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According to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the typical single family home in Minnesota gets more than enough sunlight to meet its year-round energy needs. If you're interested in powering more of your energy needs with solar, check out the following resources:
When you're ready to install solar panels, call 763-593-8090 to schedule appropriate inspections.
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Currently, Bird is the only company operating in Golden Valley. However, there are several other scooter sharing companies operating in surrounding cities, and those scooters could find their way into Golden Valley.
No. At this time Bird is only deploying scooters.
Below is contact information for other companies with scooter operations in the region:
Stormwater ponds were built to perform flood control and water quality functions.
Cities must test for PAHs before they dredge their ponds, and there are thousands of ponds. Also, starting in around 2023, cities will be required to perform work to restore the water quality function of their ponds. Again, the cost of complying with these regulations will be higher because of the presence of PAHs in the sediment from coal tar sealant runoff.
Coking facilities produce raw coal tar, which they sell to steel and aluminum refiners. Refiners use about 95 percent of the raw coal tar in their production processes. Coal tar is the waste byproduct of these coking facilities.
It is a thin black coating applied to paved surfaces (typically driveways, parking lots, playgrounds, etc). It is not commonly used to pave roads. Sealant manufacturers claim their product protects the paved surfaces below from oil damage and weathering.
Within several years of applying coal tar sealant, the combination of friction from vehicles driving on the surface and environmental/weather exposure wears the sealant off into fine particles that wash from the driveway, down roads, and into stormwater ponds.
Yes, the product manufacturer recommends reapplying the sealant every few years because they know the products break down over time.
Yes, coal tar contains high concentrations of PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hyrdocarbons). PAHs make up more than 50 percent of the raw coal tar. The EPA has designated 16 PAHs as priority pollutants and seven of those as probable human carcinogens. Nearly all seven of these PAHs are in raw coal tar. While in sediment, coal tar is not a public health concern. Once it is dredged, coal tar could pose a health risk if the dredged soils are not properly disposed of in an authorized landfill designed to ensure the waste cannot migrate into the environment.
Yes, asphalt is, and has always been, an alternative to coal tar sealant. And while asphalt also contains PAHs, coal tar sealants have 1,000 times more PAHs than asphalt sealants.
No, the City is not suing users of the coal tar sealant. Residents are not responsible for the damages the City alleges because they were not warned of the dangers of using the sealant. To the contrary, residents were led to believe it was a safe product to use because it was sold as an option for surfacing and re-surfacing driveways.
It is very costly to remediate stormwater ponds contaminated with coal tar and no end in sight. Even though there is now a ban, coal tar sealants were used for years and remain on many properties. Litigation is appropriate because polluters should pay for remediation of the damage they cause. Without a lawsuit, remediation costs would be shouldered by innocent taxpayers.
Minnesota cities are the first to systematically address the problem and to incur disposal costs. Part of this is due to the statewide ban, which also evidences the state’s concern for human and ecosystem health. While in the ponds, sediment coal tar waste does not create a public health concern. But it could if the sediment, once dredged, was not properly disposed of in contained landfills. That is why the cost of disposal is so high. Moreover, statewide thousands of ponds still need to be dredged; it is important to address the issue now before tens of millions of dollars in costs are incurred.
The cities are seeking compensatory damages for past and future costs of testing waste/sediment and removing and disposing of that waste from the stormwater ponds.
Please continue to have your recycling curbside by 7 am on Fridays of your service week. The recycling contractor (Allied Waste) will collect recycling in street reconstruction areas on schedule. Please continue to report all missed pick-ups to Republic Services at 952-941-5174 (select Option 3 twice). If you are not getting service, call Golden Valley Public Works at 763-593-8030.
The contractor will work with residents who have accessibility concerns, including Metro Mobility rides, etc. If you have specific concerns, please call Public Works at 763-593-8030.
The contractor will make a reasonable effort to notify residents of schedule changes caused by weather, delays by subcontractors, or other unforeseen events. Check your door for written notices of upcoming work that my have been delayed.
