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1961-08-24-BloomSun-BlackdogMergerX.pdf
Bloomington Sun-Suburbanite Annexation 1961-08-24Front page - five articles:
A convoy of Bloomington administrative workers, assisted by the League of Women Voters, took a census of Burnsville township Wednesday. The group also left with each home in Burnsville a leaflet Inviting discussions o[ the possible creation of a new suburban city. The city would be Bloomington, and Burnsville's 25 some square miles would be part of it.
Bloomington added 160 acres to its boundaries Tuesday – and the cool $100 million to its total property value. The city did it by annexing northern states powers gigantic black dog plant. Got a special meeting the city Council approved the expansion of Bloomington's boundaries to take in black dog...

NSP executive says step in the right direction (J. Roscoe Furber)

Mayor, manager in Gaston–Alphonse bit (Miklethun, Ray Olsen)

Black dog: how it affects you

(annexation map)
1961-08-24-MNStar-Protest.pdf
Burnsville 'Burns" Annexation protest meetingThe pictures above were taken Wednesday night at the town hall in Burnsville after the folks have learned that Bloomington, their neighbor to the north, annexed the black dog power plant and that actions had started to annex the remainder of Burnsville. Among the speakers at the meeting were Wallace Day, town board chairman, And Clyde Ryberg, Dakota County planning director. Roger Richardson, another member of the town board, and Jerome Aiken, a County Commissioner, also spoke briefly. After an hour Day said the board originally planned a private meeting to discuss possible legal action with attorneys.
1961-08-31DakCoTrib-CrowdatTownHall.jpg
Crowd at Townhall August 1961Dakota County Tribune, August 31, 1961. Crowd jammed into the Burnsville Townhall Wednesday night here how black dog power plant had suddenly become the property of the Bloomington city to the north. Another mass meeting was planned for Wednesday night of this week at the Burnsville school.
1961-10-9-WhereHasBDGone.pdf
Plaintive PosterPLAINTIVE POSTER carried by a Burnsville woman expresses a current lament of residents in the Dakota county township. Hearings will be held on the proposed merger of Bloomington and Burnsville the week of Oct. 9.
(Designated "unidentified woman" this might be Deanne Anderson who was secretary to the commissioners or early village council - jrj)
1961-AnnexationMeeting.jpg
Strategy Mapping in August 1961The Burnsville Township Board of commissioners met in August 1961 to map strategy to deal with Bloomington's attempt to annex 160 acres from Burnsville Township, acquiring a large chunk of the river valley and northern states powers black dog power plant in the process.The civic groups were formed to stop at Bloomington's actions.
1961-AnnexMapDrawing.jpg
Annexation Map - St. Paul DispatchThe map taken from the St. Paul Pioneer dispatch, shows what happened when the all American city of Bloomington hopped across the Minnesota River Wednesday and annexed the 159-acre tract containing the black dog plant of northern states power company.It also invited to the Township of Burnsville to join with Bloomington to make up the largest municipality - in area - in Minnesota.
1961-SupremeCourtCase.pdf
Cover of Supreme Court Case on Annexation
Angry_Protest_SPDispatch.pdf
Black Dog Annexation Draw Angry Protest SP Dispatch 1961August 31, 1961
By ROBERT WILLIAMS AND DON HEINZMAN
Staff Writers
Strongly-worded salvos were fired from two quarters today in protest over the annexation of the tax-rich Black Dog power plant to Bloom-ington.

The opposition came from John Metcalf, Burnsville school district superintendent and a state senator, and from the Savage Area Commerce association.
Both also deplored the petition by Bloomington to annex all of Burnsville township.
Metcalf warned that Bloomington's annexation of the Black Dog plant will cost the school district thousands of dollars, and he predicted his district will die within two years if"Burnsville township is forced to consolidate with Bloomington.
Previously, it was thought the annexation did not affect the school district.
Metcalf said he has been advised that Bloomington's annexation of the Black Dog plant will affect the interest rate Burnsville school district 191 will have to pay on future bond sales.
The district's bonding consultants, Moody and Springsted of St. Paul, in a letter to Metcalf, said the NSP property representing approximately 26 per cent of Bloomington's valuation has assumed liability for $4,800,000 of Bloomington's $18,000,000 general obligation bonded in- debtedness.

