New York financial technology company SmartAsset released the rankings from its second annual Healthiest Housing Markets Study and Savage made the list at number 3 in Minnesota, up from their rank of 21 in 2015. The study measures market health by the average number of years residents spend in homes, home values, ease of sale, and the costs associated with ownership.
For a look at how Savage compares with the Minnesota leaders, see the table below:
When snow is predicted in the forecast, operations in the Public Works Department take on a sense of urgency. Projects in progress are halted, fuel tanks are filled, trucks and equipment are checked, and schedules are drafted to account for 24-hour coverage.
Snow is not something the Savage Public Works Department takes lightly. The Department understands the impact a measurable snowfall can have on the public. What's more, plow operators know that when a measurable snowfall has arrived, the community is counting on them to clear the way to a better day.
The Savage Public Works Department's goal is to complete the initial plowing and widening of streets within 12 hours after a 2-inch snow event has ended. To accomplish this task and help ensure the safety of the community, operators follow a system in which the roads carrying the most traffic are plowed first, followed by lesser-used thoroughfares and then neighborhood streets. Trails, sidewalks and skating rinks come last. (County roads and state highways do not fall under the City's jurisdiction and, therefore, are not plowed by City staff nor are they plowed according to the same schedule.)
Several factors can impact the speed at which the streets are able to be plowed. While some of these are weather dependent, others can be controlled by residents. To this end, the City of Savage kindly reminds citizens of the following:
In addition to making the job easier for plow operators, residents can help make winter more pleasant for others by remembering to do the following:
Hydrants – Please share in the responsibility of making fire hydrants on your block accessible. Maintaining a 3-foot clearance around the hydrants will reap rewards if firefighters are ever called to your neighborhood.
Sidewalks and Driveways – Property owners are required to clear snow from their driveways and from sidewalks adjacent to the property. This helps ensure pedestrians, including school children, can safely reach their destination.
Snowbirds – Before leaving town, snowbirds should make arrangements to have the sidewalks adjacent to their property shoveled after each snow event. Those who do not do so risk being assessed for the costs of the City performing the task on their behalf.
Warming houses and skating rinks | Outdoor skating rinks and warming houses are now open. The season is set to run through February 15, weather permitting. Due to the shortened season, Warren Butler Park was not flooded and will not be open this season. View skating rink and warming house hours and locations.
Winter Fun Days | Join us at the McColl Pond Environmental Learning and Event Center for outdoor activities February 7 and 21 from 1 to 4 p.m. We'll provide the fun with snowshoeing, ice skating on McColl Pond (bring your own skates), and a cozy bonfire complete with hot chocolate and s'mores. There is no cost and all ages are welcome.
Mini Sport Camp | 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Tuesdays, February 16 - March 8 at the Savage Sports Center for children ages 3-5 years old. Sports Unlimited's Mini Sport Camp helps children explore baseball, soccer, lacrosse and flag football in a fun and non-competitive setting. Learn more.
Flashlight Egg Scramble | 7 p.m., March 18 at the Savage Sports Center for children ages 3 years to grade 5. Kids can bring their flashlights and baskets to scoop up eggs as they scramble across the fields inside the Savage Sports Center with the lights turned down low. Several "special prize" eggs will be hidden among the regular eggs for a few extra lucky winners! All participants will go home with a goody bag filled with prizes and treats. Cost is $6 per child. Pre-registration is required.
Savage Sports Center | There are several new options for open play at the Savage Sports Center this season. Tot Time for ages 5 and under is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Tots can play on an inflatable, throw balls, hit with bats and more. (Tots must be accompanied by an adult.) Schedules are subject to change. View a full schedule. As an added convenience, Open Play and Tot Time play passes will be available for those who would like to pay for multiple visits in advance.
The City of Savage has a number of job openings. They include a part-time liquor store clerk and seasonal maintenance positions in the Utilities, Streets and Parks divisions.
The Parks and Recreation Division seeks volunteers to help with its "Egg Scramble" at the Savage Sports Center in March. Please contact Recreation Program Coordinator Gina Robinette at 952-224-3443 if you or your group is able to assist.
Have you renewed your dog's license yet? The City requires all dogs in Savage to be licensed annually. Licenses are available for a nominal fee at the Savage Police Department, Gentle Doctor Veterinary Clinic and Savage Tower Animal Hospital. Proof of rabies vaccination is required.
The Savage Fire Department relies on residents to keep neighborhood fire hydrants clear of snow. Please take time to ensure the hydrant on your block can be easily accessed when needed. Clearing a three-foot path will allow firefighters to get to work right away if a fire occurs on your street.
