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'Southern gateway' could get a facelift

The Rosemount City Council would like to spruce up the southern entrance of the city and passed a resolution Aug. 4 that could lead the way to grant money to begin the project.

To help with the cost of a market and feasibility study the city has submitted an application to the Metropolitan Council for a Livable Communities Demonstration Account grant for $23,500.

The grant application states that the commercial area along South Robert Trail from County Road 42 to County Road 46 needs revamping to add to the city's tax base and to bring in more jobs for residents.

City staff has titled the area the South Gateway District since the project area serves as the gateway into Rosemount for all travelers heading north on Highway 3.

The Livable Communities grant program helps facilitate future development of designated areas by helping cover some of the initial planning costs. In Rosemount's case it would pay for consultants to conduct market and feasibility studies of the area.

The grant would also help the city develop a framework plan to develop the area. The plan would evaluate what businesses and uses are suitable in the north half of the area and develop a strategy for the south parcels.

Receiving the grant also would pave the way to receive additional funds from other grant programs as the project moves forward.

This isn't the first time the city has applied for a Livable Communities grant. In the past the city used this grant to create the framework for the revitalization of downtown.

The, 210-acre hourglass shaped, area is designated for commercial uses by the city's comprehensive plan. The north half of the project area has been developed with commercial and light industrial businesses. According to the grant application many of the buildings in the northern section have outlived their usefulness and are in need of redevelopment. Businesses such as Carlson Tractor business and Rick's Auto could be impacted.

The south half consists mostly of agricultural property, however; some clean up is needed at the former Rosemount Village dump site.

If the grant is awarded to the city, a task force will be created in early 2011 to develop and write the plan.