Add t h i s to Burnsville school district's bonded in- debtedness of $2,500,000 and
the answer is the Black Dog plant has a bond liability of over $7,300,000.
The consultants strongly suggest that bond buyers and rating services will consider both debts on the Black Dog plant and pos- sibly change Burnsville's investor rating from the present "Baa" to possibly the next lower rating "Ba."
Assuming that Burnsville had a Ba rating (the rating now held by Bloomington) on its last bond sale in February, the lower rating would have cost the district an extra $13,915.
If the Burnsville district is rated Ba, local banks may not bid for the bonds.
"In our opinion," write the consultants, "reduction of your current rating will mean additional interest costs of not less than a
quarter of 1 per cent."
Burnsville's last bond issue in February under the lower rating would have cost the district an extra $13,915 at the higher rate.
Comparing Burnsville with Bloomington in the sale of bonds, Moody and-Springsted explained that in February Burnsville sold bonds at an interest rate of 3.42 per cent, while in July Bloomington sold Ba rated bonds with ma- turity of 1982 for 4.35 per cent.
"Discounting the .28 per cent increase of the bond buy- ers index between the time your bonds and those of Bloomington were sold, its bonds cost .65 per cent more than yours," the statement says.
"Applied to your issue, this would have made a difference of over $36,000 or, an addition- al 19 per cent in interest cost."
Metcalf said he voted against the amendment in the 1961 legislative session that permitted the annexation of the power plant. The amend- ment was made by Sen. W. B. Dosland (C, Moorhead) after Sen. Paul Thuet, (L., South St. Paul) had moved for re- consideration of the bill
Metcalf said few senators realized the impact of the legislation at the time and that if Thuet and Dosland didn't realize it, "they shouldn't have put it in."
"The only answer is, he's a meddler," Metcalf said of Thuet. "He wants to make a big name for himself."
Metcalf was asked if he knew of any connection be- tween Thuet and NSP.
"The only thing I know is that NSP has hired him to appraise land for condemna- tion purposes in Dakota and Washington counties.
The Savage protest was made in a letter from K. W. Westerber, president of the commerce association. Cop- ies have been sent to J. Ros- cue Furber, vice president of NSP; G o r d o n Miklethun, Bloomington mayor; Joseph Robbie, chairman of the mu- nicipal commission, and Gov. Andersen.
"Our group is appalled that the Bloomington council should indulge in a malignant maneuver that no respectable citizen of these or any other communities could possibly condone.
"The recent award to
Bloomington as an All-Amer- ican city has been tainted by both definition and connota- tion resulting in a loss of favorable p u b l i c relations that may never be restored, due to the selfish monetary gains of a few clever leaders in the Bloomington commu- nity," the letter states.
The association added that "it is unfortunate that management of NSP , in arriving at the decision, did not investigate the ac- tivities of our association to bring about a stabilized tax base for industry and home owners through co- operative area planning and avoid the many mis- takes that has hampered Bloomington during its for- mative years.
"Removal of a prime in- dustry at this time from our municipal tax base will cer- tainly create a setback in our present plans that will take years to overcome," the association said.
It added that any continu- ance of the petition to annex all of Burnsville "must be considered an affront to the intelligence and future of every resident on this side of the river."
Meanwhile, a mass public meeting has been called for 8 p. m. today in Burnsville high school, to inform resi- dents of the present status of the controversy and map plans for future action.
Annexation_Flyer_from_Bloomington.pdf
Annexation Flyer from Bloomington(nine page brochure including map) Some time ago the City of Bloomington firmly requested the Northern States Power Company to consent to Bloomington taking the Black Dog Power Plant into the boundaries of the City of Bloomington. As Minnesota's fourth largest city, and one of NSP's largest customers, Bloomington contended that it should share economic value of the Black Dog Power Plant.
The following facts were pointed out to NSP:
Battle_for_Black_Dog_20_Years.pdf
Battle for Black Dog Raged over 20 years AgoBy DEL STELLING
February 16, 1982

Over the years, the Minnesota Valley has been the scene of numerous battles, including historic battles between the Sioux and the Chippewa and the famous Sioux Uprising of 1862.
Of more significance to the modern generation, however, was the unforgettable “Battle over Black Dog,’'which was raging just 20 years ago.

