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Volume 11: Edition 6, June 2013 Print the Newsletter

Plan to attend a Parks Planning Open House June 5 and 12

 
 Attend an open house to provide input on Mankato's parks plan.

Citizen input is helpful and important when making city decisions. Plan to attend an open house to provide input about Mankato's parks plan:

  • 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 5
  • 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 12

Both events will be held in the Sibley Park Pavilion at Sibley Park, 900 Park. Feedback may also be provided through an online survey.

Since most list parks as one of top amenities that impacts quality of life, citizen input is important and helpful when updating Mankato's parks plan. Once updated, Mankato's parks plan, will be used as a planning tool to help make sound decisions about park and trail development in the city.

The plan helps ensure park investments for the future are part of a greater whole--an interrelated system fo wetlands, woodlands, recreation fields, trails, playgrounds and parkways that connect to each other and reach out to connect people in neighborhoods and schools.

For more information contact staff at 507-387-8611.

Conserving water is most cost effective way to avoid possible future problems

Preserve water
 Since water is a valuable resource, it's important to conserve and reduce water usage.

Conserving and using less water is the most cost effective way to avoid possible future infrastructure and availability problems, including water shortages. The city of Mankato is committed to being a good steward and protecting natural resources so lawn watering restrictions are in effect. Since water is a valuable and limited resource, it's important to reduce water usage. Doing so helps preserve area groundwater resources for sustainability to ensure adequate and safe water supply for our community. Mankato is participating in a Mt. Simon Aquifer user's group which is studying withdrawal rates and sustainability of this water source that has been in place for hundreds of years. Mt. Simon is a vast aquifer and has been identified as a significant water source. If water is removed at a quicker rate than nature is replacing it, concerns arise as to how long water will continue to be available in the Mt. Simon Aquifer. Learn about groundwater and the Mt. Simon Aquifer--a major source of groundwater that serves our area, southeastern Minnesota and the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Although there have been several rain events recently, as early as last fall the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources placed this area in a severe drought which requires a community to reduce its water pumping allowance. Although the drought restriction is not currently in place, one effective conservation strategy is to balance water usage on an ongoing basis eliminating high water usage peak periods.

Water restrictions are not unique to our community. Water conservation is a responsible initiative happening throughout the country and world to reduce environmental impacts and ecological scarcities.

Answers to frequently-asked questions about lawn watering restrictions:

Who do lawn watering restrictions apply to?
Everyone using city of Mankato water.

When is it okay to water lawns?
It's easy:

  • odd-numbered street addresses may water on odd-numbered days (1, 3, 5, 7, 9)
  • even-numbered street addresses may water on even-numbered days (0, 2, 4, 6, 8)
  • multiple unit complexes may water based on the lowest-numbered complex address. For example, if the lowest number of the complex is 1--watering is permitted on odd-numbered days; if it is 2--watering is permitted on even-numbered days.

Exceptions:

  • new landscaping, sod or seed within 30 days of being installed (with a city permit)*
  • gardens and flower beds (with a hand-held hose)
  • children's water toys (must be attended)
  • washing vehicles

New landscaping, sod or seed permits are available online or call 311 or 507-387-8600.

See resourceful ways to save water. Part of the city's conservation effort is to irrigate park and green space with reclaimed water (recycled wastewater). Mankato is a state leader for meeting wastewater quality standards.

What is the penalty for violating lawn watering restrictions?

  • first notice: warning
  • second notice: $50
  • third notice: $100
  • fourth notice: disconnection of irrigation meter or outdoor connection

How can an irrigation violation be reported?
Online by completing a customer service form; or, contact city staff at 311 or 507-387-8600.

For questions or more information contact staff at the city of Mankato at 311 or 507-387-8600.

Keep storm drains clean

Photo by by Deb Gruhlke, Mankato

Did you know that storm drains provide a direct link between daily activities and water pollution? Rain flows through storm drains to the nearest lakes, streams, rivers and wetlands. Storm water often contains materials found on streets and parking lots (grass clippings, oil, antifreeze, gasoline, soil, litter, pet wastes, fertilizers, pesticides and leaves). When these materials enter lakes and streams, they become pollutants that can kill fish and reduce water aesthetics.

