Minnesota Cities Magazine

Bits & Briefs

Submit Your Entry Today for an LMC Award
Each and every day, Minnesota city officialstrophy image throughout the state do outstanding work that promotes quality of life in our communities. The League of Minnesota Cities honors these special achievements each year with the City of Excellence Awards for city initiatives, C.C. Ludwig Awards for elected officials, and Leadership Awards for appointed officials. This is a great opportunity to showcase the good work your city and its leaders have done. The deadline to submit entries is April 30. Submit your entry today! Learn more about the LMC awards.

firefighterHot off the Press: The Latest Report on Firefighter Injuries
Good news for firefighters and the cities who love them: injuries on the job in 2012 were at the lowest recorded level nationally since 1981—that’s when the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) started tracking the data. Of the injuries reported, 20.6 percent resulted in time off from the job. Updated data from the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust’s (LMCIT) ongoing fire injury study indicates that the leading cause of injury to firefighters in Minnesota continues to be musculoskeletal sprains and strains caused by overexertion at the fire scene. The LMCIT data is used to develop materials and programs that help prevent and mitigate injuries. Learn more about the study data by attending LMCIT’s 2014 Safety and Loss Control Workshops. Read the NFPA report.

Energy-Saving Info Available in Español
If your city’s efforts to educate residents Spanish language resource image about clean energy and efficiency are hampered by a language barrier, the nonprofit Do It Green! Minnesota has made a variety of Spanish-language materials available for free as part of its Diversity Project. The materials include an energy-saving task checklist and an activity book for young learners. The materials come from a variety of sources—Do It Green! Minnesota secured a grant from the Carolyn Foundation to compile, print, and distribute the materials. Electronic versions of the information are also available. For more information, contact Eva Lewandowski at eva@doitgreen.org. Learn more about the Spanish materials.

Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service
The National League of Cities is encouraging mayors to declare April 1 the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service. This event, first held in 2013, honors the service of AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other national programs that support the work of nonprofits and cities. The goal of the day is to highlight the impact these programs have had in your city and to thank those who are serving. Learn more about Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service.

Resolved to Reduce
The City of Grand Rapids is taking aim at plastic grocery bag waste with a resolution to raise awareness about the household item’s environmental and economic impact. A community group began the initiative to reduce plastic bag use, according to the Grand Rapids Herald-Review, and now has the support of the two major grocery stores in town. In addition to the resolution, the collaboration between residents, city, and business community has resulted so far in the distribution of hundreds of reusable shopping bags, stickers to remind residents to bring their bags shopping, and an education campaign promoting the benefits of switching. The resolution, which is not a ban, is believed to be the first of its kind in Minnesota.

Small Cities, Smart Growth
Does your small city have a bright future? You’re not alone. A National Association of Realtors report, “On Common Ground—Small Towns and Rural Places,” provides case studies of small communities and the tools they’re using to cultivate smart growth. Art, community, transit, affordability, and “heritage-based economic development,” are just a few of the approaches being used across the country to create vibrant small communities. Read the report.

Red Wing’s Public- Private Solar Partnership
solar panel imageWhen the City of Red Wing’s Jay McCleary stopped by a residential solar power showcase in 2011, it was mostly to satisfy personal curiosity. But through contacts the public works director made that day, that curiosity has turned into the state’s first public-private partnership for alternative solar energy. Almost three years later, six solar energy projects have been installed at City of Red Wing facilities, he explained recently in Public Works magazine. The installations feature solar panels made by Silicon Energy, a Minnesota company based in the City of Mountain Iron. The $1.9 million project required a capital investment of just $167,000, thanks to the city’s partnerships, which included the state of Minnesota, Xcel Energy, California-based alternative energy financer Newport Partners, All Energy Solar in Wisconsin, The Garland Co. Inc., and Silicon Energy. The projects are expected to save the community $1.1 million in energy costs over the next 40 years, according to McCleary. Read the article.

LMC Training & Events

Minnesota Association of Townships Elected Officer Training
March 18–Rochester
March 19–Mankato
March 21–Granite Falls
March 28–Alexandria
March 31–Mahnomen
April 3–Grand Rapids

2014 Safety & Loss Control Workshops
March 25–Bemidji
March 26–Fergus Falls
April 2–Springfield
April 3–Willmar
April 9–Duluth
April 16–Brooklyn Park
April 17–Rochester
April 22–St. Cloud
April 24–St. Paul

2014 Minnesota Mayors Association
Annual Conference April 25-26–Fergus Falls

2014 LMC Annual Conference
June 18-20–St. Cloud

2014 Clerks’ Orientation Conference
June 18-20–St. Cloud

Learn more about these and other events

Read the March-April 2014 issue of Minnesota Cities magazine

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