This legal battle involved the infamous attempt on the part of the City of Bloomington to annex the land south of the Minnesota River on which the Northern State Power Co.’s Black Dog plant is located.
Wally Day, chairman of the Burnsville Town Board at the time, still bristles with anger when he recalls the events which transpired during that intense battle.
The controversy came to light on August 22, 1961, when Bloomington city officials announced their intention to annex the 159-acre power plant site.
At the time, state law permitted a municipality to annex up to 200 acres of unincorporated land sim ply at the request of the owner.
In this instance, NSP officials had been quietly working with Bloomington officials on the annexation proposal, and Burnsville, because it was an unincorporated township, suddenly found itself in jeopardy of losing its greatest source of tax dollars.
It was reported that Ray Olson. Bloomington’s city manager, was largely responsible for initiating the behind-the-scene planning for the annexation deal.
Burnsville officials, however, were totally unaware of what was happening until the annexation was formally announced.
Wally Day recalls that the first he heard about the deal was when Pat Connelly, the Burnsville town clerk at the time, called to advise that he had heard that Bloomington had filed to annex the Black Dog plant.
Anticipating the serious consequences of the annexation, Day immediately contacted David Grannis of the legal firm of Grannis and Grannis to request that he handle Burnsville’s defense.
On Wednesday, August 13, 1961, approximately 500 Burnsville residents participated in a hastily-called meeting at the Burnsville Town Hall, located on County Road 5.
As a result of that meeting, the residents and town officials unanimously agreed to take the annexation attempt to the courts.
Attorney Grannis informed the township officials that the court was requiring a $225,000 security bond be posted during the legal process.
As collateral for this bond, Day offered his farm and personal property as collateral, which was accepted by the judge.
On the same day as the hastily- called town board meeting, the League of Women Voters from Bloomington distributed a pamphlet to homes in Burnsville, giving reasons why NSP was convinced Bloomington should share in the economic value of the Black Dog plant.

It was pointed out that the Black Dog plant had an assessed valuation of $10.5 million and, further, that Bloomington could provide stabilized urban services and experience in developing adjacent properties.
The day after these pamphlets were distributed in Burnsville a group of local residents picked them up and returned them to Bloomington, depositing them on the steps of the city hall.
The aroused residents gave some thought to boycotting Bloomington merchants, but Wally Day discouraged such action, noting that the merchants were not actually in favor of the annexation deal.

Subsequently, a meeting was held at Burnsville High School which was attended by 400or more residents, all of whom stated they wanted to fight Bloomington’s annexation plan.
As an alternative to this plan, Bloomington offered to annex all of Burnsville, but this proposal, too, was strongly opposed by local residents.
Joe Robbie, now a prominent sports figure in Florida, was executive secretary of the Minnesota Municipal Commission at that time and he supported Bloomington’s annexation plan.
Meanwhile, the Burnsville Citizens League initiated a petition opposing the annexation, and also supported the cause by attending all the hearings involved in the Black Dog annexation.
During the winter of 1961, Day recalls, a hearing was held at Burnsville High School at which testimony was given pertaining to the annexation.
Among those supporting Burnsville’s cause were Howard Dahlgren of Midwest Planners; Ozzie Springstad, the town board’s financial consultant; and Bonestroo and Rosene Associates, the town’s engineering firm.

Eventually, the Dakota County District Court in Hastings issued a ruling which supported Burnsville’s defense.
This ruling, however, was appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which later in 1962upheld the District Court decision.
Thus, Burnsville turned out to be the victor in the “battle over Black Dog,’one that was costly, but pleasing to those on this side of the Minnesota River.
Commenting recently on the Black Dog affair, Wally Day said, “We had good professional help, along with the merchants from Bloomington, who helped win the Black Dog battle.”
And commenting further, he said, “I had a lot of satisfaction personally in winning the decision over Bloomington.”
Bloomington_Annexation_Proposal.pdf
PROPOSED ANNEXATION proposal(NOTE: more text available in pdf file)

A REPORT ON THE PROPOSED ANNEXATION OF BURNSVILLE TOWNSHIP TO THE CITY OF BLOOMINGTON MINNESOTA
City Council Bloomington, Minnesota
August, 1961

A Proposal ............... 1

Urbanization of Burnsville . . . . . . . 2

Relationship of Proposed Annexation to Public Health, Safety, and Welfare
1. prevention of urban sprawl through control over plants and land development
2. economic development
3. municipal finance
4. efficient and economical provision of municipal services
5. utility development
6. development of Minnesota River
7 comprehensive planning

Supporting data
a. Population, area, and assessed valuation of two areas
b. Expansion and availability of space for expansion in Bloomington
c. Tax outlook in Burnsville
d. Need for municipal services in Burnsville
e. Ability of Bloomington to provide needed services
f. The ability of Township form of government to cope with problems
g. Map showing relation of Burnsville to Bloomington H. Land-use and zoning map
h. land use and zoning map - Burnsville

