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Vadnais Heights Business Retention and Expansion Program



    &                       VADNAIS HEIGHTS
      Strategies                   Summary Report
                                       January 2005

                   Platinum Sponsors

                    Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation

                   Gold Sponsors
              VADNAIS HEIGHTS

            Business Retention and Expansion
                   Summary Report

                      January 2005

                        Written by

     Marilyn Grantham and Michael Darger
for the Business Retention and Expansion Strategies Program,
         University of Minnesota Extension Service

                      Local Sponsors

                     Platinum sponsors
Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation
                    Connexus Energy
                 City of Vadnais Heights

                       Gold sponsors
              Jimmy’s Conference Center
                       Xcel Energy

                      State Sponsors

         University of Minnesota Extension Service
          Community Development and Vitality

                                                  1. To demonstrate to existing firms
Vadnais Heights Business                             that the community appreciates their
                                                     contribution to the local economy.
Retention and Expansion
Program                                           2. To help businesses solve their
                                                     problems and address their
Even growing cities like Vadnais                     challenges.
Heights need to pay attention to their
existing businesses. The Vadnais                  3. To assist local businesses in gaining
Heights Business Retention and                       awareness of available resources.
Expansion (BR&E) Survey is a key
effort for staying in touch with local            4. To develop collaborative
businesses and developing strong local               relationships for participating in
economic development efforts. While                  comprehensive long-range retention
the attraction of new businesses and the             and expansion activities.
encouragement of new business start-ups
are important parts of an overall                 5. To build community capacity and
economic development strategy, many                  cooperation to sustain growth and
communities now recognize the need to                development activities.
do a lot more to assist existing
businesses to grow and survive.                   6. To contribute to the assessment of
                                                     Vadnais Heights’ capacity to
As a city, it is useful to think of Vadnais          accommodate growth.
Heights as a provider of input services to
firms located here—similar to other               Sponsorship:
vendors that firms use. Just as                   This program is sponsored locally by the
businesses gain competitive advantage             following entities: City of Vadnais
by continuously aligning their operations         Heights, Vadnais Heights Economic
to provide better service to their better         Development Corporation, and
customers, Vadnais Heights must be                Connexus Energy (platinum level), Xcel
looking for ways to provide a better              Energy and Jimmy’s Conference and
environment for their premium paying              Catering (gold level), and Priority
customers—local employers.                        Express (silver level). The following
                                                  businesses contributed at the bronze
The BR&E survey conducted by the                  level: Accu-Tronics, Incorporated,
Vadnais Heights BR&E Task Force is a              Arthur Cooper, Bay-Lan Investments,
way to get to know the needs and                  Buerkle Buick/Honda, Central Bank,
aspirations of Vadnais Heights’                   Cook’s Body & Mechanical, Culver’s,
businesses. The survey results are used           Electronic Industries, Fairway Collision
to develop strategies to help businesses          Center, G.M.L., Inc., Goff Homes, Olsen
expand in Vadnais Heights and remain              Thielen CPAs, Premier Bank, S.E.H.
there.                                            Incorporated, St. Croix Real Estate,
                                                  Incorporated, Structural Wood
Objectives:                                       Corporation, and U. S. Bench
The Vadnais Heights BR&E Program                  Corporation.
has six objectives:

Vadnais Heights BR&E History:                     Research Report Development:
The Vadnais Heights BR&E Program                  The BR&E survey results were tabulated
started in January 2004 with a                    and analyzed by University of
presentation about the program to the             Minnesota staff. A summary was
Vadnais Heights Economic                          presented by Michael Darger at a State
Development Corporation (EDC) by                  Research Review Panel meeting on
Michael Darger, BR&E Strategies                   November 8, 2004. The review panel
Program Director, and Duane Arens,                members included University faculty,
Connexus Energy. During February and              government analysts, and Task Force
March 2004, a leadership team was                 members. SWOT (strengths/weaknesses
recruited to lead the BR&E project.               and opportunities/threats) analysis was
Matching funds or in-kind contributions           used to review survey results and to
were successfully obtained. A Task                suggest projects that might respond to
Force of 32 people from a variety of              local firms needs and concerns.
sectors was recruited and trained in
September 2004. Two pilot test visits to          Task Force Retreat:
firms were conducted as part of the               Based on the ideas generated at the State
training.                                         Research Panel Review meeting, a
                                                  research report was presented at a four-
Firm Visits:                                      hour Task Force retreat on December 14,
During September and October 2004, the            2004. At this retreat, the Task Force
Leadership Team and Task Force                    selected priority projects for continuing
members conducted 36 additional firm              action. Teams were formed for each of
visits for a total of 38, including the two       the three priority projects that were
pilot test visits. Prior to the visits,           chosen. The initial reports from these
Gerald Urban, Visitation Coordinator,             three teams are included in this report.
sent copies of the survey instrument to
the firms selected for interviews with a          Additional expertise and assistance is
cover letter, alerting them to the                needed and welcomed. If you have
upcoming visits. Volunteer firm visitors          ideas, time, and talents to contribute to
worked in teams of two persons and took           any of the three projects, please contact
responsibility for arranging and                  one of the team members listed with
conducting the interviews.                        each priority project report.