At the construction site, please direct all project-related questions to City staff. Look for vehicles or construction vests bearing the City logo. You can also call Public Works at 763-593-8030 and ask for Pavement Maintenance Program (PMP) staff. If unavailable, a staff member will return your call.
Read more Tips and Answers (PDF).
The Golden Valley City Council is set to revisit the PMP street width policy at it October 13 work session. Formal action on the policy, if any, is scheduled for October 20, 2020.
On September 18, 2020 City staff mailed a Street Width Policy Letter (PDF) to all properties adjacent to a scheduled PMP reconstruction over the next four years. The City received a lot of feedback from residents on this topic. View the PMP Street Width Policy Community Input Report (PDF).
Each year the City reconstructs a portion of its local streets under its Pavement Management Program (PMP). For many years, the City's standard reconstructed street width was 26 feet. In 2019, during the planning and design process for the 2020 (now 2021) PMP project, a number of residents expressed a preference for a 28-foot-wide street. After considering past projects, staff feedback, projected costs, and public input, the Council set 28 feet as the standard local street width.
Residents have expressed concern over the increased assessments to property owners due to the increased project costs resulting from the wider streets. The Council is sensitive to the economic conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and believes it is appropriate to review the street width policy.
The following table summarizes the differences in costs between the 26- and 28-foot-wide streets. Beginning with the 2020 PMP, assessments are based on actual bids rather than projected.
Note: $30 Admin fee not included in assessments.
The following comments and concerns were expressed by residents about narrower streets at the November 19, 2019 City Council meeting where the street width policy was considered:
Requested locations for salt will be checked as part of the normal checks of major roads, hills, and curves. The City follows State guidelines for salt/sand application rates and works to balance safety with environmental impacts.
Major roadways, hills, and curvy road sections are top priority for addressing ice concerns. Depending on resources available, requests for salt in cul-de-sacs will only be checked after the priority locations have been checked.
After a snowfall of 2 inches, all City street are plowed curb-to-curb. Crews work systematically to clear all the streets; however, routes may change due to a variety of factors such as parked vehicles or traffic.
After a snowfall of 2 inches, all City street are plowed curb-to-curb. Crews work systematically to clear all the streets; however, routes may change due to a variety of factors such as parked vehicles or traffic. When the weather cooperates, crews try to start very early in the morning so that most of the streets are plowed by 8 am.
During snow events the focus of crews is on major roadways and hills. After a snowfall of over 2 inches, all City streets will be plowed. Most drivers have had their same routes for years and it is very unlikely that a street would be routinely missed all winter. As snow pack on the street starts to melt the road may turn a bit slushy. Some residents see this melting and think that the street was not plowed since the last snowfall.
Residents are not encouraged to plow the streets themselves.
Snowplow trucks generally operate below 20 miles per hour while plowing residential streets. Due to the size of the truck and the noise the engine makes while plowing the trucks can appear to be traveling faster than they really are.
While plowing residential streets, the snowplows tend to travel between 10 and 20 miles per hour. On wider streets the plows travel closer to 30 miles per hour. When the snowplows are fully loaded and plowing, they are very heavy and the engines have to work hard. The noise from the truck engines may give the impression that the trucks are traveling fast while they really are not. Also, the size of the trucks can also be a bit misleading for judging vehicle speed.
The goal of the snow plowing effort is to remove the snow efficiently from the street by pushing it to the side. Since the driver is only pushing the snow on the street, they have little control over how much snow is deposited at the end of a driveway.
Snowplows will not lift their blades at the end of the driveway as this will leave a large pile of snow in the street at the end of the driveway. The focus of plowing is to remove the snow from the street. This involves pushing the snow to the side of the street. Drivers are unable to constantly turn their blade in order to avoid driveways.