PROPOSAL

The chaos of governmental structure in our metropolitan areas has long been deplored by those concerned with urban trends in the United States„ The work "balkanization" has been used to describe the confusion of governmental jurisdictions.
One effect of "balkanization" is disorderly growth on the fringes of the metropolitan area. By the time a suburban community has become organized to handle its growth problems, the damage has been done and new growth has passed beyond its borders
into an outlying governmental unit. This unit lacks the resources to cope with the new growth, and the pattern is repeated.
Thus "balkanization" leads to inadequate planning and control over fringe-area development. It also leads to costly duplication of services and to inequitable distribution of tax resources. Boundaries between communities often become impedi­ ments to sound development--with conflicting development on either side.
We are proposing that Burnsville Township be annexed to the City of Bloomington.
We do not know whether this type of consolidation would be appropriate in other areas. We are quite certain, however, that such consolidation would be much to the advantage of both Bloomington and Burnsville Township.
Nothing in this report should reflect upon the integrity or capabilities of officials in Burnsville Township. The problem lies in the structure of government, not in the people who happen to hold office. Townships were formed originally in order to provide a few basic services to a rural population. It was never intended that a large city be organized into townships, or their equivalent.. For a fragment of the metropolitan area's fringe area to guide its own growth makes no more sense than to make a separate government out of a deteriorated neighborhood in Minneapolis-- and expect that neighborhood to carry out its own renewal. In short, there is abundant evidence (including Bloomington itself) to show that a township in transi­tion between rural and urban development lacks the resources and experience to handle the transition.

We therefore assert that;
1) Burnsville is now suburban in character. Further urbanization is taking place at an accelerating rate.
2) Municipal, government, of the Burnsville area is required to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. Annexation of the area to Bloomington is the only realistic method by which such municipal government can be provided in fact as well as in name.
3) The annexation of Burnsville Township to the City of Bloomington is not motivated by a desire to increase revenues. In fact, the increased costs of providing municipal services to Burnsville will offset the additional tax revenue.
The rest of this report, documents the above assertions.

URBANIZATION IN BURNSVILLE

Burnsville is no longer a rural township. Urbanization is taking place at a rapidly increasing pace. Recent urbanization is reflected in the following statistics:
Note the growth in lot subdivision. This is a clear indication of growth to come. Note also the fact that each year sees an increase in the growth rate. This phenomenon is continuing in 1961. New home permits for the first five months of 1961 totaled 89, compared with 50 in the same period last year.
The growth is not limited to the north portion of Burnsville. As the Land Use and Zoning Map (attached) indicates, land subdivision and residential development are occurring at widely scattered locations throughout the Township.
Continued acceleration of urbanization in Burnsville is inevitable and imminent. Below are listed factors that will accelerate urbanization:
* Completion of the new Interstate Freeway 35W into Burnsville.
* An excellent thoroughfare, Highway 13, leading from Freeway 35W northeasterly to Cedar Avenue and to St. Paul. Cedar Avenue will be raised to expressway standards, probably in the next three or four years. This project, particularly with a new bridge across the Minnesota River, will greatly improve access
to both the Minneapolis and St. Paul area.
* Abundant amounts of inexpensive, rolling land, suitable for building.
* The fact that the crest of the wave of metropolitan expansion
has reached Burnsville. There has been, historically, a strong southward thrust, of population expansion in the Minneapolis
area. This thrust will now be channeled into the Burnsville area.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PROPOSED ANNEXATION AND PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY, AND WELFARE

1, Prevention of Urban Sprawl. Through Control Over Plats and Land Development
^ i
One of the most serious problems of urban growth in the United States is that of "urban sprawl". This is the term used to describe scattered, unplanned development„
Burnsville Township presents one of the worst examples of urban sprawl in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The situation is clearly revealed in the Map of Existing Land Use (attached). Land subdivision is taking place in an extremely peacemeal manner. The resulting residential development could hardly be more scattered.
Despite the fact that some subdivision and zoning regulations have been adopted, the scattering of development is continuing unabated. There is no evidence that the problem has even been identified.
Urban sprawl in Burnsville is detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare in the following ways:
1) A considerable amount of the new residential development is taking place with lots approximately 100 feet wide and 1/3 of an acre in
2)
3)
-4 4)
5)
6)
size. These lots are too small for urban development lacking municipal sewers, as most authorities would agree.
Eventually, the Burnsville area will need municipal, sewer facilities, as communities with similar histories have found out. Urban sprawl, however, makes it increasingly difficult to make the transition to
a central system. It is extremely costly to provide utilities for widely-scattered developments. Not only does this throw heavy financial burdens upon the community; it also delays installation of the utilities which are needed for the public health.
The cost of providing other municipal services (fire protection, police protection, snow removal, street, maintenance, etc.) are
greatly increased when development is scattered rather than contiguous.
Unplanned, scattered development, often has the result that land becomes used for the wrong purposes.
Ribbon-type residential and commercial development along main highways in northwestern Burnsville have the double effect of reducing the future carrying capacity of arterials and creating traffic hazards.
Experience throughout the country shows that urban sprawl creates pockets of stagnant land between the scattered developments. (See article on urban sprawl in August, 1960, Issue of House and Home.)
In short, urban sprawl results in excessive taxes, reduced levels of municipal services, traffic congestion, and poor utilization of land.