Red Flag Reviews:                                 If you would like to review the Research
After the first 25 visits had been                Report, ask a Task Force member or
completed, the Task Force conducted a             contact City Hall.
“red flag” review of those surveys on
October 19th. A number of issues that
required immediate attention were
identified and referred to Rod Borden
(labor issues), Gerald Urban/Tim Benetti
(expansion issues), or other appropriate
entities for attention. A second Red Flag
session was held to look at eight surveys
on November 4th.

People in the Vadnais Heights                  Stan Edwards    Community National
BR&E Program                                                   Bank
                                               Paul Gaston     City Council member
                                               John Golaski    Metro Title
Leadership Team:
                                               Bryan Hansen    Bentley’s Grille & Pub
Overall Coordinators: Hank Tessier,
Vadnais Heights EDC; and Duane                 Maryann         Premier Bank
Arens, Connexus Energy                         Jackson
                                               Andy Jannake    Olsen Thielen, CPAs
Business Resources Coordinator: Rod            Sheldon         Northwest Title
Borden, Festival Foods                         Jensen
                                               John Ledy       GML, Inc.
Media Coordinator: Mike Bromelkamp,            Mark            SEH, Inc.
Olsen Thielen CPAs                             Lobermeier
                                               Mary            St. Croix Real Estate
Milestone Meeting Coordinator: Stan            McNellis
Edwards, Community National Bank
                                               Joan Peterson   Century College
                                               Jim Proulx      Jimmy’s Conference
Visitation Coordinator: Gerald Urban,
                                                               Center & Catering
City of Vadnais Heights
                                               Casey Regan     Premier Bank
                                               Dean            White Bear Lake
Vadnais Heights BR&E Task                      Shawbold        School District
Force:                                         Kathy           Minnesota Workforce
Many community leaders participated as         Simmons         Center, North St. Paul
Task Force Members and Volunteer               Mary Sinn       Resident of Vadnais
Visitors. This group visited with firms                        Heights
and set priorities for implementation of       Shelly Smith    Johnson Properties
selected projects.                             Ken Stabler     Xcel Energy
                                               Hank Tessier    Vadnais Heights
Table 1. Task Force Membership                                 Economic
Bob Anderson Former Mayor                                      Development
Duane Arens    Connexus Energy                                 Corporation & former
Tim Benetti    City of Vadnais                                 Mayor
               Heights                         Tom             Premier Bank
Rod Borden     Knowlan’s Super                 Thibedeau
               Markets, Inc.                   Gerald Urban    City of Vadnais
Mike           Olsen Thielen, CPAs                             Heights
Bromelkamp                                     Hue Vang        Sixty One Stop
Brian Carnes   Premier Bank                    John Wertish    Xcel Energy
Paul           Paul Christiansen, CPA
Josh Deblizan American Express
               Financial Advisors
Laura          City Council member

