Minnesota Cities Magazine
More from Jan-Feb 2018 issue

Bits & Briefs

Alex Morse. Morse worked with Myrna Peterson and
Lisa Arnold from the nonprofit Mobility ManiaA Place at the Picnic Table
Parks in the City of Grand Rapids and Itasca County now have wheelchair-accessible picnic tables, thanks to a design by local Eagle Scout Alex Morse. Morse worked with Myrna Peterson and Lisa Arnold from the nonprofit Mobility Mania to develop the brilliantly simple table. It has a longer table surface than bench to allow for up to three visitors in wheelchairs to dig in to chips and brats alongside family and friends, according to a story on the local ABC Eyewitness News website www.wdio.com.

When the City of Grand Rapids was asked to help with the project, Public Works Director Jeff Davies said he immediately saw the value of the project to local parks and how his team could help. “We have some really skilled carpenters on staff,” says Davies, “so we did all the fabricating ahead of time in our woodshop.” Community volunteers and scouts gathered to take care of assembly. Project materials were provided by a grant from the Home Depot Foundation. Now, 19 of the city’s 23 parks have a new accessible picnic table, says Davies, and the nearby communities of Big Fork, Nashwauk, Cohasset, Coleraine, Deer River, and the county fairgrounds received the picnic tables as well.

A new app called Pulsepoint is designed to close that critical gap by
alerting people with CPR training when a cardiac-related 911 call is made in the immediate
areaWhen Every Minute Matters
Every minute that passes between when a cardiac arrest strikes and when CPR begins ticks down the probability of survival by 7 to 10 percent, according to the American Heart Association. A new app called Pulsepoint is designed to close that critical gap by alerting people with CPR training when a cardiac-related 911 call is made in the immediate area. The app alert can make the difference between life and death when a nearby Good Samaritan can initiate CPR sooner than emergency responders can arrive. The app has more than a million users, and was recently adopted by Washington, D.C. as part of a plan to improve emergency services in the nation’s capital, according to the website Technical.ly. The app is available for download on Android and Apple smartphones. Learn more at http://bit.ly/2AuNvaI.

Government Social
Media ManagersA Member Organization for Government Social Media Managers
How do you respond when residents tweet at your city councilmembers instead of public works about removal of a dead deer? What’s the best way to promote your upcoming Facebook Live State of the City address with zero budget? These are questions that not every social media manager has to consider when they log on. The Government Social Media Organization (GSMO) is designed to pool that special kind of collective expertise from government social media managers. Through GSMO, you can network with colleagues to help you navigate the ever-changing world of social media—whether it’s your full-time job or just another thing on the list. Learn more at http://gsmo.org.

2017 Local Government Innovation Award Winners
The City of St. Paul’s Equity Strategic Action Planning for Neighborhoods project won the top spot in the city category of the 2017 Local Government Innovation Awards. The project established a collaborative approach to community work at the district council level that better addresses inclusion and outcomes based on race.

Additional city award winners:

  • The City of Shakopee Police Department was recognized for its Recovery Assistance Program (RAP), which offers scholarships toward the cost of drug and alcohol treatment using funds from drug and alcohol forfeiture cases.
  • The City of Mankato was recognized for its Water Treatment Backwash Reclamation program, which converted holding water tanks into reclaim tanks, reducing how much source water the city draws and how much the water treatment plant needs to treat.
  • The City of Chatfield was recognized for the Chatfield Wellhead Protection program, designed to protect the water supply and actively prevent problems for years to come.
  • The City of Morris was recognized for The Morris Model, a partnership between the city and the University of Minnesota-Morris to develop 100 percent renewable energy for the city while boosting economic development.

The awards, sponsored by the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs in partnership with the Bush Foundation, recognize projects in different local government categories: cities, counties, schools, townships, and new in 2017, a category for native nations. To see all categories and winners, visit http://lgia.umn.edu.

Hopkins Honored for
Supporting Local RetailersHopkins Honored for Supporting Local Retailers
The Hopkins Business & Civic Association (HBCA) was recently named the 2017 Retail Community of the Year by The Minnesota Retailers Association. HBCA is a network of businesses, city representatives, nonprofits, and volunteers that work together to promote everything Hopkins has to offer—including the city’s thriving business community, city services, and community organizations. The HBCA Board of Directors includes a seat for City Development Coordinator Meg Beakman, who provides regular updates about city issues.

HBCA Past President Amy Saldanha accepted the award on behalf of HBCA. “The city is a trusted partner for business and nonprofits,” says Saldanha, “and likewise it’s easy to partner with the city because it feels like we’re leaning in the same direction.”

Hopkins has increasingly become a leading community where retailers, the city, and the community come together to create a unique retail experience, says Hopkins Mayor Molly Cummings. “I am proud to be a part of a community that is so supportive of its local businesses,” Cummings says. “It is one of the many reasons why Hopkins is such a great place to live, shop, work, and play.”

NEW! GreenStep Cities Welcome Guides
GreenStep Cities (GSC), a voluntary sustainability program for cities and tribal communities, is flexible in approach and helps cities build their level of involvement over time—from replacing lightbulbs to benchmarking greenhouse gases. A new set of guides can help program coordinators and city officials hit the ground running and maintain your city’s momentum when turnover would otherwise impact those long-term sustainability goals.

GreenStep Cities Welcome GuidesCheck out the “Welcome! Guide” when your city is new to the program or when you are welcoming a new staffer into the role of GreenStep coordinator: http://bit.ly/2nUBvK2.

Check out the “Public Officials Guide” to get new elected officials, appointed committee members, and volunteers up to speed: http://bit.ly/2Ax7OUU.

Read the Jan-Feb 2018 issue of Minnesota Cities magazine

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