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City notes: Changes are ahead in Rosemount

The end of the year is a time when many of us take stock of how far we’ve come in life and where we hope to go. In city government, that’s not limited to a single time of the year. We continually study how our community is changing and we project what’s ahead.

The city of Rosemount will have extra work along those lines next year. We have to update our comprehensive plan for the city’s growth in light of UMore Park’s intention to open 750 acres for development. We are also taking early steps for a major update of the plan in 2018, as required by state law.

We draw on many points of data to make the comprehensive plan our best guide to what the future will hold for our community. Recently the census bureau released new survey data on Rosemount and neighboring communities that will help our planning.

The data show we have a younger population than most cities in Dakota County. More than a third of our households consist of a married couple with children under 18. Still, our older population is increasing.

The median household income in Rosemount was $83,142 in the years 2010-12. That, too, is one of the highest levels in the county. Pay stagnated because of the great recession. As the economy improves, our marketplace becomes more attractive and we have more opportunities for economic development.

We also see evidence of what the Star Tribune recently called the “suburbanization of immigrants.” Parts of Rosemount — the area centered on downtown and the southwest corner of the city — have more than 10 percent of their population born outside the U.S.

Those are small percentages compared with much of the Twin Cities, but a big change from 20 years ago, when the foreign-born population of Rosemount was less than 3 percent. As our community becomes increasingly diverse, our planning must reflect changing needs and strengths.

In light of those trends, we value even more the events that bring us together. One of those events arrives soon. We look forward to the performance of the Rosemount High School marching band in the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day.

The students, their directors and their families have worked hard and made sacrifices to achieve the level of excellence that will be on display for a global audience. We wish them a safe journey. They go with our pride and appreciation for the way they represent our community.

For them, and for all the residents of Rosemount, my colleagues on the city council and I wish you the happiest of holidays, and a safe and prosperous new year.

Written by Rosemount Mayor William Droste.