A powerful research tool for the serious or casual visitor.
Home > Government

Last additions - Government
img005.pdf
Roles are opening for women - League of Women Voters 1977May 12, 1977 Dakota County Tribune features a profile of the West Dakota County Area League of Women Voters.Jun 23, 2019
A_view_of_co_rd_11~0.JPG
County Road 11 near Lake AlimagnetDriving on County Road 11 toward McAndrews.Jun 21, 2019
Minnesota_13.JPG
Highway 13 signageThe busy Highway 13 signage, 2019.Jun 20, 2019
2097912391_e8928b54bb_o.jpg
Billy Goat BridgeWhat appears to be a photo copy of an unidentified photo, published in a newspaper, provides an accurate view of the old wooden Billy Goat Bridge.Jun 19, 2019
47951068058_b46e8fcf68_k.jpg
Touch a Truck 2019Touch-a-Truck at Public Works Open House was Saturday, May 18, 2019 to celebrate National Public Works Week with Burnsville's first Public Works Open House!

The Touch-A-Truck event featured equipment from the City's Fleet, Streets, Utilities, Forestry, Parks and Engineering divisions as well as the Police Department's Mobile Command Vehicle, a fire truck from the Fire Department and a large loader from Kraemer Mining. Kids even helped "paint-a-plow" with sidewalk chalk. Photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.
Jun 01, 2019
47951098182_e355654ed6_k.jpg
Touch a Truck 2019Touch-a-Truck at Public Works Open House was Saturday, May 18, 2019 to celebrate National Public Works Week with Burnsville's first Public Works Open House!

The Touch-A-Truck event featured equipment from the City's Fleet, Streets, Utilities, Forestry, Parks and Engineering divisions as well as the Police Department's Mobile Command Vehicle, a fire truck from the Fire Department and a large loader from Kraemer Mining. Kids even helped "paint-a-plow" with sidewalk chalk. Photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.
Jun 01, 2019
young_toucher.jpg
Touch a Truck 2019Touch-a-Truck at Public Works Open House was Saturday, May 18, 2019 to celebrate National Public Works Week with Burnsville's first Public Works Open House!

The Touch-A-Truck event featured equipment from the City's Fleet, Streets, Utilities, Forestry, Parks and Engineering divisions as well as the Police Department's Mobile Command Vehicle, a fire truck from the Fire Department and a large loader from Kraemer Mining. Kids even helped "paint-a-plow" with sidewalk chalk. Photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.
Jun 01, 2019
More_touch_as_truck_2019.jpg
Touch a Truck 2019Touch-a-Truck at Public Works Open House was Saturday, May 18, 2019 to celebrate National Public Works Week with Burnsville's first Public Works Open House!

The Touch-A-Truck event featured equipment from the City's Fleet, Streets, Utilities, Forestry, Parks and Engineering divisions as well as the Police Department's Mobile Command Vehicle, a fire truck from the Fire Department and a large loader from Kraemer Mining. Kids even helped "paint-a-plow" with sidewalk chalk. Photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.

Jun 01, 2019
painting_a_truck.jpg
Touch a Truck 2019Touch-a-Truck at Public Works Open House was Saturday, May 18, 2019 to celebrate National Public Works Week with Burnsville's first Public Works Open House!

The Touch-A-Truck event featured equipment from the City's Fleet, Streets, Utilities, Forestry, Parks and Engineering divisions as well as the Police Department's Mobile Command Vehicle, a fire truck from the Fire Department and a large loader from Kraemer Mining. Kids even helped "paint-a-plow" with sidewalk chalk. Photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.

Jun 01, 2019
Touching_as_truck_1.jpg
Touch a Truck 2019Touch-a-Truck at Public Works Open House was Saturday, May 18, 2019 to celebrate National Public Works Week with Burnsville's first Public Works Open House!

The Touch-A-Truck event featured equipment from the City's Fleet, Streets, Utilities, Forestry, Parks and Engineering divisions as well as the Police Department's Mobile Command Vehicle, a fire truck from the Fire Department and a large loader from Kraemer Mining. Kids even helped "paint-a-plow" with sidewalk chalk. Photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.