Volunteer Firm Visitors:                        Preferred Sheet Metal, Inc.
These additional volunteers helped              Quality Manufacturing, Inc.
accomplish the firm visits.                     Payless
                                                R & S Liquors, Inc.
Rebecca Anderson                                Rave Sports, Inc.
Carolyn Bender                                  Reell Precision Manufacturing
Roger Chlebecek                                 Renstrom Dental Studio, Inc.
Barb Dammann                                    Richard Fischer Architects
Kim Desouky                                     RTI
Brian Hammarsten                                S & T Office Products
Corey Heimer                                    Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc.
Roger Tauer                                     Sixty One Stop
                                                Speedway Super America
Firms Visited:                                  Structural Wood
Thirty-eight firms were selected for            Tousley Motor Sports
visitation. The community greatly               Wal-Mart
appreciates their willingness to help the       Wendy’s
community understand the needs of local         White Bear Dodge
businesses. Their survey responses are
confidential but it is important to             BREI Certified Consultant:
acknowledge their contribution by listing       Michael Darger served as the BR&E
their names in this report.                     Certified Master Consultant to the
                                                Vadnais Heights Project. This includes
Table 2. Businesses Interviewed                 coaching and advising the local
A. I. Automotive                                Leadership Team; conducting training
Accu-Tronics, Inc.                              sessions with the Leadership Team, Task
Bentley’s Grille and Pub                        Force, and Volunteer Visitors; and
Cook’s Autobody                                 facilitating quarterly implementation
Dufresne Manufacturing                          meetings when the Task Force moves
Garcia’s Hardware                               into the priority project implementation
GML, Inc.                                       phase.
Goff Homes
I. C. Systems, Inc.                             State Research Review Panel:
Interplastic Corporation                        Panel members reviewed the tabulated
Jimmy’s Food and Drink/Jimmy’s                  survey results and suggested potential
Conference Center                               actions that might be taken by Vadnais
Knowlan’s Super Market, Inc.                    Heights' leaders to respond to local
Master Level Controls                           businesses’ needs and concerns. Panel
Merrick, Inc.                                   participants were:
Midwest Roadsters
Minnesota Mold and Engineering                  Vadnais Heights BR&E Task Force:
New York Burrito                                Duane Arens, Connexus Energy
PDQ Foods                                       Stan Edwards, Community National
Perkins (TJ Food Ventures, Inc.)                   Bank
Pioneer Custom Cabinet II                       Hank Tessier, Vadnais Heights EDC

Gerald Urban, City of Vadnais                  the age categories from 45 and above,
       Heights                                 indicating an aging workforce. Growth
                                               in per capita personal income (PCPI) in
State Agency and Other:                        Vadnais Heights—$30,891 in 2000--
Candace Campbell, CDC Associates               exceeded that in the county, Twin City
Kyle Uphoff, Minnesota Department              MSA, Minnesota, and the U. S.—
    of Employment and Economic                 between 1990 and 2000. Total
    Development                                employment grew a modest 1.2 percent
                                               from 2000 to 2004. Major occupational
University of Minnesota:                       categories indicated by the 2000 Census
Michael Darger, UM BR&E Strategies             are professional and related (21.7%),
       Program                                 management, business, and financial
Marilyn Grantham, BR&E Report                  operations (18.7%), office and
       Writer                                  administrative support (17.8%), and
Joyce Hoelting, UM Extension Service           sales and related (12.3%).
       Community Vitality
Cynthia Messer, UM Tourism Center              Manufacturing is the largest employment
Ed Schuh, UM Hubert H. Humphrey                sector in Vadnais Heights with 27.1
       Institute                               percent of the total of 7,205 jobs at the
                                               end of the first quarter of 2004, but also
Vadnais Heights’ Economic                      is the sector that lost the most jobs of
Profile:                                       any category during 2000-04.
                                               Employment sectors that gained jobs
Kyle Uphoff, Lead Regional Analyst,            during 2000-04 are wholesale trade
Minnesota Department of Employment             (+24.7%) and finance and insurance
and Economic Development prepared an           (+22.6%). Leisure and hospitality
economic profile of Vadnais Heights. It        industries also contributed much to
was used in the analyses by the Research       positive job growth in Vadnais Heights
Review Panel and the Task Force. This          during recent years.
profile provides an overview of
population, income, and employment             Vadnais Heights’ BR&E Survey
trends in Vadnais Heights, compared            Results:
with other communities. The economic
profile is included in the Vadnais             Characteristics of Firms Visited:
Heights BR&E Research Report that is           Thirty-eight firms were visited during
available for review at the Vadnais            the BR&E survey with most visits made
Heights City administrative office or          during September and October 2004.
from any Task Force member.                    The firms visited represent about 11.7
                                               percent of the 325 business firms
Briefly, Vadnais Heights is a growing,         currently licensed to operate in Vadnais
middle income community in Ramsey              Heights. The survey response rate was
County. Its rate of population growth          52.3 percent of the 70 firms originally
during the 1990s exceeded that of the          selected for visits.
county, state, and adjoining
communities. However, significant              The visitation list was developed by
population growth occurred mostly in           loosely sampling firms from five key