Experiences found at summer camp create memories that last a lifetime. Greg Boatman's camp experience created a passion that led to a career – and a new acquaintance that ultimately resulted in marriage. "It was life-changing," said Boatman, Savage's new Parks and Recreation manager.
He was a student at the Academy of Holy Angels when it happened. As a member of a youth ministry group, he was required to participate in a summer camp for people with disabilities. He returned knowing what he wanted to do for a living and dating the woman he would eventually marry. At St. Cloud State, he studied Recreation Administration, with a minor in Therapeutic Recreation. He received his degree, got married and moved all in the same weekend.
More than two decades later, the Savage resident is at the helm of the Parks and Recreation Division, eager to channel his passion to create lasting – and possibly life-changing – impacts for his fellow citizens. "It's really about seeing kids and families enjoying our programs and parks, exercising and appreciating nature – all the things parks do," he said.
His first priority as Parks and Recreation manager is to finish a program and facility study that is currently underway. He's looking forward to "serving people how they want to be served and where they want to be served, with quality programs at reasonable costs so they can receive all the benefits of recreation." He also is committed to connecting with the multitude of organizations that are Savage Parks and Recreation's partners, including the school districts and athletic associations that serve the community.
A native resident of Bloomington, Boatman was the assistant Parks and Recreation manager in his hometown for 12 years prior to joining the City of Savage last month. He started as Bloomington's adaptive recreation supervisor, focusing for 2 years on how to serve citizens of all ages who had cognitive or physical limitations.
A few years into his adaptive recreation role, he recommended that his position be eliminated to better serve the community. Boatman, who had worked in long-term care facilities before Bloomington, believed it was more important that all recreation programs be adaptable to serve all abilities, rather than develop separate programming to serve a select group of individuals.
He and his wife, Brenda, are avid users of Savage's parks, having raised two children during their 20 years here. He's excited to be in a position where he can positively impact amenities he's enjoyed himself and lead a department that is known throughout the Metro Area. "The staff here has an incredible reputation," Boatman said. "Savage Parks and Recreation folks work hard and are extremely talented."
He was drawn to his new position for some of the same reasons he first went to work in Bloomington. "Knowing I have lived in Savage longer than I lived in Bloomington as a child, it's really cool to be able to now serve my current home community," Boatman said.
On January 1, the City began charging convenience fees on most transactions involving a credit card. The fee is necessary to cover expenses charged to the City by credit card processing companies.
A flat fee of $2.95 will be added for those paying their utility bills with a credit card. This fee can be avoided by signing up for the City's automatic bill payment service, or by paying with a check or cash. Learn more about the automatic bill payment service online or by calling the Utility Billing Division at 952-882-2681.
For other payments to the City, a 3-percent charge will be applied when a credit card is used. Services provided by the Recreation Division may be subject to the convenience charge, depending on how payment is received.
The Savage Fire Department gathers annually to celebrate the year's accomplishments and recognize members for their service to the community. This year's gathering was on January 16 at the McColl Pond Environmental Learning and Event Center (ELC). In addition to naming the Firefighter of the Year (see article at left), Department leaders swore in new firefighters and gave awards for exemplary service.
Dan Giles fights fires for residents of Savage, maintains the water system for citizens in Burnsville, and performs work for families burying loved ones at area cemeteries. Rare are the times when he isn't serving the public in some way or another.
Giles' commitment to helping others is one of the many reasons his peers nominated him for the 2015 Firefighter of the Year Award. Chief Joel McColl concurred, officially presenting the award to Giles at the Department's annual meeting last month. "Dan has been an exemplary member of the Fire Department for almost 25 years," McColl said.
Giles has held numerous leadership positions with the Savage Fire Department including captain, district chief and Fire Relief Association president. He currently heads the committee that plans the annual Cadillac Dinner, one of the Department's major fundraisers of the year.
He also is a talented mechanic who can troubleshoot like nobody else. With 14 apparatuses that need to be ready to roll at all times, the Department has saved time and money thanks to Giles' repair skills. "Dan is one of those individuals you know will be there at any hour of the day," McColl said. "He can be counted on during those odd hours to ensure that our trucks will get in service in a timely manner."
Giles' full-time job is with the City of Burnsville Water Department. When he isn't there, he finds plenty to keep him busy even if it doesn't relate to the Fire Department. Giles has been involved in numerous community groups and active in his church. He also has spent many hours in cemeteries, digging graves and placing monuments for local families.
Colleagues at the Fire Department describe Giles as courteous, honest, knowledgeable, helpful, giving and respectful. "These are all traits that embody the core value of our organization," McColl said. Giles and his wife Kristin are residents of Savage and have two children.