Snow plowing is generally started as soon as the snowfall has ended. When the weather cooperates, crews try to start very early in the morning so that most of the streets are plowed by 8 am. After a snow emergency has been called, on-street parking is allowed once the street has been plowed to the curb.
The goal of the snow plowing effort is to remove the snow from the street by pushing it to the side. When possible the driver tries to evenly balance the snow to both sides of the street; however, this is not always possible.
In order to plow the street efficiently, snow is pushed to the closest curb as possible. In cul-de-sacs this can be a challenge as there are driveways, mailboxes, fire hydrants, and signs that need to be avoided. Storage space is limited and some residents in cul-de-sacs may have more snow stored in front of their house than others depending on the situation.
The goal of the snow plowing effort is to remove the snow from the street by pushing it to the side. When possible the driver tries to push more of the snow towards the park side; however, it is nearly impossible for all the snow to be pushed to one side of the street.
Snowplows are generally pushing snow from the street to the side of the road. It is unlikely that a plow could push a cart or trash can such that it would end up in the street. The City appreciates residents keeping their carts out of the street and, when possible, placing the carts a few feet behind the curb (whether in the driveway or other set back location) to minimize the impact from the plowed snow on the cart.
Mailboxes are sometimes impacted by snow removal operations. The City will conduct a review of each mailbox incident to determine whether a snowplow came into direct contact with the mailbox or support structure. The City will only repair mailboxes actually hit by a snowplow and installed to United States Postal Service Residential Mailbox Standards. The City will not be responsible for damage to mailboxes or support posts caused by snow or ice coming into contact with the mailbox.
Based on the City's review, the City will repair the mailbox to an operational state, or if the mailbox is unable to be adequately repaired, the City will replace the mailbox with a standard size, non-decorative metal mailbox. The City may also replace the support post as necessary with a 4 inch by 4 inch decay-resistant wood support post, if necessary. Dents, scratches, or other superficial damage that does not prohibit normal use of the mailbox will be considered normal wear and tear and will not be repaired or replaced by the City.
The property will be added to a list of repairs. Crews will restore damaged turf in the spring with either sod or dirt and seed.
To properly clear intersections of local streets and county highways, the driver must make a right turn from the local street onto the county highway and plow for a short distance. The driver then has to back up past the local street so they are setup to turn right and plow the other side of the local street. Plowing snow involves frequent backing, and it is important to note that vehicles must yield to snowplows while operating and give the snowplow plenty of room to operate. Please remember, don't crowd the plow.
When plows are out clearing the street they are simply pushing the snow to the edge of the road. With the amount of snow we get each winter the banks along the edge of the road get so high that the plow blades cannot push the snow over them. What ends up happening is that the plow compacts more snow along the sides of the street, which makes the street narrower. To address this issue that we have every year, the City deploys equipment to wing (push) back the snow banks along the edge of the streets. This process allows the plow blade to push the snow all the way to the curb and somewhat onto the boulevard.
After large snow events, the City sends out equipment to knock down ("wing" back) the mounds of snow along the street and at intersections. The snow is not removed from the location, but efforts are made to push it further back from the street. Specific requests regarding visibility concerns will be addressed as part of the winging process. Due to potential visibility concerns and the need to make more space for snow storage, crews are focused on systemically moving through the City instead of bouncing between individual requests.
When plows are out clearing the street they are simply pushing the snow to the edge of the road. With the amount of snow we get each winter, the banks along the edge of the road get so high that the plow blades cannot push the snow over them. What ends up happening is the plow compacts more snow along the sides of the street, which makes the street narrower. To address this issue that we have every year, the City deploys equipment to wing (push) back the snow banks along the edge of the streets. This process allows the plow blade to push the snow all the way to the curb and somewhat onto the boulevard.
The City has more than 10 plows and other various pieces of snow-removal equipment for City streets and sidewalks.
The City does not have the resources to ensure that all fire hydrants in the City will be dug out. Residents are encouraged to adopt a hydrant to dig out in the winter, even if the hydrant is not necessarily right next to their house.