2. Economic Development
The economic future of the Twin-Cities metropolitan area depends to a
large degree upon industrial development. The Bloomington-Burnsville area represents an important sector of the metropolitan area. Future industrial development in this area thus has implications that, reach well beyond the communities of Bloomington and Burnsville,
The full potential of industrial, expansion in this part of the metropolitan area can only be realized through consolidation, A fringe area, such as Burnsville, lacks the governmental resources to plan for industrial development. And yet, it is at this early stage when planning for industrial development is the most needed. Employment opportunities, municipal services, and family income are directly related to industrial development. Consider the followings
1) Burnsville Township lacks a land use plan. Its zoning is thus happenstance--based more upon preferences of property owners than upon thorough research into the resources and needs of the area,
2) There are indications that prime industrial sites have already become preempted for residential, and small-scale commercial use-- areas adjacent to Highway 13 near the railroad and to the Freeway Interchange.
3) It is highly desirable for a community to have a "balanced'1 industrial development. The consolidated community we propose would have such a balance. It would have some industrial areas suitable for development now, some suitable ten to twenty years hence, and some areas that can come into their own only in the long term--30 to 50 years from now, and beyond.
4) The consolidated community would have a balance, too, in types of areas. Some sites would have trackage, some river transportation, some freeways. Variety of modes of transportation and of land
cost would permit the area to meet a wide range of industrial needs.
5) A consolidated community would have more incentive to preserve outlying future industrial areas and over-ride the objections of property owners who wish a quick economic return.
6) A consolidated community would be able to provide the utilities that industry needs. Fringe areas simply do not offer the municipal facilities and services that, industry must have,
7) A consolidated government could develop the industrial potential of the Minnesota River. Neither Bloomington nor the townships
to the south can do this alone. The Minnesota River Watershed District has not been set up to plan and execute projects of this nature.
8) A consolidated community would have the resources and leadership to promote industry. At. the present time, Burnsville can do little more than put. up a few signs

3. MUNICIPAL FINANCE

distribution of tax resources is one of the major problems created by the present, structure of government on the fringe of the metropolitan area- A strong
tax base is essential to every community if it is to meet its responsibilities for providing services to its citizens. Yet we find tremendous disparities. One Twin-City suburb (see below) had an assessed valuation per capita of only $260 in 1960. The corresponding figure for Burnsville Township was $3,500, largely due to
the fact that the Black Dog Power Plant happened to locate just inside its boundary.
BloomingtonhasannexedtheBlackDogPlant. TheCitynowproposesannexationof Burnsville to Bloomington in order that the whole Bloomington-Burnsville area will have a balanced municipal tax base.
Last year, Bloomington had an assessed valuation of $460 per capita. Next year, without annexation of Burnsville, Bloomington's valuation will jump to over
$700 per capita, partly due to the annexation of the power plant and partly due to
the$25millionofnewbusinessdevelopmentnowunderway. Becauseresidential,
investment is running at. only 30% of total new construction, Bloomington's municipal tax base will improve steadily.
The situation in Burnsville Township is not so favorable. If Burnsville were to
continue as a separate government unit, their assessed valuation per capita next
year would be somewhere between $500 and $600. And it would be this high largely
because of the relatively large proportion of agriculture land. With continuing residential development and relatively little business development, the per capita
assessed valuation would inevitably decrease. (The per capita figure for the average new -■ home is around $300 to $350.)
A consolidated Bloomington-Burnsville area would start out with a strong tax
base, which would be strengthened each year, due to large-scale industrial development in Bloomington. Assessed valuation per capita next year would be approximately $700. Major industrial development in Bloomington plus control of residential development in the Burnsville area could raise the per capita figure to between $900 and $1,000 by 1980, Nor does this imply that we would prohibit residential growth in order to achieve fiscal strength. Bloomington's regulations governing new development have been designed to achieve "complete" subdivisions. It may be assumed that this policy would be continued.
The above figures other Minneapolis
are put in perspective by looking at comparable figures for suburbs:

Blaine Robbinsdale St. Louis Park Golden Valley Edina
Assessed Valuation Per Capita (1960)
$260 $410 $580 $950 $960

5. UTILITY DEVELOPMENT.

There is a common dilemma in the development of fringe areas. Sanitary sewer facilities are a must for housing developments. Yet, the fringe communities do not offer such facilities and they are too poorly organized to undertake the construction of the facilities.