Avoid disposing motor oil, antifreeze, pesticides, paints, solvents, or other materials in storm drains; sweep fertilizer and soil off driveways and walkways and flush or bury pet wastes. Bring household hazardous wastes to Blue Earth County’s household hazardous waste facility, 651 Summit Avenue. Learn more.

Although grass clippings seem harmless enough; when it rains, grass clippings can end up in storm drains and create blockages. Help avoid this:

  • compost grass clippings;
  • keep mowed grass off the street;
  • avoid dumping grass into ravines;
  • prevent leaves or grass clippings from accumulating on driveways, sidewalks, or in streets.

Compost at home, have compost picked up curbside (for an extra charge), or bring to the Southern Minnesota Construction (SMC) site, 3600 Third Avenue, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Learn more.

For more information contact public works staff at 507-387-8543.

Applications being accepted for Mankato's housing rehabilitation options

Looking to enhance your home? Consider applying for one of two city of Mankato housing rehabilitation programs for  home and building owners:

Owner Occupied Housing Rehabilitation program
Funding is for low to moderate income families in Lincoln Park, Washington Park, Sibley Park, Germania Park, Tourtellotte Park and Mankato’s hilltop.

Rental Rehabilitation program
Funding is for building owners mixed-use buildings who rent to low to moderate income households in the City Center. (A 50 percent match is required from the property owner.)

Funds from both programs are provided as zero percent deferred loans and can be used for new siding, windows, roofs, furnaces, handicap accessibility needs and necessary interior improvements. No payments are required unless the home is sold within 10 years.

Learn more. For more information, contact staff at 507-387-8687.

Well-qualified employees serve Mankato citizens

Ashley Steevens, public works

Initiative and effort are commendable qualities in employees who are recognized for their quality service:

Ashley Steevens, public works, earned professional certification as an arborist by successfully completing an examination given by the International Society of Arboriculture.

311 Mankato – one call does it all

Call 311 or 507-387-8600 for answers to city of Mankato service questions.

Have a city of Mankato service question? Contact 311customer service staff between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, to have them answered:

  • by phone at 311 or 507-387-8600;
  • at the counter on the first floor of the Intergovernmental Governmental Center, 10 Civic Center Plaza;
  • or, chat live with staff online.

For questions outside of business hours, complete an online customer service request.

311 is a toll-free number reserved nationwide for non-emergency calls to government offices. A major benefit of 311 is that it serves non-emergency calls once directed to 911. Currently, 311 is available to Charter, HickoryTech, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile customers. City staff are looking to expand 311 with other carrier providers.

For more information contact staff at 507-387-8516.

Good to know--city dog ordinances

Kiwanis Recreation Area
Kiwanis Recreation Area along Highway 169 features two dog park areas.

When taking dogs out for a walk or to a city park, it’s good to know city of Mankato dog ordinances and other information:

Parks that allow dogs
Dogs may be brought to Erlandson, Highland, Lions, F.A. Buscher, Land of memories and Kiwanis Recreation Area, which feature special areas for dogs. Dogs are also allowed at Willard Parkway, Premier Pond, Rasmussen Woods and the Minnesota River and Red Jacket trails. See the city code.

Leashes and clean-up
For the safety of the public and the dog, keep dogs (and cats) on a leash (no more than 10 feet long). Remember to clean up after dogs because it:
5. shows courtesy to neighbors;
4. reduces exposure to parasites;
3. keeps storm drains and local water systems free of these pollutants;
2. enhances neighborhood livability by keeping the yard, boulevard and park clean;
1. it’s the law.

Licenses
City dog licenses are required for dogs more than six months old. Licenses can be purchased on the first floor of the Intergovernmental Center, 10 Civic Center Plaza, or at the animal impound, 903 Mound Avenue. Licensing can help reunite owners with their lost pets. A current rabies certificate must be presented to purchase a license.  Fees:

  • spayed/neutered–one year license $5
  • spayed/neutered–two year license $10
  • non-spayed/non-neutered–one year license $10
  • non-spayed/non-neutered–two year license $20

Barking
Dogs that bark uncontrollably are considered a nuisance. Owners are asked to control dogs against barking, yelping or howling (any time day or night).

