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City notes: Several city projects are in the works

You wouldn't mistake it for a building spree, but the city of Rosemount is drawing up plans for several projects that will get under way in the next few months and will provide community enhancements for years to come.

The city council started the process in December by passing a budget and updating Rosemount's 10-year plan for capital improvements. That kind of long-term planning is key to helping the city make the best decisions about the timing of new projects. Just as important, it helps us figure out how to pay for them in a way that doesn't break the bank.

This year the list includes construction of an underpass to improve the safety of pedestrians going from one side of Highway 3 to the other. It will be built near the high school football stadium.

We are also looking at plans to improve the shelter at Erickson Park. It comes in for heavy use during the softball season and the popularity of those leagues means more space is needed. Already, we've completed street and parking lot improvements nearby.

We also expect to build park amenities for the youngest and the oldest in our community. We will put in a simple splash pad to entertain kids during hot weather. And we hope to install exercise stations designed with seniors in mind. There will also be construction of the first playing fields on the property donated to the city by Flint Hills Resources, at Bonaire and Akron.

Improvements will continue at the Steeple Center this year with the addition of air conditioning and enhancements to the sound system. Renovations are also under way at the community center, where the banquet room is being updated along with nearby restrooms. And work is expected to begin this year on a senior center as part of a housing development on the site of the old St. Joe's school.

We are also devising plans for the road near Business Parkway north of County Road 42, where a hotel is planned. And we will do preliminary planning for an improved intersection at 42 and Highway 52.

Along with our usual street improvements, that makes for a busy year of construction in Rosemount. Most of these items have been under consideration for years. They're starting now because they were included in the goals set by the city council last year.

The council has just begun another round of its goal-setting process. As they have before, council members will look for ways to add amenities to the community and preserve investments already made, balanced with the need to maintain reasonable tax rates. As our budgeting process speeds up again late in the year, feedback from our residents and businesses is always welcome.