Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff continues the seven-county circuit as the newly appointed head of the regional planning agency. She most recently enjoyed visits to Scott and Carver Counties.
In Carver County last week, Tchourumoff met with Waconia Mayor Jim Sanborn, and was excited to hear about the local innovative efforts around water supply.
“I was pleased to learn about work underway in Waconia to reuse stormwater for irrigation to reduce pressure on the region’s groundwater supply, and the Council’s financial contribution to that work,” said Chair Tchourumoff.
“Planning for Coney Island is another exciting venture, so I am gratified by the Council’s $1 million grant to help purchase the island for the Lake Waconia Regional Park.”
Earlier this month, Tchourumoff explored Scott County, having previously visited Washington, Dakota and Anoka counties. Tchourumoff says building relationships is among her highest priorities.
Meeting face-to-face makes a difference
Discussions with city and county officials have been focused on a number of issues of regional significance, including transportation and transit funding; water use and conservation; regional parks and trails; affordable housing and long-range planning.
“There’s nothing like meeting people face-to-face in their communities to talk about what matters to them,” said Tchourumoff. “Residents and local officials take a lot of pride in where they live and what they’ve accomplished together.
“Working together, we can build on those successes and learn from each other so we’re an even stronger, more livable region.”
Scott County shows off growth and efficiency
In Elko New Market, Mayor Bob Crawford showed off the growth happening in the community. He highlighted home construction that will help meet the needs of residents in this growing community and new commercial development that will boost the local economy.
In Savage, with Mayor Janet Williams and City Administrator Barry Stock, Chair Tchourumoff got a dose of the city’s focus on parkland and beautiful gardens. A water innovator, the city is currently replacing all its residential and commercial water meters with “smart” technology to better gauge water use and detect leaks.
In Prior Lake, Tchourumoff toured downtown and introduced herself to members of the Scott County Association for Leadership and Efficiency.
“We have a lot in common,” said Tchourumoff. “Namely, efficiency. It’s at the heart of the services the Council provides for the region, and the services cities provide for residents.
“Transportation has been a common and recurring theme,” she said. “Work on the region’s long-range transportation investment plan is well underway, and 2018 will bring the launch of the next regional solicitation for federal transportation funds. It’s the perfect time to be having these conversations.”
Up next for the Chair? Hennepin and Ramsey counties.