Lost pets
To report a lost pet, contact staff at 507-387-8590, or view impounded animals on Mankato’s Lost Pets page. Claim lost pets at the animal impound, 903 Mound Avenue. Owners are responsible for paying applicable fees. Dog owners must provide proof of rabies vaccinations and purchase a license if the dog does not have one.

View resources about pet safety. See Minnesota statutes about pets in motor vehicles and care requirements.

Learn more about city of Mankato codes related to animals, and see answers to frequently asked questions about pets.

For more information contact staff at 507-387-8590. 

Enter Mankato’s 2014 photo contest

Beautiful blooming by Steve Zimmerman
Beautiful blooming by Steve Zimmerman, Mankato

Now’s a great time to capture favorite photos of Mankato’s places and spaces for Mankato’s annual photo contest. Anyone may participate. Photos must be taken within Mankato city limits in the last two years. Download an entry form.

Thank you to Minnesota Soybean and AgStar Financial Services, ACA for partnering to sponsor the 2013 calendar. Without this sponsorship, printing of the calendar could not continue.

For more information about the contest or to receive a city calendar, contact staff at 507-387-8692.

Mankato’s bus—your destination on time

City bus
Ride the bus with us. Call 507-625-RIDE (7433).

Reach your destination on time. Ride Mankato’s city bus—it’s efficient, cost effective and reliable.

Direct service is provided to major Mankato area destinations including the River Hills Mall and Wal-Mart (routes three and six) and expanded service to the YMCA and Cub Foods on Riverfront Drive.

Purchase bus passes or tokens at the Intergovernmental Center, 10 Civic Center Plaza, the cashier’s office in the Wigley Administration building at Minnesota State University, or from the bus driver.

Learn more about Mankato’s buses and see routes online.

For more information, or to advertise on a city bus, contact public works staff at 507-387-8655.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Stay connected with the city of Mankato:

  • Follow the city on Facebook.
  • Subscribe to Twitter:
    • @cityofmankato--all city of news alerts
    • @mktostreets--be one of the first to learn about street detours and closures due to construction and water main breaks

For more information, contact staff at 507-387-8692.

Be Roundabout Ready

Be Roundabout Ready. Stay informed about the Highway 22 roundabout project.

Multi-lane roundabouts are planned for the Highway 22 intersections with Madison Avenue and Adams Street in the retail area of Mankato in 2014.

The project includes installing flashing yellow arrows for left-turn signals on Highway 22 through Mankato; and sidewalk and pedestrian trail accessibility improvements along Highway 22 to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Project design will occur throughout the year and construction is scheduled to begin spring 2014. All work will occur during one construction season to minimize business impacts. Once complete, Highway 22 will provide a safer and more efficient ride for motorists traveling through Mankato.

Project benefits:

  • roundabouts help improve safety by reducing the chances of serious injury/fatal crashes;
  • roundabouts help significantly reduce current and future user delays;
  • flashing yellow arrow displays (shown to be the most understood display for permitted left turns) will increase capacity and reduce delays.

See fast facts about the Highway 22 roundabouts project, a collaboration between the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the city of Mankato and Blue Earth County. Learn more.

For more information contact staff at 507-387-8640. 

New police officers join city of Mankato team

Police officers take oath of office
Police Officers Jesus Saenz, Jr., Todd DeJong and Christopher Arkell  take oath of office. Also pictured are Director of Public Safety Todd A. Miller and City Attorney Eileen Wells

Jesus Saenz Jr., Todd DeJong and Christopher Arkell recently took oath of office.

Saenz and Dejong are graduates of Minnesota State University, Mankato; and Arkell graduated from Metropolitan State University. All will participate in a 16-week training program to prepare to serve the community.

Sergeants take oath of office
Sergeants Justin Neumann, Adam Gray and Jeff Knutson take oath of office. Also pictured are Todd A. Miller, director of public safety, and Eileen Wells, city attonrey.

