Maple Grove Mayor Mark Steffenson spoke before the North Hennepin Area Chamber of Commerce last week during the annual State of the Cities address, providing chamber members with an update of what happened in 2011 for the city of Maple Grove.
Steffenson was joined by Brooklyn Center Mayor Tim Willson, Brooklyn Park Mayor Jeff Lunde and Osseo Mayor Al Lindquist at the Edinburgh USA in Brooklyn Park Jan. 12, each providing comments about their respective cities.
“We’ve had another wonderful year in our city,” Steffenson told the chamber. “A year of continued growth, continued expansion. And, we have a tremendous financial status as well.”
Here’s some areas of Maple Grove Mayor Mark Steffenson highlighted during his presentation:
- Decrease in property tax levy for 2012 – the first time ever for Maple Grove. “We’re one of the few cities throughout the state of Minnesota that actually decreased their levy,” Steffenson said.
- Maple Grove ranked second in the state to Blaine for building permits, according to the Builders Association. A total of 226 new residential building permits were requested, including the Hamlets at Rush Creek. “We continue to see a significant amount of growth in our residential and commercial housing,” he said.
- New businesses opened in the city, from food, business, service, retail, service, health and beauty. “We saw a lot of new doors that were opened throughout Maple Grove,” he said. Steffenson highlighted two businesses as “significant” for the community, Hazelden Foundation and PrairieCare.
- Expansion projects in commerce and industry totaling more than 350,000 square feet in 2011 in Maple Grove. He highlighted the Black Box Network Services/Caterpillar expansion and the opening of the new Parnassus Prepartory School.
- Highlighted anticipated 2012 projects including The Skye at Arbor Lakes and “increased interest” in low and high-density residential neighborhoods.
- Shared the status of road construction projects, highlighting the opening of a portion of Highway 610. “We’re very excited to have the opening of Highway 610,” Steffenson said. “…It means significant development for Maple Grove and Brooklyn Park. It also means for a way for our citizens to travel in a reasonable time and fashion. I’ve had so many comments since it’s opened about how it’s helped people get to the eastern part of town and how it’s made their life better.” He said he was “hopeful” the project would continue to move forward in 2012 with additional funding. Steffenson also talked about continuing work on Bass Lake Road and “innovative construction techniques” used for the bridge. Projects for 2012, he said, include the completion of Bass Lake Road, design work for the rest of Highway 610, and a portion of Zachary Lane, 85th Avenue (County Road 109) from Main Street to County Road 81.
- Shared that crime decreased by 9 percent in 2011. “That’s certainly a direct attribute to our police department, but our citizens as well,” Steffenson said. “Being aware, knowing their neighbors, being involved is something that has a direct effect on the crime rate in our community.”
- Talked about several community gatherings each year in Maple Grove, highlighting the annual Angel of Hope ceremony at the Arboretum as well as the farmers market and various holiday events. Also, he talked about sports and recreation events and opportunities in Maple Grove in 2011 including the triathlon and the new Maple Grove Sports Dome.
- Shared the accomplishments at Town Green in 2011, including receiving several awards received, 49 scheduled events totaling about 12,000 in attendance.