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October 21, 2007

Fire! - Hold on. I Have to Set Down My Beer.

By: Rachele Cermak

Volunteer firefighters in New Ulm now are allowed to consume alcohol at fire station buildings, the City Council decided 4-1 Tuesday.

The decision raised many concerns among nationwide firefighter organizations.

The New Ulm publication, The Journal, described the tone of locals hasn't changed. Some, there, feel there isn't a difference from stopping at a bar before arriving or allowing the alcohol to be consumed at the fire station.

The four council members in approval of the measure didn't let the Assistant City Attorney, Roger Hippert, statement of allowing firefighters to drink alcoholic beverages essentially on the job could raise "some serious concerns about liability" stop their decision.

It was the last item on the agenda, yet seemed to heat up conversation.

October 20, 2007

St. Paul City Council Approves Installation of Police Cameras Along University Ave.

By: Rachele Cermak

The Saint Paul City Council Wednesday approved the installation of 25 police cameras along University Avenue. The project will cost $1.5 million. The cameras should be working by the end of 2007. The cameras will provide an added grip on security during the Republican National Convention.

The Central Corridor Security Camera Partnership is lead by Doug Holtz, Saint Paul Police Western District Investigation Unit Commander.

“We received $1.2 million from an old Federal Transit grant that has been around for some time,â€? Holtz said. “We matched it with $300,000 from Target Corporation.â€?

Which means, the city won't have to spend a cent on the project.

Target Corporation five years ago pitched in money to purchase the cameras the Minneapolis Police use in the
10-blocks around the Corp. headquarters.

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City Council Minutes
20. Resolution – 07-983 – Establishing a 2007 financing and spending plan in the Police Department to provide funding for cameras and surveillance equipment along the Central Corridor in Saint Paul. (GS 3043738) Adopted Yeas – 7 Nays – 0

12. Resolution – 07-713 – Authorizing the Police Department to apply for a Central Corridor Security Camera Partnership Federal Transit grant to be administered by the Minnesota Department of Transportation to install approximately sixty (60) cameras throughout the Central Corridor in an effort to reduce crime, increase business and the overall safety along the designated route. (GS 3041992)

Analysis: Local Government

By: Rachele Cermak

The Metropolitan Airports Commission's noise reduction settlement offer of $127 million has been approved by the three cities who filed the suit.

Eagan, Richfield, and Minneapolis city councils all agreed, during separate special city meetings Tuesday, that MAC's offer would settle the suit the cities filed against MAC almost two years ago. The cities felt MAC had backed out on their promise to adequately sound-proof homes, that reached 60-65 decibels in airport noise, in order to continue with the MSP airport runway expansion.

The settlement must still be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Hennepin County District Court.