Some communities, such as the Village of New Hope, have taken a calculated risk by investing in utilities ahead of development, on the gamble that future development would take place rapidly enough to pay for the investment. New Hope was fortunate in being able to connect with the Minneapolis sanitary sewer system.
Even if Burnsville Township wished to take a gamble similar to New Hope’s, they couldnot. ItisnotpossibleforthemtoconnectwiththeMinneapolissewer system and their existing development is too sparse and too scattered to enable them to embark upon a utility program. Thus, lack of governmental organization and urban sprawl (which is getting worse) precludes Burnsville from providing municipal sanitary sewer.
There are a number of alternatives to the short-term and long-term need for
sanitary sewers in Burnsville. Possibly, use of the small, community-type of disposal plant would be appropriate in the short term. Over the long term, there will un­ doubtedly be some provision for tying Burnsville either to a new regional plant on the Minnesota River or to a major trunk facility leading to the main plant at
Pig's Eye.
A consolidated government would have both the incentive and resources to plan and provide for both short-term and long-term needs. The planning would be done in cooperation with other municipalities and metropolitan agencies having an interest in the problem.
Consider the alternative. Urban sprawl will continue in Burnsville until the time-- ten to twe
Bloomington_Moves_to_Annex_25_Square_Miles.pdf
Bloomington Moves to Annex - Burnsville Plans to FightThe Bloomington city council reached south across the Minnesota river Tuesday to annex the tax-rich Black Dog plant of Northern States Power Co'. (NSP) in Burnsville township.
It also initiated efforts to merge the remainder of Burnsville with Bloomington to form a 65-square-mile city that would be the largest in area in Minnesota.
Special census workers from Bloomington today began gathering detailed information the city will present to the Minnesota municipal commission—the three-man body that will rule on the proposed annexation of the township.
At the same time, they delivered leaflets explaining the proposal.
In a rapid-fire council session yesterday afternoon, the council:
Annexed the Black Dog plant on a 159-acre site on petition of NSP.
Voted to petition the commission for the merger. Invited Burnsville to join in the petition.
Slashed the city portion of the Bloomington mill rate
in half—from 50 to 22 mills—on taxes payable in 1962.
Agreed to finance street maintenance and street light­ ing in the future from front-foot assessments rather than from general property taxes.
Proposed that citizens committees from both commu­nities explore every facet of the proposal, including disad­vantages as well as advantages of consolidation.
The Bloomington proposal was a well-guarded secret for nearly a year while discussions with NSP and quiet planning went on behind the scenes.
Burnsville officials were not consulted.
boycott_bloomington1961edited.pdf
Boycott feared in Bloomington 1961Many a Bloomington merchant is keeping an uneasy eye on his front door today as talk of a boycott by angry Burnsville residents continues to float across the Minnesota River.
Burnsville_Burns__Bloomington_Cool.pdf
Burnsville Burns. Bloomington Cool - Annexation Draws Envy, Sympathy(excerpt) By GWENYTH JONES
Minneapolis Star Staff Writer City Manager Ray Olsen says Bloomington officials have been surprised at the “amount and bitterness” of the objections in Burnsville when Bloomington suddenly annexed the 100-million-dollar Northern States Power Black Dog plant....He flatly denied Blooming­ ton “made a deal” with NSP. He said the only promise the city made to the company was not to use the tax reve­nue from the plant to add to its budget, but to collect the same total revenue from a lowered tax rate.
By PAUL GILJE
Minneapolis Star Staff Writer
Public sympathy for Burnsville and private envy of Bloomington have been ex­pressed by officials in other suburbs in the wake of Bloomington’s annexation moves last week.
But apparently they see little connection between this and their own long-term fears of possible annexation by Minneapolis.
( Bergerud DeGhetto Illies ) Thurs., Aug. 31, 1961
Burnsvillians_Burn.pdf
Burnsvillians Burn over Black Dog MoveResidents in Burnsville township today were burning over Bloomington’s annexation of their tax-rich Black Dog power plant.
Charges of “land grab” and “pressure politics” rose from township residents as they prepared to fight the annex­ation, which came in a surprise announcement Wednesday.
Bloomington added on the 159-acre plant at the request of Northern States Power Co., then launched an immediate campaign to merge the remainder of Burnsville with Bloom­ington.
Within hours after the an­nouncement signs proclaming, “Never will we join Bloomington” appeared at the service station, tap room and grocery store at Lynrose corners in Burnsville.
The corner, traditionally a bellweather of public senti­ment, is owned by Francis Popehn, who said he gave up his tavern in Bloomington in 1957 to escape high taxes.
“Most of the people that have been in here today are just plain mad about the annexation,” Popehn said. “This thing came as a huge shock. There seems to be nothing sound behind it.” THURSDAY, AUGUST 24, 1961
( Popehn Gallagher Wenthold Valley View Motel Johnson )
BV_Grab_1961.pdf
The Burnsville Grab and Dakota County 1961Taxpayers and other residents of Burnsville township who learned last week that the neighboring community of Bloomington had grabbed their biggest source of tax money, the Black Dog plant of the Northern States Power Company, expressed sympathy towards the occasional visitors to the state fair who had had their pockets picked.