Jun 01, 2019
three.jpg
Tanya Schwartz, new chief of policeCity Manager Melanie Mesko Lee, newly selected Chief of Police Tanya Schwartz and mayor Elizabeth Kautz, May 2019. Photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.Jun 01, 2019
NSP_to_be_constructed.pdf
New NSP plant to be constructed at old Indian site in Dakota County 1951The Hastings Gazette, January 12, 1951 announces plan for Northern States Power Company to erect a generating plant on Black Dog Lake....May 30, 2019
old_correspondence_-_Copy.jpg
Gallagher and all of Burnsville had a mailing address of Savage.Until 1964, Burnsville's mailing address was Savage as shown in these mailings.May 19, 2019
officer.jpg
Chief of Police Tanya Schwartz 2019Newly named Chief of Police Tanya Schwartz, May 2019. Photo by John Gessner, Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News.May 16, 2019
veteran_officer.pdf
Veteran leader Tanya Schwartz is Bursville's new police chief 2019 Veteran leader is Burnsville’s new police chief - Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News May 17, 2019
by John Gessner

Tanya Schwartz, a 23-year Burnsville police veteran, is the city’s new police chief.


Schwartz started on ground floor

Burnsville’s new police chief wants her cops to reconnect with what got them into law enforcement — a childhood admiration, a favorable interaction years ago, maybe a family connection.

Whatever the journey, it’s usually grounded in a theme of service, said Tanya Schwartz, who was named Burnsville’s seventh police chief May 9 by City Manager Melanie Mesko Lee.

“If you’re connecting why you came into this profession with our mission statement of working together and making a difference through excellence in policing, you’re going to build trust with the community,” said Schwartz, 48, a 23-year Burnsville police veteran. “It’s going to come naturally, and we’re going to continue the service of excellence that we have had over all these years.”

Schwartz, one of two finalists for the job, succeeds Eric Gieseke, who retired April 30.

Her connection to policing can be traced to Augsburg College, where the Minneapolis Edison High School graduate majored in psychology and minored in sociology.

“I really wanted to work with kids and families,” Schwartz said. “That was really my passion.”

After graduating she worked briefly with disabled adults but didn’t chart a career path until a friend at the Eden Prairie Police Department got her on a ride-along and she spent a summer as an Eden Prairie park ranger.

“Psychology is really about human behavior,” Schwartz said. “You get an up-front seat to seeing people and their behavior and what they’re going through, and I just saw a lot of compassion in that from law enforcement.”

She took police skills training through Metro State University, where she met her future husband, Tom Schwartz, a fellow trainee who is now a Minneapolis sergeant and bomb squad member. Tanya was recruited to apply in Burnsville by now-retired Sgt. Bill Micklus, one of her skills trainers.

She started as a “cadet” (community service officer) and within eight months was promoted to patrol officer on nighttime shifts.

“My husband is a Minneapolis officer and we were working opposite shifts because we had two little kids (Jack and Ryan),” Schwartz said. “It was a good fit. I was kind of in my comfort zone.”

She never stayed there long in the department of 75 sworn officers and 18 civilians.

When a sergeant position opened Schwartz was urged to apply. The 2001 promotion made her Burnsville’s first female sergeant. She worked as a patrol sergeant until 2009, when Schultz — a longtime member of the department’s crime-scene team — was appointed detective sergeant in the Investigations Division.

She tested for a captain’s position and was promoted in 2012, again breaking the gender barrier in Burnsville. Since then Schwartz has captained all three divisions: patrol, professional standards and, most recently, investigations.

Schwartz has a master’s in public safety administration from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

She’s a “fair, firm” leader who “gets the big picture,” said Gieseke, who endorsed Schwartz to succeed him. “She’s focused on what’s best for the organization, the community. And the individual officers, which can be a tricky thing to navigate and balance, but she’s got a very good perspective on that.”

Burnsville’s first female chief is one of the roughly 4 percent of women leading police departments nationwide, Gieseke said.

“For somebody to come into a male-dominated profession and be able to work their way from the bottom as a cadet all the way to chief of police is pretty impressive,” said Gieseke, who also started in Burnsville as a cadet. “And nothing was handed to her. She made her own success.”

Expert in processing, storing and maintaining the integrity of evidence, Schwartz was instrumental in planning the $10 million renovation of the police station in 2017 and 2018. Spaces for evidence in the 30-year-old building had grown “archaic,” Gieseke said.

“She really drove that piece because she understands that probably better than anyone else,” he said. “Without a doubt she can run circles around me when it comes to that kind of stuff.”

Schwartz also takes a keen interest in officer wellness, an emerging priority in an increasingly fish-bowl profession.

In the past year Burnsville launched Checkup from the Neck Up, a program through which Schwartz said officers are required to meet periodically with a psychologist.