The placement of snow on private property from another private property is a civil matter. We encourage you to talk with your neighbor about the issue as they may not be aware that they are doing it.
The City does not have the resources to clear private driveways.
State Statute 169.42 and City Code Section 24-24 prohibit snow from being pushed onto or across the street. It is important to note the City Code also holds the property owner responsible for allowing snow to be pushed from their property across a street.
The City does not declare snow emergencies. To prevent obstructions during ongoing ice control operations, parking is prohibited on public streets and alleys November 1 to March 31 from 2 to 6 am daily. Parking is prohibited on public streets after a snowfall of at least 2 inches until snow has stopped falling and the street has been plowed to the curb (or edge of the street if there is no curb).
During a snowfall of 2 inches or more, no on-street parking is allowed until the street has been plowed curb-to-curb. This includes contractors. The parking restriction is in effect to allow plow operators to clear the entire street of snow so the street can be returned to normal winter conditions as quickly as possible. Vehicles parked on the street not only hinder this process, they also reduce the efficiency of the plow trucks.
Crews typically start plowing sidewalks four hours after the roads are cleared.
The City does not place salt/sand on sidewalks and trails. This is not feasible with the available resources. Additionally, since the City is unable to sweep sidewalks and collect the sediment, there would be negative environmental impacts as well.
All of the sidewalks and trails that are cleared by the City are part of a route. The driver clears the route and is unable to skip certain properties as it is very difficult to identify specific properties during the snow removal process.
Crews try to minimize placing snow on driveways and walks. However, during the snow removal process it can be difficult for the driver to see all of the features along their route due to the blowing snow. Sometimes, the regular route driver is unable to do the route and another staff member covers the route. This driver is even less familiar with the route and special requests may be hard to meet.
The City is responsible for removing trees from public property within 20 days of disease confirmation. Property owners are responsible for removing condemned trees from private property.
State and City regulations require you to cut down marked trees and properly dispose of all portions. Removal must be completed 20 days after disease confirmation.
The City of Golden Valley does not contract for tree removal from private property. Consequently, you have the option of removing the tree yourself or hiring a qualified tree removal service. When hiring a tree service:
If no action is taken by the property owner 20 days after notice of removal, the City will issue a "Forced Removal Notice" and have the tree(s) removed. The cost of removal, plus an administrative surcharge, will be assessed against the property owner's tax liability.
A property owner may not store elm wood unless all of the bark has been removed. If the stump is not removed, all above-ground portions must be debarked. These restrictions apply to all elm species.
Inflow and infiltration (I/I) is the excess flow of clear water into the City's sanitary sewer system:
Because the sanitary sewer system was not designed to handle this excess clear water, it becomes overloaded during times of high groundwater or heavy rainfall. This can cause basement flooding or bypassing of raw wastewater to local streams and lakes.
The excess clear water from I/I problems uses sanitary sewer capacity needed for wastewater. The result is sewer backups and increased costs (about $300 to $400 million annually) for needlessly putting clear water through the wastewater treatment process.
The Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES), which provides regional wastewater collection and treatment for the metropolitan area, requires communities with excess I/I to invest in local reduction remedies such as disconnecting sump pumps and foundation drains from sanitary sewers and repairing leaky sanitary sewer pipes. Such actions will cost roughly $150 million, instead of the nearly $1 billion it would cost to build additional sewer infrastructure to provide capacity during big rain storms. To urge compliance, MCES incorporated surcharges for communities with excess I/I.
Golden Valley was identified as a contributor of excess I/I and is working to resolve the problem.
Although Golden Valley has led the Twin Cities metro area in reducing I/I, we are not the leader in Minnesota. Other cities (Duluth, Waseca, Glencoe, Hamburg, Tower) have been working for years to reduce I/I and continue to complete private property inspections as part of the effort. Once Golden Valley's City Council and staff understood the environmental, sanitation, and financial impacts of I/I, they committed to a proactive approach to reduce it. To track progress, staff monitors sewer flow at nine sites throughout the city and groundwater levels at seven sites. However, dry weather conditions in recent years make it difficult to document the true effects of I/I related improvements.