While they slept, figuratively speaking, the Bloomington council and comp"any officials quietly — very quietly — went about the business of transferring the 150 odd acres on which the plant is located in Dakota county into the jurisdiction of the Bloomington municipality. So secretly had .he negotiations been carried on that not a word pf it had leaked out until the annexation was an accomplished fact.

The lights of publicity had been turned off in one of the best engineered and executed debacles Minnesota has witnessed since St. Paul wrested the title of state capital from St. Peter somewhere around 100 years ago. The switch was made in accordance with laws passed in recent sessions of the legislature whereby up to 200 acres of land adjacent to a municipality may be annexed without a public hearing or review by the state municipal question where owners of the property favor such annexation.

In this case the company owned all the land and, according to reports, not only favored the idea but asked for annexation to Bloomington.

This was in spite of the fact that the change would increase the taxes the company would pay very substantially for the time being, the explanation from the company's viewpoint be- ing that in the long run its tax costs would be reduced.
The loss of their major source of tax revenue so far as the township was concerned was a stunning job to other Burnsville taxpayers — an electric shock of high voltage, so to speak. But this was not all that stirred their ire until it was hotter than the recent August weather.

The news was also broken to them that Bloomington coveted all of Burnsville township and was taking steps to absorb the area in toto. That really got the dander of the Burnsville folks riled up and they let it be known far and wide that they opposed any such grab. Threats of boycotting Bloomington business places were widespread and other retaliatory measures were discussed wherever a few of the affected residents assembled. A public mass meeting Wednesday night tended to solidify popular backing for legal efforts to thwart the annexation of the township as well as to have the NSP plan area switch set aside.

All signs point to a hot court battle over these moves which have given added impetus to the drive to have the township incorporated into a village. Had this been done before Bloomington put over its Black Dog deal, it could not have absorbed the several million dollar property without getting an okay from citizens of the township.

While this legal battle is being waged an the opposing groups are stating their cases t the judge, it seems timely for other township in Dakota and Washington counties which have been toying with the idea of incorporating to speed up their studies and planning along this line. The spirit of Bloomington might be contagious and prompt some other greedy municpality to pluck off some rich pieces of real estate which presently are located within th borders of these townships. Locking the bar after the horse — or the horsepower — has been stolen might be too late.
DCT_Editorial_1961.pdf
Sneak Attack on Burnsville . . Will It Stick?Dakota County Tribune August 1961

Bloomington's sneak attack on Burnsville—the snatching of the tax-rich Black Dog power plant—hit like a bombshell and is deplored by all Americans who believe in fair play.
News media have told of the dastardly trick in detail and wherever you go you hear this typical comment—even across the river—"It's unbelievable; I never heard of such trickery!"
It disturbs us to think such a thing could be done in America,,where the rights of others is respected. _Bloomington officials kept the whole affair secret for a year. There was no advance public notice. Burnsville was denied that great American right — the RIGHT to KNOW!
Dark-lantern tactics belong to dictator countries, not in free America. ,
One Farmington man, infuriated at the underhanded snatch, said he would donate $50 to aid Burnsville's cause. We believe others would help and carry the case to the Supreme Court, if necessary. How about some benefit entertainment to help defray expenses?
Typical of strong feeling expressed on this sizzling subject is this good letter to the Tribune editor signed by Burnsville people who formerly lived in Bloomington:
Burnsville, Rt. 2, Savage, Minnesota August 24, 1961
Editor:
Dakota County Tribune Farmington, Minnesota Sir:
"THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR'S TAX BASE."
Our friendly neighbor to the north, having taken unto its almost bankrupt self some 7/8 of our township revenues and a great part of our industrial bottom land now adds insult to injury by inviting the rest of our town of Burnsville to unite with its pitiful self. ,
We regret that Bloomington is in such a mess it cannot pay its bills. Many of us watched for years as it got itself in- to this mess. We saw the process at close range, because we were residents of that fair city. When the situation became ominous, and the leadership obviously confused and inadequate, we put our homes up for sale, unloaded them usually for far less than we had paid, and WE GOT OUT.
We like the people of East Berlin, voted with our feet.
The hand of Bloomington has now reached out across the river to us, not in friendship but to pick our pockets.
Hail, All-American City!
(Signed): Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Smyk, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence
E. Bixby, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard R. Bixby, Mrs. Cleon W. Main, Mrs. Clyde N. Ryberg, Mrs. Darrell Johnson, Mrs. Fran- cis Jeffrey. Mrs. Wm. Pletcher.
metcalf_and_connelly.jpg
State Senator John Metcalf and Burnsville Town Clerk Pat Connelly 1960John Metcalf was Superintendent of the School District at the time of the attempted annexation. Pat Connelly, life long resident was Town Clerk.
M_Valley_Review_Annexation.pdf
MN Valley Review on Annexation, ReactionThe outline for legal action to regain the Black Dog plant property and to prevent the annexation of the whole township was given last night (Wednesday) at the citizen's meeting held at the Burnsville school.
In a statement to the Review yesterday, attorney Dave Grannis said the township would file its suit by the end of the week. The action will attack the validity of the Bloomington
city council annexation ordinance on the grounds it is both unreasonable and unconstitutional, Grannis said. Further arguments, involving the petition for annexation, will be presented.
Grannis also said the petition of Burnsville township to incorporate into a village had been filed Tuesday afternoon with the state municipal commission. Commission members Joe Robbie and Robert Edman were out of town, so action on the petition will be delayed. The commission is expected to set a public hearing in the township within the next six to eight weeks. (more) August 31, 1961
oldtownhall~0.JPG
Former townhall now Ames ConstructionThe Burnsville townhall, as viewed in photos from the 1961 Annexation Battle, is now owned by Ames Construction. The building has been expanded to meet their needs. Photo 2017.
Orchard_Gardens_Incorporation_Notice.pdf
Orchard Gardens Incorporation PetitionMr. Pat J. Connelly Town Clerk, Burnsville Township Savage, Minnesota
Dear Mr. Connelly:
November 22, 1961
The attached Notice of Hearing and petition for incor­poration of Orchard Gardens are self-explanatory.
If there are any questions or problems, please tele­phone me at Ca. 2-3013, extension 2409.
Cordially,
MUNICIPAL COMMISSION