“I think all of the years that I’ve been in law enforcement, you just go to the stuff and you deal with it and you figure it out. Not everybody can do that,” said Schwartz, who has worked some many “really gruesome” crime scenes. “It’s OK to talk about it. We have to come out of this job healthy. We have to stay in this job being healthy.”

A few Burnsville officers have had to deal with the trauma of their involvement in two fatal police shootings since 2016. Authorities cleared the officers in both cases, but separate civil suits allege the department isn’t adequately trained to handle mental health crises.

“We have to have tactical skills and we have to have soft skills,” Schwartz said. “We have to look at all of those things. I’m very confident in what the officers are doing. I don’t think because we had those two shootings that that means we were doing something wrong. I do not think we were doing anything wrong.”

The number of young people interested in being cops is down, but Burnsville’s department remains in good shape, Schwartz said. Social media and media in general tend to accentuate the negative, she said.

“We have really great work that gets done each day that never gets outside of these walls,” she said. “Sometimes, because the police officers are just really humble about it, they don’t want someone to know they bought some shoes for a homeless person that didn’t have any, or they went and bought lunch for this person, or they got this person some groceries.”
May 16, 2019
control_burn_2.jpg
Control burn at Cliff Fen Park 2019The City's Natural Resources Department is overseeing a controlled burn at Cliff Fen Park May 2019, photos compliments of the City of Burnsville.

Controlled burns are an important part of our habitat management program -- they help return nutrients back to the soil that are bound up in dead vegetation, control invasive plant species like buckthorn and keep the understory open which creates the conditions needed for sun-loving oak seedlings to grow.

May 14, 2019
control_burn_1.jpg
Control burn at Cliff Fen Park 2019The City's Natural Resources Department is overseeing a controlled burn at Cliff Fen Park May 2019, photos compliments of the City of Burnsville.

Controlled burns are an important part of our habitat management program -- they help return nutrients back to the soil that are bound up in dead vegetation, control invasive plant species like buckthorn and keep the understory open which creates the conditions needed for sun-loving oak seedlings to grow.
May 14, 2019
new_chief.JPG
Captain Tanya Schwartz as Burnsville's seventh police chief. 2019May 10, 2019 press release from the City of Burnsville:

Burnsville has a new police chief.

The city announced Friday that City Manager Melanie Mesko Lee has named Captain Tanya Schwartz as Burnsville's seventh police chief. Schwartz succeeds Eric Gieseke, who retired on April 30. Schwartz will be Burnsville's first female police chief.

Schwartz has been an officer for more than 23 years, all with the Burnsville Police Department. After being hired in 1995 as a cadet/community service officer, Schwartz was promoted the following year to police officer, then to sergeant in 2001, detective sergeant in 2009 and captain in 2012. A release from the city said Schwartz has also served on a number of committees and advisory boards during her tenure.

According to the release, Schwartz holds a master's degree in public safety administration from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, a bachelor's degree in psychology from Augsburg College and a law enforcement certificate from Metropolitan State University, and is also a graduate of the 264th FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.

"Tanya has provided many years of dedicated service to the organization and community, and I have confidence that she will bring that dedication along with a continued desire to fulfill the city's and department's top priorities now and into the future," Mesko Lee said in a news release. "Tanya's experience and perspective will continue to be valuable as a member of our leadership team, and as the head of our police department."

"It is such an honor and a privilege to be selected as Burnsville's next police chief. I am so grateful for the city's investment in me throughout my career, and am excited to give back and continue our strong culture of service and excellence in policing," Schwartz said. "I am proud of the men and women in our department and the work they do each day. I look forward to working with them and the rest of the city on the priorities they have identified as important to our agency moving forward."
May 14, 2019
city_pr_firm.pdf
City hires firm for brand development and marketing 2019April 18, 2019 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News reports:

City hires firm for brand development, marketing by John Gessner

Burnsville is hiring a marketing firm to develop and publicize a city brand — an identity that accentuates the city’s best features, unique character and natural assets.

The City Council voted Tuesday to hire AE2S Communications at a cost of up to $195,000. The contract with the firm requires the brand to be ready for unveiling at the 2019 Burnsville Fire Muster festival Sept. 4-7.

Branding is part of a broader plan the council approved last November to boost efforts to attract growth and redevelopment.

“The city is in a strong position for success with over 2,500 local businesses, excellent freeway access, a skilled and diverse workforce, and history as a destination within the Twin Cities metropolitan area,” says the new plan, which vows to “take the community to the next level in its evolution.”