business categories that the BR&E                                    five hospitality firms were visited. The
Leadership Team think are the most                                   remaining five visits were to automotive,
important contributors to the Vadnais                                construction, transportation/public
Heights economy and have the most                                    utility, and other category firms.
potential for expansion—automotive,
hospitality, manufacturing, retail, and                              Businesses interviewed value Vadnais
service/office. For example,                                         Heights as a business location because of
manufacturers were deemed the most                                   its proximity to downtown St. Paul and
important type of business in terms of                               Minneapolis, as well as proximity from
contributing to the local economy so all                             the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport.
16 firms in that category were put on the                            Community diversity and Vadnais
visitation list. The largest category of                             Heights Heritage Days and Taste of
businesses by far was services/office so                             Vadnais community events were also
16 firms also were chosen from that                                  cited as having a positive impact on
category. Other firms were selected for                              local businesses. If they had to decide
visitation because of their importance as                            where to locate their businesses all over
employers and/or other businesses                                    again, 84 percent of the businesses
owned and potential for expansion.                                   interviewed would choose Vadnais
Except for manufacturing, each firm                                  Heights. Interviewed firms’ opinion of
category had a 50-50 mix of hand                                     Vadnais Heights as a place to do
selected versus randomly selected firms                              business is 87 percent good/excellent
chosen to interview.                                                 (average score of 4.4 on a scale ranging
                                                                     from very poor (1) to excellent (5)).
Twelve out of the 16 manufacturing                                   Their opinion of Vadnais Heights as a
firms on the visitation list were visited.                           place to live on the same scale is 73
Two services/office firms were visited.                              percent good/excellent (there was higher
Twelve retail trade visits were made and                             non-response on this question).

                                               Figure 1. Opinions of VH as
                                               Place to do Business & Live

             Excellent = 5

                Good = 4

                                               Ave. score for business = 4.4
                  Fair = 3                     Ave. score for residing = 4.4

                                                                         Place to do business
                 Poor = 2
                                                                         Place to live

            Very poor = 1

                             0%         10%   20%         30%           40%        50%      60%
                                              % Ratings in Each Response

Overview of Business Strategies and               educational institutions providing
Priority Projects for Vadnais Heights:            employee training resources.

Profits are the key to the retention and          Strategy 2. Improving Firm
expansion of businesses in any local              Profitability Through Technical and
economy. While the owners of an                   Development Assistance. Priority
individual firm might be attracted to an          Project #2. Increase coordination
area because it is a nice place to live and       between the city and the VHEDC and
raise a family, a business can only               expand the VHEDC website to better
survive if it makes a profit (business            serve firm needs.
revenues exceed costs). The same is true
for businesses that start up in the               Strategy 3. Improve Vadnais Heights’
community. The owners may be loyal to             Physical Environment and
the community, but if they cannot make            Community Services. Priority Project
their business operation profitable they          #3. Develop the City Center as a place
must close it or move it—they do not              to “Sleep, Meet, and Eat” with hotels,
have any other choice.                            housing, and other facilities adjacent.

In a market economy, making a business            Priority Project #1: Establish
profitable is the responsibility of the           relationships among firms and local
firm’s management and its employees—              educational institutions providing
not community groups or local and state           employee training resources.
governments. However, the actions of
these entities can sometimes help                 Labor availability can be a major
business firms become somewhat more               economic expansion problem due to
profitable. The BR&E strategies and               comparatively low unemployment rates
specific project suggestions that follow          and the declining rate of new entrants to
are aimed at helping Vadnais Heights              the job market as the general population
firms become more profitable and thus             ages. In addition, suburban communities
be able to survive and grow in the                like Vadnais Heights also often have
community.                                        difficulty recruiting employees from St.
                                                  Paul, Minneapolis, and other Twin City
The following three BR&E strategies               communities nearby because of a lack of
were recommended as responses to                  public transportation and affordable
Vadnais Heights firms most important              housing.
needs and concerns. Three priority
projects—each related to one of the three         One of the most effective ways for firms
strategies--were chosen for                       to increase profitability is to
implementation by the Task Force on               continuously work to improve labor
December 14, 2004.                                productivity with employee training and
                                                  development. Higher labor productivity
Strategy 1. Improve Labor                         allows firms to pay higher wages, which
Availability and Productivity.                    in turn, reduces employee turnover and
Priority Project #1. Establish                    makes it easier to be competitive in
relationships among firms and local               attracting new workers.

This strategy is intended to help firms in                          Related Survey Results:
Vadnais Heights more effectively recruit                            BR&E surveys ask firms about the kinds
and/or retain workers and learn about                               of employees they are having trouble
means of improving their labor                                      recruiting and the kinds of employees
productivity via employee training                                  they expect to hire in the near future.
programs available to them.                                         Vadnais Heights firms interviewed
                                                                    indicate problems in recruiting
                                                                    employees in all major categories.

