City marks historic first vote by women

South St. Paul, where the first women in the country cast election ballots the day after they got the vote in 1920, marked the 19th Amendment's centennial last week with events at Lawshe Park, site of that first historic vote.

The park was lit in suffrage colors of purple and gold on Wednesday night as part of the national "Forward Into Light" campaign, said community affairs liaison Deb Griffith.

On Thursday, the date of the vote, 90 luminarias were placed in the park to represent the 90 South St. Paul women who cast votes on a bonding bill to build a city water tower. Yellow roses, which symbolized suffrage in 1920, were handed out as more than 100 people went through the park.

The city's plans for bigger events were canceled due to the coronavirus, Griffith said, but it intends to go forward with them next August.



Lakes at Lyndale project complete

Lakes at Lyndale, the redevelopment of 64th Street and Lyndale Avenue in Richfield, is complete after two decades of planning and building, city officials said.

The final piece, a high-end condo building called Lakeside at Lyndale Gardens, was completed in July, with residents moving in this month.

City officials in 1999 approved a plan for the area, and the Housing and Redevelopment Authority agreed in 2011 to use tax-increment financing to fund it. Lakewinds Food Co-op opened in 2013, and last winter the Henley, a 66-unit apartment complex, began accepting tenants.

The nine-acre, mixed-use project, featuring an amphitheater and trail that connects to Richfield Lake, was designed to host gatherings, a farmers market and live music.

Erin Adler


Board takes next step in Hwy. 10 project

The Anoka County Board has signed off on the next big step in the Hwy. 10 project to address three congested intersections along the highway in the city of Anoka.

The board approved about $3.5 million in land acquisition, along with roughly $4.5 million to cover design costs. The project will be funded through $15 million in state bonding that the county secured during the 2018 legislative session.

The project aims to build improved interchanges where Hwy. 10 crosses W. Main Street, Fairoak Avenue and Thurston Avenue. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and last two to three years, a process that Board Chairman Scott Schulte described as "no pain, no gain."

Kim Hyatt


St. Paul providing city's fire services

Lauderdale has begun contracting with the St. Paul Fire Department for fire services. The new contract went into effect on July 30, at an annual cost to the city of $75,000.

The city of 2,500, on the western edge of Ramsey County, had been contracting for fire services with neighboring Falcon Heights. Lauderdale City Administrator Heather Butkowski said the City Council made the switch because the St. Paul department has a professional, full-time staff and expertise in dealing with hazardous materials.

St. Paul Fire has been providing Lauderdale's emergency medical service since the 1990s, an arrangement that will continue.

Shannon Prather