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a public hearing will be held at 10:00 A.M. on December 11, 1961, in the Lakeville Town Hall, before the Minnesota Municipal Commission, on the petition of certain freeholders for the incorporation of the Village of Orchard Gardens in an area partly in Burnsville township, and partly in Lakeville township, Dakota County, Minnesota pursuant to the provisions of M.S.A. 1959, Section 414*02 et seq as amen­ded by Laws 1961, Chapter 645*
The land which is subject to the foregoing petition is more particularly described as follows:

(more)
Orchard_Lake_Oct_30.pdf
Orchard Lake Oct 30 PetitionOctober 30, 1961
In the matter of the petition of certain freeholders for incorporation of the Village of Orchard Gardens

We the undersigned freeholders and residents of the area hereinafter described do hereby petitioned the Minnesota municipal commission to designate a time and place for a hearing on this petition to incorporate a village to be known as Orchard Gardens, and that in this petition be approved for submission to the voters that the municipal commission also submit to the voters the proposal for the adoption of optional playing a for the government of the Village, and for this purpose respectfully state as follows:
1. That the area to be incorporated is not included within the limits of any incorporated municipality.
2. That your petitioners are at least 100 free holders who are residents of the area to be incorporated.
3. That the area to be incorporated contains a resident population of 1,404.
4. That the area to be incorporated consists partly of lands which have been platted into lots some blocks in which plants have been executed according to law and have been recorded in the office of the register of deeds in an for Dakota County, Minnesota, and partly of unpleasant lands which are adjacent to the platted lands and are so conditioned as to be properly subject to village government. The area lies partly in Burnsville Township and partly in Lakeville Township, Dakota County, Minnesota and is described as follows:
(more)
5. the boundary of the area to be incorporated is shown on the attached map and marked exhibit a which is made a part hereof.
6. The quantity of land in the assessed value, both plastered and unclouded is as follows:
(more)
7. That the area to be incorporated is now being served by the Lakeville and savage fire departments. Police protection is furnished by the County sheriffs and local constables. There is neither central water supply nor central sewage disposal.

over_the_years_blackdog_story.pdf
The Battle for Black Dog by Bill LanoueOver the Years - December 2006, a magazine of the Dakota County Historical Society features Bill Lanoue's article on the 1961 events that changed Burnsville.
township_starts_legal_action_1961.pdf
Township starts legal action 1961The MInnesota Valley Review, August 31, 1961 reports that the outline for legal action to regain the Black Dog plant property and to prevent the annexation of the whole township was given last night at the citizen's meeting held at the Burnsville School... the action will attack the validity of the Bloomington City Council annexation ordinance on the grounds it is both unreasonable and unconstitutional... The petition of Burnsville Township to incorporate into a village had been filed with the state municipal commission.
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