                                       Figure 2. Employee Recruitment Problems

Precision prod/specialty skills
        Gen production labor
             Youth employees
    Temp/contract employees
                 General labor
       Information technology

                                  0%            5%       10%            15%            20%   25%     30%
                                                                % of Firms Reporting

Some of the difficulty attracting new                               “good” and “excellent” (average score
workers to Vadnais Heights may include                              4.4 on a scale ranging from very poor (1)
lack of adequate median-priced and                                  to excellent (5)) and 87 percent rate
rental housing in the city and public                               employee productivity as “good” or
transportation to work places—both                                  “excellent” (same scale). The average
indicated as needed by firms                                        number of full-time workers per firm for
interviewed. Firms indicate that about                              the 38 firms interviewed is currently 58,
15 percent of their workers currently live                          up from 54 three years ago, while the
in Vadnais Heights. An additional 55                                number of part-time workers currently
percent live in Ramsey County but                                   averaged 14, up from 13 three years ago.
outside of Vadnais Heights and the                                  The majority (58 percent) of part-time
remaining 30 percent live outside                                   workers are employed year-round.
Ramsey County.
                                                                    Priority Project #1 Team Report
In general, Vadnais Heights firms                                   Team members: Mike Bromelkamp,
interviewed are pleased with the                                    Paul Christiansen, Sheldon Jensen, Joan
employees they currently have. Ninety                               Peterson, and Dean Shawbold. Contact
percent indicate they rate their                                    one of these people to learn more or to
employees’ attitudes toward work as                                 get involved.

This committee is planning a breakfast                      tool, enabling firms to readily find the
meeting in late April/early May that will                   technical and development assistance
bring together VH employers,                                they need to continue to be profitable
representatives of educational                              and remain in the community.
institutions offering employee training
and development resources, and Task                         Related Survey Results:
Force members. The purpose is to                            Forty-two percent of the Vadnais
establish connections and relationships                     Heights firms interviewed indicate there
among local businesses and                                  are technological innovations on the
educational/training resources available                    horizon in their industry that may affect
to them.                                                    them within the next three years.
                                                            Examples of these new technologies
Priority Project #2: Increase                               include digital graphic enhancements,
coordination between the city and the                       automated/computer controlled
VHEDC and expand the VHEDC                                  equipment, CAD systems, and the like.
website to better serve firm needs.                         Twenty-four percent of these firms also
                                                            indicate these new technologies will
A city such as Vadnais Heights is in the                    require retraining their employees.
business of providing industrial and
commercial environments for the price                       About 47 percent of the 38 Vadnais
of fees and property taxes. Accordingly,                    Heights firms interviewed are
businesses can be viewed as its premium                     considering expanding and 24 percent
customers. Maintaining good                                 are considering merging with or
communications with these customers                         acquiring another business. The major
should result in more satisfied business                    reasons cited for these plans include (1)
residents in Vadnais Heights, as well as                    changing market conditions (29 percent
a feeling of improved level of service                      of firms), (2) overcrowded buildings (13
that businesses receive from the city.                      percent of firms), and (3) other business
Nowadays a well-designed, easy-to-use                       opportunities (11 percent of firms).
website is an important communication

                                Figure 3. VH Firms' Business Plans


  Merging/acquiring another business


                                       0%   5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50%
                                                 % of Firms With Each Type of Plan

