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Dakota County road construction advances

Dakota County Board Tuesday, June 5, gave its approval to move forward with construction projects across the county.

One stretch of Highway 55, according to Dakota County Engineer Mark Krebsbach, can be particularly dicey.

Krebsbach said left turn lanes are needed for Highway 55 westbound traffic at County Highway 42 and for eastbound 55 traffic at Fahey Avenue. The lack of turn lanes have resulted in increased traffic collisions, he added.

The county will go out for bids for the project in July, according to Krebsbach, with the hope to have construction work completed in October.

The widening of Highway 55 to accommodate the turn lanes will require a detour, Krebsbach said, the details of which are still being discussed.

Block grants

To receive federal funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Dakota County needs a board-approved community development action plan submitted by the end of June.

Commissioners gave their approval Tuesday morning after Maggie Dykes, Assistant Director, Community and Economic Development at Dakota County Community Development Agency, told board members these programs have seen some increases in funding in recent years, the biggest jump an increase of 40 percent over last year's HOME grant dollars.

"That was really unexpected," Dykes said.

According to Dykes, 75 percent of HOME money is slated for a 40-unit affordable housing development in Inver Grove Heights.

Dakota County is the lead agency for the Dakota County HOME Consortium — which also includes Anoka, Ramsey, and Washington counties as well as the cities of Woodbury and Coon Rapids. Dakota County assumes the role of monitoring and oversight of the HOME funds for the consortium.

The county received $982,523 of the consortium's total allotment of slightly more than $2.5 million in HOME funds.

The Community Development Block Grant increased roughly 9 percent over last year and sits just shy of $2 million, the majority of which — 65 percent — is set aside for residential rehab.

Libraries

Dakota County Board accepted three gifts on behalf of area libraries totaling roughly $12,500.

Friends of the Wescott Library donated $7,056.34 to the Wescott Library in Eagan. Approximately $3,100 is to support STEM and Homeschool Science programs through the library.

New book bins will be purchased for the Inver Glen Library in after the Friends of Inver Glen Library donated $4,000.

Wentworth Library in West St. Paul received $1,500 for memory kits from Friends of the Wentworth Library.

John R. Russett

John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett

 

(651) 301-7876
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