Halloween Bash | Join Savage Parks and Recreation, and local businesses and organizations on Saturday, October 24 for a SPOOKTACULAR community event. Horse-drawn wagon rides, inflatables, Kids Dance DJ, a camp fire and trick-or-treating will be offered from 5 to 8 p.m. The bash will take place at the Savage Sports Center and on the surrounding grounds. Carbone's Pizzeria and Outlaw Grill will offer food and refreshments for purchase. Register early and save!
Kids Night Out | It is time for the kids to have a night out! They will enjoy a movie, snacks and games at the McColl Pond Environmental Learning and Event Center. Offered from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on October 2 and November 20. Cost per event is $15 per person.
Reserve the Savage Sports Center | The Savage Sports Center is available for reservations November 1- March 30. The climate-controlled facility is the perfect location for field practice and open play. Our new Tot Time will be offered for little ones with lots of energy!
We Want To Hear From You! | We want to hear about opportunities you would like to see within our growing community. Please share your ideas and feedback.
Now Hiring | City of Savage is now hiring to fill seasonal positions. View details and apply online today!
Moving? Be sure to notify Utility Billing if you have sold your home or are moving to a new one. The process can be completed by submitting a form online.
Celebrate Halloween with the Savage Fire Department from 5 to 7 p.m. on October 31. Children and adults are encouraged to come in costume and enjoy free games and candy while meeting local firefighters. Free.
For most, paying bills isn't a task that's anticipated with joy. And with so many demands on our time, it's one more thing that can easily be missed.
The City of Savage offers its utility customers a way to pay their water and sewer bill – on time – without having to give it a thought. Through the Automatic Bill Payment option, water bills get paid in full, on the same date, every month.
Customers can enroll in the fee-free Automatic Bill Payment program by completing a form and submitting a voided check from the bank account that will be used to pay the bill. Once approved, customers can cross the task off their "to do" list – permanently. Those in the Automatic Bill Payment program will still receive a bill so they can keep track of their monthly usage and fees. (While the City encourages customers to opt for electronic bills, mailed bills are available if requested).
Residents of Savage are invited to attend a community forum on Emerald Ash Borer this month. The City of Prior Lake is hosting the forum on Thursday, October 15. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Parkview Community Room at Prior Lake City Hall.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) confirmed in August that Emerald Ash Borer (EBA) had been detected in Prior Lake. EAB is an insect that kills ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves nutrients up and down the trunk. The invasive insect was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009. Several counties where EAB has been detected have been placed in a quarantine that restricts how ash trees are handled. Affected counties include Chisago, Dakota, Fillmore, Hennepin, Houston, Olmsted, Ramsey and Winona. Anoka County was placed in the quarantine just prior to the EAB discovery in Scott County.
Ash trees can be identified by branches that are directly across from each other, and oval shaped leaves with ridged edges (depending on the species). On older trees, the bark is in a tight, diamond-shaped pattern. Younger trees have a relatively smooth bark.
Residents who have ash trees on their property should look for the following signs of Emerald Ash Borer:
The biggest risk of spreading EAB comes from people unknowingly moving infected firewood or other ash products harboring larvae. To keep EAB from spreading, don't transport firewood and follow any future quarantine restrictions that MDA places on Scott County.
More information on Emerald Ash Borer can be found on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's website at mda.state.mn.us/eab
Each year, the Savage Fire Department responds to more than 100 calls in which smoke detectors are sounding, but no smoke or fire can be seen. The 911 dispatcher advises occupants to evacuate, then sends firefighters to investigate.
In most cases when smoke or fire is not present, the alarm is found to be sounding because it is malfunctioning. A battery needs to be replaced, dust is interfering with sensors or, the device is past its useful life.
"Just like cars, home appliances, phones and computers; smoke detectors are man-made, mechanical pieces of equipment that require annual care and maintenance to function properly," said Fire Chief Joel McColl. When an appliance or other household item fails to work as expected, most individuals attempt to diagnose the problem themselves before calling in professional help. "If no smoke or fire is present, the same should be done with smoke detectors," said McColl, adding that citizens are always encouraged to call 911 if they ever feel their safety is in danger.
Many times, a lack of cleaning can be the culprit. Dust that accumulates inside of the device's vent holes can cause the sensors to malfunction. Use canned air to blow out the dust or run a vacuum around the detector to reduce the risk of false alarms.
Smoke detectors typically last 10 years. The Savage Fire Department recommends replacing all smoke detectors if you have been in your home longer. Smoke detectors should be tested annually, at a minimum.