The plan lays out strategies for attracting development and redevelopment and improving the image of Burnsville and Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191.

Branding is part of a strategy for continuing the city’s status as a regional destination. The plan’s first goal is ensuring the sustainability of Burnsville Center, which has struggled with vacancies in a changing retail environment, and the surrounding County Road 42 retail corridor. The city has adopted a redevelopment plan for the center and corridor.

AE2S will begin by learning about the community from city officials and others, said Andrea Boe, the company’s practice leader and marketing strategist.

Steps will include conducting interviews, hearing from focus groups and doing a community survey, Boe said. The process will tap a cross-section of the community, she said.

The city has used similar approaches in past “visioning” exercises, Mayor Elizabeth Kautz said.

“I like what I’m hearing in terms of your process and strategic direction,” she said.

The company will also develop a communications and marketing plan around the brand and identify target audiences, Boe said.

Under the contract, brand-development costs are limited to $136,000 and 2019 media buys to $55,000.

The contract also calls for the company to provide continuing marketing services for five years for no more than $183 per hour.

AE2S is a division of Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, which has done consulting work in Burnsville. AE2S was selected from among seven firms responding to the city’s request for qualifications for branding and marketing work.
May 11, 2019
Billy_Goat_Bridge_painting.jpg
Billy Goat Bridge paintingA painting of Billy Goat Bridge at Judicial Road and Burnsville Parkway.May 08, 2019
May_282C_2000un_Current_getting_to_the_heart.pdf
Getting to the heart of Burnsville's downtown efforts 2000August 28, 2000 Sun Newspaper reports on Burnsville's efforts to create what would become known as the Heart of the City.May 08, 2019
April_292C_2004_Cub_and_Condos_DCT.pdf
Cub, condos, other uses slated for Kmart site 2004April 29, 2004 Dakota County Tribune reports a retail office and residential development that includes Cub Foods is proposed for the vacant Kmart site and surrounding properties along East Travelers Trail and Nicollet Avenue... This was the site of the O'Regan farm.May 08, 2019
flags.pdf
Flag etiquette in Burnsville 2016Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News June 23, 2016 reports:

By John Gessner Jun 23, 2016


City will seek volunteers to help comply with flag code

Fred Ferris attended military school in junior high, served on his high school color guard and was an honor guard member at the dedication of the Eisenhower Presidential Museum on Veterans Day 1954.

The Burnsville resident knows his way around the U.S. Flag Code, the guiding federal document on flag etiquette. He wishes his city followed its advisory rules as much as he honors them.

For more than a decade Ferris, 76, has chafed at what he calls routine breaches of U.S. flag etiquette at city facilities — particularly entire weekends when flags are flown at half-staff instead of the during the code’s prescribed times, such as sunrise to noon on Memorial Day, a city holiday.

Officials say that without paying overtime, the city doesn’t have workers available to raise and lower flags at nine city locations at all the times specified in the code.

“It would have to be an overtime expense” costing about $40 to $45 an hour, said Terry Schultz, Burnsville’s parks, recreation and natural resources director.

But the city now plans to recruit volunteers to bolster its efforts to meet flag code guidance. A new flag policy approved Tuesday by the City Council doesn’t guarantee perfect compliance but says the city will seek volunteers to manage flags on city property with the goal of meeting “the explicit interpretation of flag etiquette whenever possible,” according to a staff report.

Ferris can get a little misty talking about the U.S. flag. He and a friend, Burnsville resident Tom Anderson, got the council’s attention on the issue and an impromptu spot on the council’s June 14 work session agenda.

“I was in the military a couple of years,” said Anderson, who served stateside in the Army from 1966 to 1968. “I think it does something to you, I think it does something good to you, meaning it creates a love for country that you don’t have before that. It did for me, anyway.”

In addition to his formal flag training, Ferris said he was influenced by his father, a stickler for flag etiquette. Overtime costs shouldn’t be a factor, Ferris said.

“Think about General Patton, when he took his tank group out of France into Belgium during a blizzard, and he said there was no way physically he could do this,” Ferris said. “He got there and he intercepted the Germans and he went through a blizzard overnight to get there.

“He didn’t worry about, ‘Well, damn, we can’t do it ’til Monday because I don’t have overtime.’ What it comes down to is, those guys put their life on the line so we could fly that flag. To me, that’s where it’s at.”

The city never intended to disrespect the flag, and it’s generally accepted that flag-flying organizations aren’t considered disrespectful if they don’t precisely comply with the code, Schultz said.