City police officers promoted to sergeant
City police officers Justin Neumann, Adam Gray and Jeff Knutson were promoted to sergeant and recently took oath of office to serve in their new roles.

During the presentation, Gray was presented with a Toward Zero Death award for his committment to the program.

Mankato recognized as a Step Two GreenStep city

The GreenStep Cities program has recognized the city of Mankato has a Step Two GreenStep city for using best practices to help achieve sustainability goals and cost savings and reducing energy use. The city of Mankato was recognized for its:

  • high quality water;
  • commitment to historical preservation efforts;
  • achievement of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings in the city including Orness Plaza, the Public Safety Center and Mankato Area Public Schools' Rosa Parks Elementary School
  • ongoing efforts to offer low and in-grant programs designed to improve efficiency for residents and property owners.

Mankato was the first southern and outstate city in Minnesota to commit to the GreenStep Cities program, an effort of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

For more information contact staff at 507-387-8571.

Give “your take” the city of Mankato can be environmental-friendly and sustainable

Mankato has recently been recognized as a Step Two GreenStep City. What’s “your take” on other ways the city of Mankato can be environmental-friendly and sustainable?

Hoffman Road restrictions begin Saturday

Upcoming road restrictions and closures for Hoffman Road (between Thomas Park Court and Diamond Creek Road) beginning at 7 a.m.:

  • Saturday (June 1), traffic will be restricted to one lane in each direction so new storm sewer manholes can be installed.
  • Monday (June 3), Hoffman Road will be closed for utility installation. The road is expected to reopen in the evening.
  • Tuesday (June 4), traffic will be restricted to one lane in each direction.

Weather permitting, work is expected to be complete by Friday (June 7).

Be informed about Mankato street closures due to construction and water main breaks. Follow @mktostreets on Twitter.

For more information contact staff at 507-387-8643

Consume with confidence

Consume with confidence.  

Mankato's water is tested daily and meets and exceeds state and federal standards for high-quality water. View Mankato's annual consumer water report. While the results are positive, the city of Mankato continuously looks for ways to enhance water services to residents.

To request a printed copy, or for more information, contact staff at 311, 507-387-8600, or 507-387-8661 (24-hour service).

Spotlight on Volunteers – Calpine Corporation, Mankato Energy Center

Spotlight on volunteers
Kasandra Trout, administrative assistant with Calpine Corporation--Mankato Energy Center

Kasandra Trout, administrative assistant at Calpine Corporation-- Mankato Energy Center, said she’s always looking for staff volunteer opportunities. One day, she decided to see if there was anything they could do to help the city of Mankato. She contacted city staff and found something that would be a good fit—cleaning a bike trail along Highway 14 near Calpine Corporation.

“A lot of our employees like to go on the bike trails, so we thought cleaning one of the bike trails was a good idea," she said.

Trout added that staff enjoy volunteering and its rewarding. “Going out and helping others not only benefits them, it benefits you. It’s a great way to give back to the community.”

In the last year, volunteers donated more than 340 hours to various city projects. Help make a difference--become a city of Mankato volunteer. Learn more, and apply online.

For more information contact staff at 507-387-8621.

Visit Sibley Farm

Sibley Farm
Sibley Farm in Sibley Park, 900 Mound Avenue.

Sibley Park, 900 Mound Avenue, is home to Sibley Farm. Visitors can walk through red barn-style buildings to view farm animals, which include alpacas, calves, goats, horses, lambs, ducklings and a miniature donkey. Koi fish are in the pond.

As the weather gets warmer, peacocks, chicks and ducklings are expected to arrive. Sibley Farm is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

The red barn shelter near Sibley Farm is available to reserve. Amenities include electricity, up to eight picnic tables and a brick courtyard. Reserve the red barn shelter or other park facility.

For more information contact staff at 311 or 507-387-8600.