Most smoke detectors are wired together to ensure all of the home's occupants are notified at once, regardless of where they are in relation to the location of the problem. A red light (steady or flashing) indicates which detector set the others off. Detectors that are operating correctly display a green light. Once the malfunctioning detector is addressed, all of the other devices should stop sounding.
The Savage Fire Department thanks residents for their help in reducing the number of "no smoke/no fire" false alarms reports in the community. By working together, taxpayer dollars will be saved and the Department will be more available for calls in which the public's safety is at risk.
Over 785 fire departments protect Minnesota's communities. Of these, more than 95 percent function on a paid-on-callsystem, just like in Savage. A paid-on-call firefighter carries a pager and responds as emergencies arise.
In observance of Fire Prevention Week, October 4-10, I want to thank Savage's 40 firefighters for their time, dedication and commitment. I also need to thank firefighters' families – as each time a firefighter receives a call for service, their family is left behind. A lot of family gatherings and events are interrupted by fire calls. Firefighters leave on a moment's notice, and oftentimes don't return for hours. The fire service truly is a family commitment.
While it takes dedicated individuals and selfless family members to ensure we can respond when needed, we also rely on the community to help make the Savage Fire Department successful. We have always enjoyed great support from our businesses and residents alike. This support is from businesses that allow their staff to leave work when responding to a fire call. It is also in the form of monetary contributions that assist the firefighters with equipment that helps them to perform their jobs at the highest level possible.
City leaders have always made decisions that provide for the equipment necessary for Savage Fire to deal with day-to-day emergencies. But as with your own home or business, there are always areas that could be better given the means to do so.
Many in our community support the Department, and several give year after year. I'd like to especially thank the following organizations for their generosity:
We are fortunate that Savage businesses and residents are very caring, supportive and giving. On behalf of the Savage Fire Department, I thank you.
Chief Joel McColl
Get to know your Savage City Council candidates before you head to the polls this November. The Savage Chamber of Commerce is hosting a candidate forum at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 20. The event will take place in the Council Chambers at Savage City Hall, 6000 McColl Drive. It will be broadcast live and available for playback on demand at cityofsavage.com.
All candidates who will appear on the ballot for the two open Council seats have been invited to participate in the forum. They are Bob Coughlen, Matt Johnson, Christine Kelly, Wayne Lawrence, Ray Leathers and Chris Raiter.
Candidates will have an opportunity to share opening and closing remarks, then answer questions about a variety of City-related topics. For additional information, visit savagechamber.com.
Aside from a gallon of gasoline, most day-to-day purchases cost more today than they did in 2008. According to The People History website, a basket of groceries cost $54.11 then. Today, that same grocery list would tally up at $76.75.
While food prices won't likely return to 2008 levels, there is one expense that will – at least for owners of property in Savage. Next year, the cost of municipal services will rival those charged in 2008. The City Council has approved a preliminary 2016 property tax levy that will have the same impact as in 2008, when considering an average valued home. That means property owners' costs for public safety, snow plowing and other basic services provided by the City will be similar to those before the recession.
For properties that have not changed in value, owners could see a decrease in the City portion of their tax bill when compared to 2015. Even if a property's value has increased by 3 percent (the anticipated average), the impact will be minimal.
"The Savage City Council is committed to setting levies that don't catch our citizens off guard," explained Finance Director Julie Stahl. "We strive to avoid significant fluctuations when it comes to property taxes."
To meet that goal for the past three years, the City Council adopted budgets that relied on the balance in the general fund to cover a portion of expenses. (In 2015, for example, staff planned for an allocation of $211,051 from the fund balance.) However, the money from the fund balance wasn't needed due to fiscal restraint and increased development activity. Given the City's current financial status for 2015, Stahl expects the City will be able to forgo that allocation again.
"While we plan for all expenses and revenues to offset each other, we have ended recent years with a positive balance," Stahl said. She explained that staff is typically conservative when it comes to estimating revenues. When paired with careful spending, the City's general fund retains a balance.
Not wanting to become too reliant on the general fund to keep the levy stable, staff recommended that it look to the debt service revolving fund to minimize the levy impact in 2016. This avoids having to ask taxpayers for more dollars, and taps a funding source of revenue that currently is not designated for another purpose. "We want to hold true to our goal of providing quality services that residents can rely on and afford," Stahl said.
The total general fund budget for 2016 is proposed to be $13,768,216. This is an increase of 3.1 percent or $411,603 when compared to the 2015 budget. The increase is due to an anticipated 30-percent hike in health insurance premiums, cost of living adjustments for staff, and service enhancements necessary to meet demands of a recovering economy.