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Home > Government > Annexation Battle 1961 and Black Dog generating station information

Burnsville Burns - annexation photosAugust 24, 1961 MInneapolis Tribune:

The pictures were taken at the town hall in Burnsville after folks had heard that Bloomington, their neighbor to the north, had annexed the Black Dog Power Plant and that action had started to annex the remainder of Burnsville...
Burnsville residents protest, turn out in force at hearingsOctober 12, 1961 Minneapolis Tribune:

Bloomington has begun efforts to annex Burnsville for the tax income of the Black Dog Power Station, residents protest.
The next round 1961August 31, 1961 Minnesota Valley Review Editorial

Bloomingtons attempts to annex Burnsville for the Black Dog Power Plant tax revenue....
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.
Up for High Court's Decision 1964March 19, 1964 Dakota County Tribune reports: Back in the news again is the Black Dog fight between Burnsville and Bloomington- this time in an appeal by Bloomington to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Back in August of 1961 the Bloomington Council voted to annex the Black Dog plant, an $8 million NSP plant in Burnsville, by declaring an emergency. The declaration enabled the council to pass the annexation without published notice and put the ordinance into effect immediately.

Burnsville Township and several citizens took Bloomington to Dakota District Court, where Judge R.C. Nelson in December of 1961 prevented Bloomington from actually annexing Black Dog, and later Judge William C. Christianson made the injunction permanent.

Bloomington appealed the decision and in the State Supreme Court last Wednesday argued that Judge Christianson could not legally substitute his judgement for that of the Bloomington council in deciding whether or not an emergency existed when the council voted for the annexation.

Burnsville Township's attorney argued that the district court was right in considering whether the emergency situation existed. The attorney, Dave Grannis Jr., South St. Paul, said the Black Dog plant had gotten along without Bloomington fire and police protection for ten years and could have gone without it long enough for enactment of the ordinance in the regular matter. The Court has yet to rule on the case.
Victory sign for Black Dog 1963March 14, 1963 Minnesota Valley Review

Showing his pleasure at the court ruling restoring Black Dog to Burnsville is town board chair Wally Day.
Annexation Battle 1961This photo of Burnsville residents wearing shamrocks, calling themselves the fighting irish, appeared in the October 13, 1961 Minneapolis Tribune. The Minnesota municipal commission finished four days of hearings on two petitions, one by Bloomington, to annex the township and one by Burnsville residents to incorporate. The battle being over the tax value provided by the Black Dog Power Plant.
Would Bloomington like Annexation 1961In a letter to the editor (un-named paper) Arda Romain of Minneapolis says: In re Bloomington and Burnsville. How would the residents of Bloomington like to annexed by Minneapolis? I am sure Minneapolis could put up much better arguments for annexing Bloomington than Bloomington can put up for annexing Burnsville....
Black Dog generating station profile 2019This information appeared on the Xcel Energy Website during 2019.

Black Dog Generating Station- Key facts:

Power Production Capability: 282 megawatts
Commercial Operation: 2002
Generation Type: Natural gas combined-cycle


Black Dog was built in the 1950s as a coal fired plant. The original Unit 1 boiler/turbine and the Unit 2 boiler were replaced in 2000-2002 with a natural gas combined-cycle unit (Unit 5). Unit 5 includes a natural gas-fired turbine-generator combined with a heat recovery steam generator. Exhaust heat from Unit 5 powers the Unit 2 steam turbine. The repowering project boosted output from the two original units by more than 100 megawatts, and results in greater operating efficiency and cleaner power production.

Units 3 and 4 were retired in 2015 and will be replaced with a new natural gas fired combustion turbine.

Black Dog takes its name from the Black Dog band of Sioux – or Dakotah – and their leader Chief Black Dog, who settled an area on the south bank of the Minnesota River around 1750. The settlement was the oldest Mdewakanton tribe in the area.

Black Dog is located in the Minnesota River Valley, also home to a variety of waterfowl and other wildlife. Xcel Energy owns about 1,500 acres around the Black Dog cooling ponds that it leases to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service so it can maintain a preserve. Black Dog Preserve includes rare plant families more than 4,000 years old.
Environmental Highlights

Unit 5 operates on natural gas. It utilizes state-of-the-art technology for controlling nitrogen oxide (NOx) releases.
Community Involvement

Plant management actively partners with the city of Burnsville in the upkeep of Minnesota River frontage. Under a joint agreement, a trail system is being developed on plant property along the river and wildlife refuge.

The plant also partners with the Burnsville school system in a mentoring program for technically inclined students. Plant employees are involved in various community activities, such as Meals on Wheels and athletic programs.
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