“The interest on the part of everybody, including these gentlemen, is to stay as close as we can on the very explicit directions on how to raise and lower the flag and the timing of that,” he said.

The nine city properties that fly flags are City Hall, fire stations 1 and 2 (which are staffed around the clock by firefighter-paramedics), Alimagnet and Lac Lavon parks (which fly flags on a seasonal basis), the Ames Sculpture in the Heart of the City, Bicentennial Garden at 130th Street and Nicollet Avenue, and the maintenance facility a block north of McAndrews Road.

“The policy basically says if we can get volunteers, then we will follow the letter of the explicit instructions,” Schultz said. “But short of that we’ll have staff do it as their schedule allows. In the case of the fire stations, their schedule allows them to follow it very closely.”

The code calls for flying flags at half-staff from sunrise to noon on Memorial Day, the last Monday in May. Four other days are reserved for half-staff from sunrise to sunset: Peace Officers Memorial Day, May 15; Patriot Day, Sept. 11; National Firefighters Memorial Day, the first Sunday in October; and Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Dec. 7.

Deaths of some high federal officials and orders of the president or the governor can also cause flags to be flown at half-staff. Burnsville flies the U.S., Minnesota and city flags; the MIA/POW flag is also flown at Bicentennial Gardens and Nicollet Commons Park.

Ferris kept track at eight city locations on Memorial Day and Peace Officers Memorial Day last month. By his count, only the two fire stations properly limited the half-staff hours on Memorial Day, and only Fire Station 2 did so on Peace Officers Memorial Day.

The new flag policy changes the city’s response to presidential and gubernatorial flag pronouncements. Now, any time the president or governor orders federal or state flags to half-staff, the city will follow, Schultz said. Before, the city lowered flags only when proclamations included passages encouraging everyone to follow them, he said.

Ferris said he’s willing to volunteer to raise and lower flags just as he did a decade or more ago — the first time he complained to city officials. He said he was given keys to gain access to flagpole ropes and told to raise and lower flags only when the city called on him.

He was called once to the Ames Sculpture and once to Bicentennial Gardens and didn’t hear from the city again, Ferris said.

“If they call me, I’ll go move a flag, and I’m sure I can go out and find enough volunteers to do it,” he said. “If I get four of us, because I would like to have two people at each site, I can do two sites. There’s people out there that would do this.”
May 04, 2019
Water_tower_behind_Kohls.JPG
Burnsville Water towerOne of Burnsville's water towers is visible behind the Kohls department store off McAndrews Drive.May 04, 2019
32581766537_aa84d10da9_k.jpg
Dan GustafsonDan Gustafson, Council member. Original photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.May 02, 2019
xcel_profile.pdf
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

Overview

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.
May 01, 2019
reps_of_gov~0.jpg
City Manager and council members at Metro Cities Annual Meeting 2019April, 2019 Members of Burnsville's City Council and Burnsville's City Manager attended the 2019 Metro Cities Annual Meeting last night. The event gave Burnsville's representatives a chance to meet with metro and regional colleagues as well as hear an update about what's happening at Minnesota's capitol this legislative session. During the evening, Burnsville City Manager, Melanie Mesko Lee, was re-elected to the Metro Cities board. We’re thankful for our continued partnership with Metro Cities.

Pictured (l-r): City Manager Melanie Mesko Lee, Council Member Dan Gustafson, Met Council Representative Phil Sterner, Council Member Cara Schulz and Council Member Dan Kealey. - Photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.
Apr 30, 2019
Chief_retires_2019.jpg
Eric Gieseke, after 30 years in Burnsville, police chief retiring 2019The City of Burnsville's thank you to Eric Gieseke appears on its website and Facebook page April 30, 2019.

After 30 years of giving his heart and soul to one police department, Burnsville’s sixth Police Chief, Eric Gieseke, is retiring today from the Police Department.

During his time in Burnsville, Gieseke championed the concepts of community and 21st century policing; lead the adoption of body-worn officer cameras; and received multiple awards including Burnsville Police Officer of the Year, State Officer of the Year and the John R. Finnegan Freedom of Information Award.

Thank you, Chief Gieseke, for your service to the Burnsville community!
Apr 30, 2019
Ames_profile~0.pdf
Ames Center 2019A profile of the Ames Center.Apr 29, 2019
recycled_cop_car.JPG
Burnsville police vehicleA "recycled" Burnsville police vehicle, being used in 2019.Apr 26, 2019
1713 files on 58 page(s) 1