Minnesota Cities Magazine

Bits & Briefs

Citizens and Smarter Water Usage
JUL13b&bwaterfaucet The City of Dubuque, Iowa, is broadening availability of a pilot program to reduce water use and increase consumer information. Dubuque’s Smarter Water Portal allows residents to track their water usage and costs, leading to more informed decisions about consumption. The program also helps iden¬tify and fix water leaks. The 12-month pilot reduced water usage among participants by 6.6 percent, and dramatically improved identification and response to leaks. The pilot was launched in conjunction with a water meter replacement project.
Learn more from the City of Dubuque, IA

Cutting Edge in the Classroom
The City of Nashwauk, the Nashwauk-Keewatin School District, and the Applied Learning Institute coordinated resources recently to bring the first Flow waterjet system into a Minnesota high school, according to WDIO Eyewitness News. The water jet can be programmed to cut through nearly any material, with the exceptions of diamond and tempered glass. Now students in the Nashwauk-Keewatin High School shop class can learn how to use this “cutting-edge” machinery and the software to run it before they even graduate. The $150,000 total investment is part of an emphasis on training students for the workforce. is part of an emphasis on training students for the workforce.

JUL13b&benergyposterNew View on Energy
Did you know energy efficiency projects in 2010 saved as much energy in Minnesota as could be created by 365 wind turbines? That’s just one of the energy efficiency statistics included in a new infographic poster (pictured at left) by the Center for Energy and Environment. The organization identifies the state’s “energy efficiency power plant” as an important resource for meeting the state’s energy needs.
Download the poster

Report: Civic Engagement Online
Forty-eight percent of adults reported participating in aJUL13b&bpoliticsSNS civic group or activity between August 2011 and August 2012, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center. The report, “Civic Engagement in the Digital Age,” measured trends in civic behavior both offline and online. Also among the findings, 39 percent of adults said they recently contacted a government official or spoke out in a public forum offline, while 34 percent of adults reported contacting a government official or commenting in a public forum online. In addition, 39 percent of adults reported participating in political activities via a social networking site such as Facebook.
Access the full report

Fun and Friendly State of the City Address
Like in many other cities, Hopkins officials deliver an annual state of the city address. But Hopkins’ approach JUL13b&bwelcomematmay be a little different than most. They make it a community event at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. The evening, co-sponsored by the local busi¬ness community, kicks off with a “Taste of Hopkins” event. After sampling food from local restaurants, attendees gather for the main event—presented in a TV game show format. This year, current city elected officials faced off with former city elected officials in a Family Feud-style presentation of city information. Past presentations have modeled Jeopardy! and the Academy Awards, to name a few. If the event seems particularly fun and friendly, it’s only fitting. One of the nuggets of good news delivered in this year’s report is the city’s designation as the country’s 13th friendliest community by Forbes magazine.

CPR, bits & briefs, 0713 magEMS Innovation
Something called the “CPR dance” could result in higher survival rates for cardiac arrest patients, according to an article in the Baltimore Sun. The procedure, developed by paramedic Dale Becker of Howard County, Md., maximizes chest compressions in a carefully coordinated routine—much like choreography for a dance. In the first year of implementation, resuscitation rates improved by about 20 percent, according to the department’s medical director. Becker, who developed the concept after studying the successful cardiac resuscitation rates in Seattle, was honored as one of the Top 10 EMS innovators in the country by the Journal of Emergency Medical Services for his work.

Celebration of Savings
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the federal tax exemption for municipal bonds. According to a resolution introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to commemorate the occasion, approximately 75 percent of infrastructure investments in the country are financed through municipal bonds.
Access the resolution

NEW FROM ICMA: Municipal Year Book 2013
The Municipal Year Book 2013, published by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) offers current local government data and developments, combining analysis and survey-based research, and highlighting the best practices of local government. Contributing authors and editors represent local, state, and federal government agencies; universities; public interest groups; and ICMA staff. Issues covered include growing income disparity, changes in city government structure, and building child- and age-friendly communities.
Learn more from the ICMA

LMC Training & Events

2013 LMC Regional Meetings

  • Oct. 8–McIntosh
  • Oct. 9–Wadena
  • Oct. 17–Glencoe
  • Oct. 23–Hibbing
  • Oct. 24–Sartell
  • Oct. 29–Zumbrota
  • Oct. 30–Marshall
  • Oct. 31–Morris
  • Nov. 20–St. Paul

Police Leadership in the New Normal I, with Randy Means
Oct. 7–Fergus Falls

Police Leadership in the New Normal II, with Randy Means
Oct. 8-9–White Bear Lake
Oct. 10-11–Shakopee

City Learning Point
Online training courses

  • Human Resources Basics for Managers Series
  • Land Use Series
  • Respectful Workplace Course

Learn more about these and other events

Read the July-August 2013 issue of Minnesota Cities magazine

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