Help keep Mankato looking its best

Mow lawns to prevent tall weeds and grass to help keep Mankato looking its best. Property owners are responsible for controlling weeds on their property and any abutting boulevard or alley. A $60 administrative fee will be charged if lawns are cited for being unmowed. An additional $60 fee plus the mowing cost is added if the city of Mankato has a contractor mow the property.

See the city code and annual weed notice.

Report tall weeds and grass online. For more information, call 311 or 507-387-8600. 

Splash into Tourtellotte Pool

Free falling delight by Allen Schmidt
Free falling delight by Allen Schmidt

Tourtellotte Pool, 300 Mabel Street, features an Olympic-sized pool, separate diving area and a heated wading pool for children up to 6-years-old. Lifeguards are on duty and concessions are offered on-site.

See pool hours and costs. Pool rules and policies can be found online. Learn more about reserving Tourtellotte Pool for an event or party.

For more information about Tourtellotte Pool call 507-387-7946, or contact Mankato YMCA staff at 507-387-8255.

Hubbard House events in June

Hubbard House
 Hubbard House, 606 South Broad Street

Victorian lawn party
1 p.m. to 4 p.m., June 1

Spend a family friendly afternoon on the lawn of the Hubbard House for turn of the century games and costumed characters portraying the Hubbard family and friends. Living history tours of the Hubbard House are available with paid admission.

Story time at the Hubbard House
10:30 a.m., Fridays (beginning June 7)

Join Katherine and Mary Ester Hubbard and friends for a story, craft and activity.

The Hubbard House, 606 South Broad Street, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Admission prices are $5 for adults and $2 for children ages five to 17. There is no cost for children less than age five and Blue Earth County Historical Society members.

Since 1938, the city of Mankato has owned the Hubbard House and assisted the Blue Earth County Historical Society with maintenance.

For more information contact the Blue Earth County Historical Society at 507-345-5566.

Learn how to prune; register today

Interested in volunteering to help care for trees in the city of Mankato? Consider taking part in a training opportunity to learn how to prune unwanted growth on tree branches, trunks or roots. The University of Minnesota provides the training at a cost of $50. Training is expected to be held in June, based on participant interest.

Training is key because knowing how to prune is important. If pruning is not done correctly, it can impact a tree’s form and growth. Once trained, participants may assist with trimming city trees and other park areas. Those who volunteer at least 20 hours may keep their assigned pruning tool.

If interested in participating, to register, or for more information contact staff at 507-387-8580.

Quality entertainment at the civic center

Riverfront Park
Riverfront Park by Ted Jacobson, Mankato.

Arts by the River Festival in Riverfront Park
Saturday, June 8 through Sunday, June 9

61st Minnesota Square and Round Dance Convention
Friday, June 14 through Sunday, June 16

Solstice Outdoor Music Festival in Riverfront Park
1 p.m., Saturday, June 15
1 p.m., Sunday, June 16

The Jagermeister Country Tour featuring: Aaron Lewis in Riverfront Park
7 p.m., Wednesday, June 19

Rockin by the River Mankato Symphony Orchestra in Riverfront Park
5:30 p.m., Saturday, June 22

Heaven is for real—live at MSU Taylor Center
7:30 p.m., Friday, June 28

Blues Traveler with special guest Indigenous
7 p.m., Saturday, June 29

Follow Verizon Wireless Center on its online blog. Sign up for EventMail to receive the latest news about civic center events.

For more information contact staff at 507-389-3000.

24-hour city services

  • Public safety—police and fire: 911
  • Crime solvers tip line and graffiti hotline: 507-345-1023
  • Street maintenance requests: 507-345-0600
  • Water: 507-387-8661
  • Complete a customer service request online
  • File a police report online
  • Pay utility bills
  • Pay parking citations
  • Pay a city invoice
  • Apply for a job
  • Apply to volunteer
  • Make a city park reservation
  • Report a street light outage
  • Find a bus route
  • www.ci.mankato.mn.us

Other helpful phone numbers

  • Compost site: 507-388-3122
  • Waste and recycling 24-hour hotline: 507-304-4242
  • Recycle center: 507-388-1157
  • Non-emergency calls: 311 or 507-387-8600

Editor
507-387-8692

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