Five firms interviewed (13 percent of the         Priority Project #3: Develop the City
total) are considering relocating but two         Center as a place to “Sleep, Meet, and
are considering new sites in Vadnais              Eat” with hotels, housing, and other
Heights. Two others are considering               facilities adjacent.
sites outside the city, but in the county.
Fifty-five percent of firms interviewed           While firms surveyed indicate a good
already own or lease property that will           deal of satisfaction with Vadnais Heights
enable them to expand.                            as a place to live, work, and do business,
Thirty-nine percent of the firms                  there were also indications that a good
interviewed are planning to modernize             many employees and CEOs live
or expand their present buildings or              elsewhere. The local economy would be
equipment. Twenty-one percent of the              enhanced by development of the city
firms planning to modernize or expand             center with a mix of retail, service, and
facilities say this will mean adding a            hospitality businesses, moderately-
total of 72.5 new jobs.                           priced rental and owner housing,
                                                  transportation, and additional
Priority Project #2 Team Report                   recreational amenities that would make
Team members: Duane Arens, Rod                    it possible to not only work in Vadnais
Borden, Brian Carnes, Kathy Simmons,              Heights but also to shop, eat, and play
Mary Sinn, Shelly Smith, and Hank                 there. Enabling employees to live nearer
Tessier. Contact one of these people to           their work and reducing commuting time
learn more or to get involved.                    would also enable them to have more
                                                  time to shop and recreate locally, thus
This team is focusing on improving the            keeping the dollars spent circulating
Vadnais Heights Economic                          within the immediate community. This
Development Commission website—                   could provide a significant boost to the
linking it to the city website and making         local economy, as well as a major
it a “one-stop” resource for existing             attraction to newcomers considering
firms and businesses considering moving           working in local firms.
to Vadnais Heights. They intend the
website to                                        Related Survey Results:
• enhance communications between                  Although firms interviewed were
     businesses in Vadnais Heights,               relatively complimentary about Vadnais
• coordinate activities of interest to            Heights as a place to conduct business
     firms and their employees,                   (73 percent of them rated the city as
• connect businesses with financial,              good/excellent) and to live (73 percent
     marketing, employment and training,          rated the city good/excellent), there were
     real estate, and other needed                some important concerns expressed.
     resources and services,                      Firms indicate that median-priced and
• communicate the benefit of                      rental housing are needed and that bus
     businesses in the city to local              transit is substandard. These issues
     citizens, and                                could be major blockages to recruiting
• overall, improve the relationship               new workers for general production
     between the city and local businesses        labor and hospitality/service jobs,
     and residents.                               especially people leaving welfare and

minority people living in St. Paul,
Minneapolis, and other nearby localities.

                                                                                            Figure 4. Housing Needs

                         5 Ver y i mpor tant
                               4 Impor tant                                                                                  26%
                                                                             11%                                                                  Ave. =3.3
              3 Somewhat i mpor tant
                     2 Not ver y i mpor tant                                                                 21%
                          1 Not i mpor tant              5%

                         5 Ver y i mpor tant                      8%
                               4 Impor tant                                                                                                                               45%
              3 Somewhat i mpor tant                                                             18%
                                                                  8%                                                                  Ave. =3.4
                     2 Not ver y i mpor tant
                          1 Not i mpor tant

                         5 Ver y i mpor tant             5%
                               4 Impor tant                                                      18%
                                                                                   13%                                                      Ave. =2.5
              3 Somewhat i mpor tant
                     2 Not ver y i mpor tant
                          1 Not i mpor tant

                                               0%      5%              10%           15%           20%                 25%                  30%           35%   40%     45%           50%

                                                                                                         %of VH Fi r ms Repor ti ng Needs

Firms indicate a fairly high level of satisfaction with most community services but they
also want the city to attract/develop additional hospitality businesses and facilities.

                                                                  Figure 5. New Businesses & Facilities Needed

                                                    5 = very important, 3= somewhat important, 1=not important


    Average Scores





                                 Greater variety of eating places       More specialty/destination retailers                   Community Center                       Other

Survey firms also think community                Meet, and Eat”—providing a mix of
diversity, wildlife and open space, and          restaurants and hotel accommodations,
events such as Heritage Days and Taste           as well as housing, that will enable
of Vadnais have a positive impact on             residents and visitors to access desired
local businesses.                                services conveniently. In addition, this
                                                 team wants to attract more health care
Priority Project #3 Team Report                  facilities and enhance the mix of retail
Team members: Tim Benetti, Laura                 trade and local transportation, parking,
Dobozenski, Paul Gaston, Andy                    and connected sidewalks/trails.
Jannake, Gerald Proulx, Jim Proulx,
Tom Thibedeau, and Gerald Urban.
Contact one of these people to learn
more or to get involved.                         The Vadnais Heights Task Force
                                                 selected the three priority projects
This team is focusing on improving the           described in this summary report. This
City Center, including hotel recruitment         report was written by Marilyn Grantham
and adjacent housing development.                and Michael Darger, University of
They are especially interested in                Minnesota Extension Service,
providing more affordable housing and            Community Development and Vitality
apartments in and near the City Center (a        Capacity Area. This publication is
need specifically indicated by firms             available in alternative formats upon
surveyed as a limitation in recruiting           request. Please contact Michael Darger
more employees), as well as senior               at 612-625-6246.
housing to enable older citizens to
remain in the community. The theme for           The University of Minnesota is an equal
City Center development is “Sleep,               opportunity educator and employer.


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