC) of agency and community representatives was formed to provide advice to the Council about the EIS. Then, in December 2009, Tiller changed its proposal by eliminating on-site processing activities (such as washing or crushing.) Instead, material excavated at the site would be transported directly to users or to the company’s Scandia mine (located at 22303 Manning Ave) for use as “add-rock” in products produced at that site. This change resulted in a modified scope for the EIS and a new contract with the consultants, delaying the EIS.
In the 6 months since the last newsletter, the PAC has met twice (April and July) and some of the EIS tasks have been completed, including a preliminary traffic analysis and a well pumping test. The next meeting will not occur until the City receives Tiller's complete plans for review by AECOM.
On Sunday, October 31, 2010 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, the Scandia Fire and Rescue Department will hold a fun family event for all ages. Activities will include a large bonfire, games, hot dogs & hot chocolate. Co-sponsors are the Scandia Marine Lions Club, Elim Lutheran Church and Helke Tree Service. Location: Scandia Fire Hall, 15040 Scandia Trail (Hwy 97.)
Animal Control— The City of Scandia does NOT require licensing of pets. However, if dogs are not on a leash, they must be under voice command and shall not infringe on your neighbor's property.
Stray dogs that are impounded may be reclaimed at Hillcrest Animal Hospital (1320 County Road D Circle East, Maplewood) after payment of impound, boarding and any veterinary fees. Stray dogs may be reported to the Sheriff's department at 651 439-9381.
Attention snowbirds— Leaving town for the winter? Make sure to contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Department (651 439-9381) for free home-checks while you are away.
Do I really need a permit for that?— Protect your investment in your home. Building Official Steve Thorp is here to help you do the job right. It’s a buyer’s market, so don’t jeopardize a future sale or refinancing with improvements not up to code. It’s more costly to correct problems later. Call Steve at 651 433-2274, Ext. 102 with any questions. Winter Rec Programs Planned— The Parks and Recreation Committee is planning a variety of winter programs including the Saturday morning open-gym program at Scandia School, (January and February) and Vinterfest (February 5.) The popular learn-to-skate and after-school hockey programs will also be offered. Watch the city website for details.
Burning Permits— A (no-charge) burning permit is required for open burning when there is no snow cover. In all cases, please notify the Washington County Sheriff’s Office (651 439-9381) one hour before you burn. There may be restrictions depending on weather, time-of-day or air-quality issues. See the city office for more information and for permits. Burning permits are also available at the Big Marine Lake Store, 19261 Manning Trail N.
Signs— Permits are required for all signs, including temporary signs for garage sales and community events. There’s no fee for temporary sign permits. No signs may be placed in any public rights-of-way, on any roof, or painted on walls or attached to utility poles.