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NEWPORT — The Washington County Board held a closed session on a court case still brewing, though it had been dismissed back in January. The case was filed last May by Newport businesses — Libby Real Estate Holdings, LLC; Gale Libby and Mark Court, LLC — against the Washington County Community Development Agency, arguing they "illegally" filed a tax increment financing district on the north end of the community.
Cottage Grove and Woodbury may finally be getting financing for water treatment after a settlement between 3M Corp. and the state of Minnesota for $850 million was flagged for use in east metro water improvements. The state and 3M settled just before trial was scheduled to start the morning of Feb. 20, after a 22-hour negotiating session, Attorney General Lori Swanson said.
Washington County Commissioner Karla Bigham is set to vacate her seat after winning the Senate special election race Feb. 12. At the Feb. 13 county board meeting, she stepped down effective Feb. 20, the date of the next county board meeting and the first day of the Legislative session. Bigham represents Washington County District 4, which covers Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park, Newport, Grey Cloud Island Township and Denmark Township. In the Senate she will be covering areas of Washington County and Dakota County.
Nearly 24 hours after Attorney General Lori Swanson and 3M Corp. settled their lawsuit for $850 million, Swanson, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources are planning where to allocate the funds. The lawsuit originally filed in December 2010 was settled between the Attorney General and 3M representatives early Tuesday morning, just before the trial was set to start.
Just before the trial between Minnesota and 3M Corp was set to start more than seven years after filing, the parties agreed to a $850 million settlement. The settlement is less than a fifth of the $5 billion State Attorney General Lori Swanson was asking at the outset of the trial.
The trial seven years in the making between the state of Minnesota and manufacturing behemoth 3M Corp. has begun. Jury selection began Feb. 20 in a Hennepin County courtroom, with opening statements set to follow. State Attorney General Lori Swanson filed the complaint just before year end in 2010.
New analyses of birth outcomes and rates of cancer in south Washington County released by the Minnesota Department of Health this week show that there may not be higher instances in the east metro, after all. MDH scientists found that rates of cancer, low birth rates and premature births in Washington and Dakota counties are in line with other areas of the metro, the department announced Feb. 7. Residents in Washington County have long worried that perfluorochemicals groundwater pollution in the area has caused higher rates of cancer or other adverse health effects.
Legends of Cottage Grove will become home to dozens of new residents when move-in begins Feb. 1. The four-story, 184-unit senior living facility is currently about 60 percent booked, Legends Community Manager Bailey England said. The developer, Plymouth-based Dominium, took a little over a year to construct the building which includes amenities such as a theater, library, meeting rooms and event space with kitchens. Each of the one-, two- or three-bedroom independent senior apartments available for rent also have a living room, kitchen and laundry.
Three candidates are battling it out in a state Senate special election Feb. 12 that could narrow control of the Senate. The Senate seat was vacated when then-Democratic Sen. Dan Schoen resigned in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Former state representatives Denny McNamara, R-Hastings, and Karla Bigham, DFL-Cottage Grove, are facing off in the Senate race, with Hastings Libertarian candidate Emily Mellingen also running.
Longtime Legislator Denny McNamara beat out newcomer James E. Brunsgaard III in a Republican primary challenge Jan. 29. After winning 85 percent of the vote in the primary, McNamara earned his spot on the Feb. 12 special election ballot for the vacant District 54 Senate seat. The seat was opened after former DFL Sen. Dan Schoen resigned in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct. "I really am humbled by the support throughout the district; it's cool to see," McNamara said. About 1,500 votes were cast in the Republican primary.