The City of Savage is a local government agency that provides municipal services to 26,911 residents, 9,116 occupied households and more than 400 businesses. The 17-square-mile community served by the City of Savage is located south of the Minnesota River in Scott County, which is one of the fastest growing areas in the nation.
A total of 136 full and part-time employees in seven departments deliver water and sewer, public safety, street maintenance, parks and recreation, and other services to the public. During the summer, as many as 40 seasonal employees are added to assist with maintenance and recreation programming. Fire services are provided by 37 paid-on-call firefighters who live or work in Savage; they are led by a full-time fire chief who also serves as fire marshal.
City’s departments include Administration, Finance, Community Development, Fire, Police and Public Works. These departments operate out of the following locations:
Savage City Liquor is the City's municipal liquor operation. Profits from two City-owned and operated stores help support other services provided by the City. The stores are:
The City also owns the building that houses the Savage Public Library, which is operated by Scott County. The library is located on the Government Campus at 13090 Alabama Ave. S.
A city administrator appointed by a five-member City Council oversees all City of Savage operations. The Council is responsible for setting policy that guides the development and provision of programs and services provided to the community. The Council consists of a mayor, who is elected every four years; and four council members, who each serve four-year terms.
City of Savage services are funded through several revenue sources and various budgets. The General Fund supports general operations. Property taxes provide a majority of the revenue for the General Fund, with licenses and permits, engineering and plan review fees and intergovernmental revenues accounting for the balance. Special Revenue budgets, supported in part or entirely by independent funding sources, provide for cable access initiatives, maintenance for the Savage Public Library and economic development efforts. Other budgets for the City include the Water and Sewer Operating, Storm Water, and Liquor Operating funds.
City operations have expanded over the past two decades in response to a rapidly growing population. Once a rural community, Savage’s population has increased from 4,000 to 26,911 in the past 25 years. The greatest amount of growth occurred from 1990 to 2000, when the population increased by 113 percent. A new city hall, fire station, water treatment plant, library and liquor store were built during that time frame.
In 2007, a 31,720 square foot addition onto Savage City Hall provided new space for the Savage Police Department and community meeting rooms. The $8.25 million project, funded through property taxes, also allowed for renovations to the former police facility for City Hall office space and a new television production studio. In 2010, the downtown fire station was closed and a new fire station opened on the government campus to improve response times.
Construction of the McColl Pond Environmental Learning Center at Community Park was completed in December 2008. The center provides classroom space for an elementary environmental program developed with local schools, as well as larger areas that may be rented by the public for meetings, events and other gatherings. The building is the result of a partnership with several public and private entities. Supporters include the Jeffers Foundation, which provided a $500,000 grant to get the project started. More info about the McColl Pond Environmental Learning Center.
The Savage Sports Center opened in November 2012 to provide seasonal indoor training space for local youth athletic teams, as well as climate controlled recreational options for residents during the winter months. The air-supported structure is up from November through April, then removed and stored on-site during the summer months. The artificial turf is available for use from May through October. More info about the Savage Sports Center.
Savage’s environmental assets include the Minnesota River, which forms the city’s northern border; the 500-acre Savage Fen Wetland Complex, which contains some of the largest calcareous fens in the state; Eagle Creek, one of the last self-sustaining trout streams in the Metro Area; and Boiling Springs, a historical landmark.
A major industry in Savage is shipping, due to the community’s location on the Minnesota River. Several private facilities operate along the banks of the river to form the Ports of Savage. These include Harvest States, Port Cargill, Cargill West, Port Bunge, Superior Minerals Corporation and Flint Hills Resources. Other major businesses include Fabcon, Silgan Containers, Master Electric Co., B.F. Nelson, and Road Machinery & Supply Co. The community also offers a historic downtown area as well as a large retail base that includes two grocery stores, a SuperTarget and several restaurants and service shops.
Three school districts serve Savage: Prior Lake-Savage, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage, and Shakopee schools. The community has one high school, one junior high, and five elementary schools within its borders. The city also has one non-public school, St. John the Baptist Catholic School, located in downtown Savage. Land near the Minnesota River is included in the Bloomington School District; however, no Savage households or businesses are located within that district.