Metro briefs: Mercy Hospital looks to expand ambulance capacity

Coon Rapids

Mercy Hospital looks to enlarge ambulance bay

The Coon Rapids City Council earlier this month signed off on a site plan that would allow Mercy Hospital to expand its ambulance bay.

The garage currently has room to accommodate two ambulances, but the hospital wants to expand it by 3,900 square feet so it can hold up to six, said Dan Steffen, the hospital’s vice president of operations.

“We have been looking at this for seven years,” he said. “We usually have a line of ambulances throughout the day [and] we can’t get all of them in at once.”

Steffen said Mercy is working on designs and no final decisions have been made. But the council’s vote will allow the hospital, at 4050 Coon Rapids Blvd., to proceed.

The hospital is also contemplating adding a 2,275-square-foot addition to its emergency department, which sees nearly 70,000 patients a year.

Tim Harlow


City considers TIF district for new MOA water park

The Bloomington City Council is considering a tax-increment financing (TIF) district in the South Loop to fund private development of a future water park at the Mall of America.

At its March 9 meeting, the council will discuss the proposal to utilize TIF — a tool for subsidizing projects with proceeds in property tax base growth — to fund private development of the $260 million project.

The 250,000-square-foot indoor water park would be one of the largest in North America. Triple Five, the mall’s owner, has been interested in building an attached water park since the 1980s. The company is already building a water park as part of the American Dream New Jersey project, which could be the largest indoor water park in North America unless the Mall of America project surpasses it.

Before the pandemic, city officials thought the project could be under construction in 2020 and completed by 2022. In 2021, city officials and the Port Authority initiated a feasibility study to come up with a financing model that could combine private funding and TIF to move the project forward.

Kim Hyatt

Ramsey County

New library director named

Ramsey County’s Library Board has named Jake Grussing the new director of the Ramsey County Library. Grussing has served as the Scott County Library director since 2013.

Grussing will be oversee 99 full-time employees working in seven locations. The library system has a $12 million annual operating budget and circulated nearly 2 million items in 2020.

Grussing will work out of the administrative offices at the Shoreview location. Grussing lives in St. Paul and earned a master’s in library and information studies from the University of Wisconsin.

Shannon Prather


New fire station is open

Burnsville’s new Fire Station No. 1 is operational and ready to serve the public.

The total cost of the 44,000-square-foot station came to about $18 million, according to Burnsville spokesperson Carissa Larsen. It is located at the intersection of Newton Avenue and 143rd Street.

The station was built with the health of firefighters and paramedics in mind. “Contamination zones” separate clean equipment from equipment recently used in a fire.

The station also has training built into its design, the release said, with features such as on-site apartment balconies and different room layouts that can be filled with smoke to simulate real-life scenarios.

The building meets several LEED standards, including using stormwater for irrigation and incorporating high-efficiency mechanical units, the release said.

Erin Adler

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