Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening.
You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'.
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Two Rosemount restaurants were granted liquor licenses by the city council Tuesday. Café Raisa and TOPS Pizza and Hoagies both received upgraded licenses. Raisa Prokopenko applied for and received a consumption and display permit for her restaurant, Café Raisa, which serves Russian cuisine. The permit allows for customers to bring intoxicating liquor on the premises and the cafe can serve mixers just as juice or pop, said city clerk Amy Domeier. However the permit does not allow for the sale of intoxicating liquors. The café also holds a strong beer and wine license.
The Rosemount City Council approved the final budget and levy for 2011 on Tuesday. After holding a public hearing the council unanimously approved the numbers. Finance director Jeff May said the city's total budget for 2011 is $16,635,444 which includes the city's levies. The total proposed amount the city will tax residents is $10,962,151. Those numbers bring good news to most residents, said May. The budget for 2011 will reduce the city share of taxes by $60 for the owner of median value home. That is in addition to the $77 reduction that passed in 2010.
When Evan Lowe was 3 years old, his mom, Patti Spencer, took him to the Irish Fair at Harriet Island. She wanted to see the Irish dancers. He didn't. Evan lost the argument, and 11 years later he's glad he did. "We went in and then they couldn't get me to leave," said Lowe. From that moment on Lowe, a freshman at Rosemount High School, has lived to dance. He dances everywhere: in the shower, in gym class and at the studio. "Last week I got kicked out of gym class for dancing when we were playing volleyball," Lowe said with a smile.
The person who takes on Kurt Bills' council seat will have a short learning curve. The two years left on the seat is usually what it takes for a new council member to start feeling comfortable. The benefit of time is not on their side. "Whoever it is, is going to have to figure things out fast," said mayor Bill Droste. During their Dec. 7 meeting the council laid out the process to appoint a new member to replace Bills, who will take over in January as State Representative in District 37B.
The Rosemount City Council will convene for a regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at city hall. On the agenda the council has three public hearings including the 2011 Budget and Tax Levy hearing, a liquor license application for Cafe Raisa and a liquor license for Tops Pizza. In addition the council will discuss the procedure to fill a vacancy left by resigning council member Kurt Bills.
December will be a busy month in Rosemount, with several events planned to mark the Christmas season. Here is a list of what is going on around town. Get out and enjoy some homegrown entertainment. A Christmas production The Rosemount United Methodist Church has two events that will celebrate the season in very different but musical ways. On Dec. 11 and 12 the church's worship arts department will put on a production called "Is there room?" Worship arts director Natalie Olsen said the event will include a little bit of everything.
The Dakota County Libraries held a short story writing contest for teens. And while participation wasn't huge the stories that resulted were wonderful. "I was very impressed with their creativity," said Gladys Kim, teen librarian for Robert Trail Library. "I'm just amazed when kids take the time to sit down and write." In all, 19 middle school students and nine high school students participated. To get inspiration the students were asked to look at a picture of a guitar in a field with a person in the background and write a story based on it.
There are only a few certainties in life and taxes are one of them. While you're going to have to pay them, you can say something about the way your money gets spent. The city will hold its Truth in Taxation meeting at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at city hall. The meeting, while dry, will give residents the chance to have their say about the 2011 budget and levies. Finance director Jeff May said he and city administrator Dwight Johnson will begin the meeting by giving a brief presentation on the budget and levies.
Despite misgivings expressed by some downtown business owners the Rosemount Planning Commission voted last week to recommend the city council adopt a new Downtown Zoning Ordinance, after tabling the item on Oct. 26. The commission tabled the item to allow staff, time to address issues brought up by business owner Don Sinnwell. Time didn't seem to change much, though, as the commission recommended the ordinance with only one slight change. During an Oct. 26 public hearing for the ordinance Sinnwell brought a list of 16 concerns to the commission.
As a business, sometimes it pays to reinvent. At least that's what the owners of TOPS Pizza and Hoagies: The Original Philadelphia Style are hoping for. The small, family-owned restaurant is expanding its current location, at 14531 Dodd Blvd., by 2,000 sq. ft. and will add a full service bar. Owner Markos Chouliaris said they hope to have the new area open before the New Year starts. Markos and Soula Chouliaris opened TOPS in 1990. At the time, fewer than 3,000 people lived in town. As the town grew, so did TOPS.