Golden Valley's inspection is required before a home that does not have a Certificate of I/I Compliance can be advertised for sale. Repairs should be completed, and a certificate of compliance issued, before the closing. If repairs cannot be made before a title transfer, then escrow is required. The certificate of compliance stays with the property after the sale.
After studying other programs, City officials concluded the cost of such a repair might be easier on homeowners at the time of a sale, when they typically have access to funding from home equity.
Repairs should be completed within 180 days of the first inspection, and the City can grant an extension of another 180 days. If repairs are not completed within one year of the first inspection, the inspection becomes invalid and the process starts again, which includes paying the applicable inspection fee.
Yes, if arrangements are made for escrow with the closing agent and an I/I Compliance Agreement is signed by the City and the responsible party. The seller is responsible for the initial inspection.
While some cities have been successful at reducing I/I, the regional problem is still significant and more participation is necessary. To enforce this, starting in 2013 MCES will implement a wastewater demand charge for communities with excessive I/I, including those with reduction programs. This means a city could get assessed a surcharge if it were to exceed sanitary sewer flow levels during a major rain storm, even if it had previously shown reduced flow rates through I/I mitigation.
The source water supply for the Minneapolis Water Works is the Mississippi River at Fridley. Water is pumped from just below where Interstate 694 crosses the river. After treatment and purification, the water is pumped to customers in:
Mississippi River water is naturally much softer than ground water, and it is further softened during treatment at the Minneapolis Water Works treatment plant. This benefit saves water users the expense of purchasing and maintaining a home softening system. The Joint Water Commission's suburban neighbors do not use this source of water. Instead, they rely on groundwater sources that are pumped, disinfected with chlorine, and delivered to customers.
Over the years, efforts have been made to protect the Mississippi River as a reliable source of water. It drains such a large watershed of northern and central Minnesota that the effects of localized droughts are not often felt at the intake. However, the Mississippi River is vulnerable to contamination from human and natural sources. Increasing upstream uses and constant runoff from agricultural lands have diminished its quality over the years. Increasing human activity along its banks also increases the possibility of a hazardous chemical spill. The City of Minneapolis has been diligent in trying to protect its Mississippi River source. However, no backup supply is available should an accident happen.
The river water is treated at the Fridley Water Filtration Plant or the Columbia Heights Ultrafiltration Facility (owned and operated by the City of Minneapolis). The quality of the river water is such that it makes it relatively easy to treat. The treatment process removes cloudiness, or turbidity, from the water by filtering it through large beds of sand, gravel, and carbon. The water is softened with lime and then disinfected with chlorine before delivery to customers. The City of Minneapolis' treatment systems are operated in accordance with standard utility practices, and the treated water quality meets all current state and Federal regulations. The treated water is pumped through large diameter pipelines to the Joint Water Commission's storage reservoirs located in Crystal and Golden Valley.
The three Joint Water Commission (JWC) Cities use about 7 million gallons each day. Water demands of JWC customers have been relatively constant over the past 10 years. During the day, the amount of water used by residences and businesses fluctuates hour by hour. The JWC water storage reservoirs are big enough to meet each day's needs, keeping the water flowing through the pipelines at an adequate pressure to meet customer needs. Water demands in the summer increase dramatically (often up to 17 million gallons each day) when residences and businesses sprinkle their lawns. The most customers have used in a single day was 20 million gallons. Adequate supplies must also be available to provide water to hydrants in the event of a fire.
The JWC operates and maintains reservoirs capable of storing 28 million gallons. Operators usually fill these reservoirs at night to be ready for another day of demands from customers.
Each Joint Water Commission (JWC) household receives a utility bill from its City's finance department. The water bill reflects three different costs: