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WINTER 2003-2004

       SERVICE TO YOUR COMMUNITY                               Birchwood City Council will pass the 2004 budget
  Committee members are needed for the Parks &                 (listed below) at the 12/9/03 council meeting.
Open Space Committee and for the White Bear Lake
                                                               2004 Proposed Budget
Conservation District. Contact Randy LaFoy or City             Budget 2003                       $294,287.00
Hall if you are interested in serving on either of these       Proposed Budget 2004              $301,340.00
                                                                GENERAL GOVERNMENT
                                                               Salaries                           54,364.00
                                                                WBL employee Agreement             7,500.00
                                                               Legal                               5,000.00
                                                                Legal Publishing                   1,200.00
        BIRCHWOOD CHILDREN’S                                   Election Judges                     2,500.00
            HOLIDAY PARTY                                      Election Maintenance                  170.00
                                                               Hall                                8,000.00
                                                               Conference                            800.00
The Children’s Holiday Party is tentatively                    Supplies                            5,000.00
scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Saturday,                          Assessor                            5,000.00
December 13th . Volunteers are desperately                     Insurance                          10,000.00
                                                               W.B. Conservation                     668.00
needed to help with this event. Contact                        W.B. Transit                          968.00
Annie Vail (429-2236) or Gigi Godfrey                          League of MN Cities                   900.00
(762-1250) if you can help!!!!!                                W.B. Community Counseling           1,400.00
                                                               Rice Creek Assessment                 100.00
                                                               Grounds Maintenance                 7,000.00
                                                               Engineer                            5,000.00
                                                               Equipment                             600.00
                                                               Miscellaneous City Expense          2,000.00
2004 DOG LICENSES COMING DUE                                   PUBLIC SAFETY
                                                               Fire Dispatching                   21,000.00
       Dog licenses are due 2/15/04. Rabies shots are          Police                             77,670.00
required for dogs 6 months and older every two                  STREET/HIGHWAYS
years. The date of the rabies shot must be on the              Roads                              29,000.00
application.                                                   Capital Projects                   11,000.00
       If you have any questions about dog licenses or         Street Lights                      13,000.00
if you no longer have a dog, please contact the City            SANITATION
                                                               Recycling                           5,500.00
Clerk at 426-3403 (Tuesday or Friday a.m.).
                                                               Diseased Tree                       1,000.00
       Look for your application in the mail after             Tree Disposal                       5,000.00
January 1st. Only one notice will be sent to each               PARKS/RECREATION
family and the Animal Control officer will be issuing          Parks                               5,000.00
citations by the 1st of April for those who have not            Parks & Open Space Study          15,000.00
gotten their licenses.                                                                          $301,340.00

                                                              WARMING HOUSE SCHEDULE
                                                              Monday -Friday 3:30-5:00 and 6:30-8:00
                                                              Saturday      10:00-5:00 and 6:30-8:30
     An annual meeting is scheduled for Tuesday,
                                                              Sunday        12:00-5:00 and 6:30-8:30
December 9, 2003 at Birchwood City Hall to discuss
stormwater management in Birchwood. This meeting
                                                              Birchwood residents are encouraged to ice skate at
will held during the City Council meeting.
                                                              the village rinks. The rinks are located at Tighe-
                                                              Schmitz park. With a little cooperation from Ma
                                                              nature, the rinks are generally in good skating
                                                              condition from the 10th of December through
            ADOPT A FIRE HYDRANT                              February. It’s a great way to exercise and socialize
  Do you have a fire hydrant on or near your                  with other residents during the winter months. Also,
property? Try to keep it shoveled out. We do not              when the kids are home on Christmas break, send
have a maintenance person available to do these               them down to the rink. We will try to have the
kinds of things and we rely heavily on volunteers.            warming house open at 10:00 daily (Sunday 12:00)
Your community will be a safer place to live because          over the holiday break and any days the middle
of your service.                                              school and high school students are off from school
                                                              (they staff the warming house).

  Welcome to new residents Michael Witekop, 369               Remember Winter Parking Ordinance!!
Wildwood Ave; James Andersen/Pamela Barragan, 2               Winter Parking 502.060. During or after a snowfall
Five Oaks Lane; Keri/Richard Pakonen and family,              of three inches or more in depth or of such amount
199 Wildwood Ave; Charles/Kristin Kemper, 5                   which necessitates the plowing and cleaning of the
Oakhill Court. Welcome packets are now available              city streets, alleys or municipal parking lot of snow,
from the City and are being delivered to new                  no parking will be permitted at any time on City
residents by the White Bear Police.                           streets until the snow has been removed.

  Our sympathies to the family of John Lessman, a
long time Birchwood resident who died this past               NO YARD WASTE ALLOWED IN GARBAGE
summer. Sympathies as well to the families of                   Minn. Stat. 115A.931 prohibits the placement and
Birchwood residents Dolores Monyok and Don                    disposal of yard waste in landfills and resource
Norton.                                                       recovery facilities in Minnesota. Please do not
                                                              include any yard waste in your garbage. This could
PARKING/STORAGE – TRAILERS                                    result in problems for our garbage hauler. Please
 (excerpt from Code 615)                                      dispose of your leaf and yard waste at a local
615.010. POLICY. All materials and equipment                  compost site.
shall be stored within buildings or in the rear yard in         Our garbage collector cannot pickup auto
a screened area. Such screened area may consist of            windshields, asphalt shingles, sheet rock, metal
fencing of a suitable height, natural shrubbery, and/or       studs/framing, metal siding, garage doors, lights,
topography so that the stored items are not visible           bricks, block or concrete. There is also an additional
from the frontage street or adjoining properties.             charge and an extra pickup required for
                                                              mattresses/box springs.
7. BOATS, TRAILERS, snowmobiles and
recreational vehicles currently licensed and owned by
the resident may be stored in the REAR yard subject           HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE HOURS
to the following:                                             The Washington County Household Hazardous
           a. Motorized boats, boat trailers, utility         Waste Facility on Hadley Avenue in Oakdale is open
trailers, travel trailers, snowmobiles, and motorized         during the following hours:
recreational vehicles cannot exceed twenty (20) feet                   Tuesday: Noon - 7:00 p.m.
in length.                                                             Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
           b. Sailboats cannot exceed twenty-eight
                (28) feet in length.

A building permit is required for any improvements            504.020 1. No person shall operate a snowmobile or
that cost more than $500.00 including additions,              all terrain vehicle (ATV) upon any public sidewalk,
fencing, driveways, window replacement, decks,                trail, boulevard, park, street, highway or upon any
porches, finishing of basements and remodeling of             land or premises owned and controlled by the City,
any kind.                                                     unless the operation of such vehicle is authorized by
                                                              the City or the Parks Director to perform City duties.
If you exceed any of the following set backs you will
also need to apply for a variance before starting your        Remember, this does include the lake easements.
project.                                                      Also, there is a part of this ordinance that concerns
    Side and rear yard set backs      10 ft.                  private property too.
    Front yard set back               40 ft.
                                                              504.020 2. No person shall operate a snowmobile or
Set back from White Bear Lake, Hall’s marsh and               any all terrain vehicle (ATV) on the property of
other wetlands is 50 ft. and the impervious surface           another without the written permission of the person
coverage of lots must not exceed 25% of the lot area.         in control thereof.
There are also maximum height limits.

The NEW steps for the variance procedure are:                  GENERAL CITY INFORMATION
Application and plans must be submitted to the City
of White Bear Lake Planning Department at least
                                                              RECYCLING: Birchwood Village is contracted with
4 weeks before the planning commission meeting.
                                                              Waste Management for recycling services. The pick-
The applicant must provide three copies of a site plan
                                                              up day is EVERY OTHER MONDAY – all materials
of proposed request, preferably drawn to scale (1” =
                                                              must be at curbside by 7:00 a.m.
20’) showing the following: arrow indicating north,
location of structure(s) on lot, adjacent street names,
setbacks and use of proposed structure(s), setbacks                        Birchwood Web Page
and use of adjacent structures(s), dimensions of            
proposed structure, distance between any proposed              Any comments should be sent to our e-mail address
structure and structures on adjacent lots, and other                      at
info as required in the Zoning Code. Planning
Commission then reviews plans at their regular                WATCH CABLE CHANNEL 16 for local
meeting held the 1st Tuesday of each month at 7:00            programming and announcements. Re-broadcasts of
p.m. at the City Hall. The applicant must attend the          monthly council meetings are Thursday at 10:00 a.m.
Planning Commission meeting. Planning                         and 8:00 p.m .and Saturdays at 12:00 noon.
Commission makes recommendation to City Council
and City Council makes a decision at their regular               A REQUEST FROM YOUR NEIGHBORS
meeting held the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 7:00           Please try to remove your garbage/recycling
p.m. at the City Hall.                                        cans from the curb on the day of pickup.
                                                              Birchwood is a special community of private
                                                              homes – let’s keep it neat, clean and orderly.
                                                              SEWER BACKUP PROBLEMS: residents can help
      PLEASE DO NOT STORE YOUR                                to keep our sewer lines clear: do not pour grease into
BOATS/CANOES ON CITY EASEMENTS.                               the drains, do not flush sanitary products, diapers,
ANY BOATS/CANOES STORED ON CITY                               shop rags or anything that is not biodegradable down
PROPERTY SHOULD BE REMOVED                                    the toilet. Remember, in the end, your tax dollar or
IMMEDIATELY.                                                  sewer charge pays for emergency services required
      ALSO - BE SURE YOU KNOW AND                             when the sewers back up.
STORAGE OF BOATS ON YOUR PROPERTY.                            USE THE DROP BOX located in the front door of
SEE COPY OF ORDINANCE ON PAGE TWO                             the City Hall to drop off your utility bill. Please be
OF THIS NEWSLETTER.                                           sure you include the top portion of your bill with
                                                              your payment.

Are you moving or do you have a renter moving?                         STREET AND RIGHT-OF-WAYS.
Please notify the office so the utility bills have
                                                                OAK WILT INFORMATION: All oak trees within
current names, address and charges.
                                                                the designated oak wilt control area of the City
                                                                diagnosed as having oak wilt should be isolated from
Please check your address numbers on your home.
                                                                neighboring healthy oak trees of the same species by
The White Bear Lake Fire Department notes that
                                                                chemical or mechanical disruption of common root
when homes are re-sided or additions made that
                                                                systems to prevent root graft transmission of the oak
numbers are sometimes removed or damaged. Fire,
                                                                wilt fungus. To control the overland spread of oak
medical and police emergency responders depend on
                                                                wilt, the pruning of oaks shall be avoided during the
these house numbers to respond quickly to a 911
                                                                most susceptible period of infection, from April l5
location. Local code officials recommend that
                                                                until July l. If wounding is unavoidable during this
numbers contrast with the background of the
                                                                period, as in the aftermath of a storm or when the tree
residence and be at least 5 inches in height by ¾
                                                                interferes with utility lines, a tree wound dressing
inches wide.
                                                                shall be applied immediately. If you have
                                                                experienced oak wilt, please contact Susan Burks,
Our City Clerk is a Notary Public and can provide
                                                                DNR Forest Health Specialist at 651-772-7927. If
this service to residents during regular Tuesday and
                                                                you suspect you have oak wilt, contact Tree Inspector
Friday office hours.
                                                                Kunde Company at 651-484-0114.
in Birchwood is available at the following website:
                                                                            A Look at
                                                                       Birchwood History –
newsletter must be submitted with a name and phone
number. Anonymous info will not be published.                          A Continuing Series
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE no dumping brush or
leaves of any kind at any of the Birchwood Village                            By Scott Freeberg
parks, beaches, and Hall’s Marsh!                                          Birchwood Memory #6

BARKING DOGS & ANIMAL WASTE                                              A Bicentennial Quilt
A reminder to residents with pets --- please be
respectful of your neighbors and keep your pets                 Hanging in our 2003 city hall is a
under control – roaming dogs leave unwanted animal              Bicentennial Quilt made in 1976 by 25
waste and barking dogs are a nuisance to everyone!
                                                                Birchwood women. The quilt celebrates 75
                                                                years of Birchwood life and was created
                                                                as a fund raiser for the Birchwood
                                                                Bicentennial Celebration on July 4, 1976.
                                                                The quilt was raffled off to raise money for
           To arrange a ride, call the dispatcher at 644-
8876 between 8:00 am - 4:30 pm weekdays. A mini-                the Birchwood Park Development Fund.
bus will take you anywhere in Birchwood,                        The winner of the quilt raffle ultimately
Mahtomedi, White Bear Lake, White Bear Township,                gave the quilt back to the City of
Maplewood Mall and Maplewood Mall area medical                  Birchwood and it now hangs on the wall
facilities.                                                     in our village hall. In 1976 a card was
           Travel to appointments, shopping, and all            written and placed next to the quilt. Here
around town by calling 2 or more hours ahead of                 are the words from that card.
your desired pick-up time. Arrange your ride the day            “This Bicentennial quilt, the work of 25
before if possible. The fare is $1.50 and the service           Birchwood women, depicts facets of
hours are Monday - Friday, 6:45 am - 5:15 pm.                   Birchwood life in the past 75 years.
                                                                Birchwood resident, Karin McGinnis,
                                                                created the designs. Two corner blocks
                                                                denote the State of Minnesota and White
           PICKED UP FROM
                                                                Bear Lake on whose shores Birchwood is

located, and another is a signature                 If you have any Birchwood history to
block. Early days in our community are              share with us, please call me at 653-2054.
commemorated in the designs of the tent,            I heard there was a Bicentennial tie tack
steamer, trolley, cottage, orchard, and             sold during the celebrations. If anyone
the now unused water tower. Later years             has a spare Birchwood Bicentennial tie
are reflected by the scenes of ice boating,         tack and a Bicentennial raffle ticket,
skating and swimming, the Birchwood                 please let me know. I would like to put the
Village Hall as it once looked, and a               original quilt card, the tie tack, and the
corner block denoting the annual July 4th           raffle ticket in a glass display in our city
children’s parade. Our state flower – the           hall to share with the our Birchwood
showy lady’s slipper, and other spring wild         residents. Thanks, Scott
flower, the trillium and yellow lady’s
slipper, are joined by the autumn colors of
the birch trees, balancing the summer
and winter scenes. Alternating white
                                                             MAYOR’S COLUMN
blocks are quilted using the official                              BY
Bicentennial symbol. The 65” x 90” quilt
is Dacron filled and is completely                            RANDY LAFOY
washable. The winning ticket will be
drawn on July 4, 1976. Proceeds from                SEWER SYSTEM CATASTROPHE AVERTED
sales of tickets will go to Birchwood Park
                                                              Do you like that headline? I do. But,
Development Fund.”
                                                    my Dad always told me, “You can’t get
In a subsequent newspaper article was
                                                    something for nothing.” Here is what has
written “The quilt squares represent
                                                    happened since I last let you know about the
phases of Birchwood history, according to
                                                    Village sewer system problems.
Beverly Bosse. Mrs. Bosse, Bicentennial
                                                              Our sewer system is a little more than
chairman and author of the                          40 years old. The usable life of a sewer system
Bicentennial booklet, said the women                is about 40 years or less. A televised survey of
decided which phase they would work on              our sewer system found that some 40% of the
for the quilt. Among the subjects are the           piping were fractured, deformed and severely
lake and boating, the summer cottages,              infested with tree roots. Severe infestation of
and the village water tower.”                       roots is nearly 100% in some areas. If we do not
                                                    repair the pipes, the results could be very messy.
The quilt is quite fascinating to look at                     The bottom line – the total cost to repair
and I particularly enjoy the quilted                the system is estimated to be $435,000 and this
iceboat (it’s a DN), the sailing, and the           ultimately will cause an increase in our taxes.
trolley. Oh and the wildflowers. The                          Here is some additional not-so-good
Birch tree square is pretty also. Well, I           financial news, the Dellwood Lift Station needs
also do like the water tower picture and            to be replaced. Birchwood has three lift stations.
the ice skating. Gee, I also like the village       We’ve already replaced the Wildwood and
hall and the cottage. The Minnesota                 Birchwood Lane Lift Stations because of the
state is pretty as is the camping and               same problems. What does a lift station do
orchard scenes. Can’t forget the                    anyhow? A lift station is a mechanical pumping
celebration panel and the signature                 station that moves sewage from one level to a
panel. Alright, I like them all. You                higher level (so we can get rid of it). The city
should consider stopping by the village             has scheduled this station to be replaced in 2004
hall and taking a close look at this piece          in our Year 2000 Comp Plan, before we knew
of Birchwood history. Each panel is                 about the sewer system problems.
wonderfully crafted and there’s probably                      Here is the bottom line on the Dellwood
nothing like it in the state.                       lift station – it will cost around $230,000 to

                                                         than 40% of the Village’s sewer lines. This is
NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS                                    not a problem we can live with - the sewer lines
        The good news is the streets and                 must be fixed. There are some savings we can
waterlines are both in good shape and do not             tap into to pay for the repairs, but Birchwood
need to be fixed. (Whew!)                                residents must expect you can’t get something
        Here’s more good news, even though               for nothing – taxes will go up. The repairs will
the two combined projects will cost more than            probably be staged over several years to
$700,000 (our annual budget is $301,340),                minimize disruption and costs. If you have any
Councils have worked at building up a nest egg           questions about this important problem(s),
exactly for such contingencies. We will                  contact the Village or its council members!
probably have to tap into that nest egg to keep
the costs to you as low as possible.                     RAIN GARDEN UPDATE
                                                         We are moving ahead with a rain garden on the
ANSWERING SOME OF YOUR QUESTIONS                         Birch Easement but decided NOT to go ahead
1) How invasive will the sewer system repairs            with rain gardens on the Wildwood Park
be? Will the streets be dug up? Our engineer has         Boulevard (plans are to re-examine the garden in
assured us that the repairs don’t need to be all         the spring). We also need to further examine
that invasive. In the majority of situations, the        the location of a proposed rain garden at Tighe
contractor will be inserting a sleeve into the           Schmitz. The Parks and Open Space Committee
pipes and not digging up the streets to get to the       is looking at other alternatives for these two
pipes.                                                   water problems. The Council was particularly
2) How long will the Village be working on this          interested in doing something so the water could
problem? The preliminary plan is to stage the            be intercepted before it got to the lake.
repairs over 4-5 years. This will keep the costs
down to you and the Village.                             FUN NEWS
3) Is inserting a sleeve into the pipes a less or                  Don’t forget, Birchwood has a wonderful
more expensive way to fix the pipes. It is less          hockey rink and recreational skating at Tighe
expensive & as reliable as digging the pipes up.         Schmitz with a warming house. And, for the younger
4) How long will the repairs last? The fix should        set, Santa may be visiting the annual Village
                                                         Christmas Party at City Hall.
last for another 40 years.
5) What sewer lines get fixed first? We will
work on the most exigent problems first and
work our way down. There will also be some
geographic grouping to save on costs of using
equipment and to minimize the disruption.
6) On the lift station, can’t we just fix the
equipment and not replace the entire station?
Our city engineer analogized the problem to an
old reliable car – you could fix it, but it could
break down at any time, and parts for that old
car are getting more and more scarce.
7) Can’t you just put off the replacement of the
lift station? No. While we are in the midst of
another problem, it is simply the prudent and
right thing to do.

        Here is the summary I want you to
remember and pass on. The sewer line is 40
years old and sections of the line have to be
fixed and repaired. This problem affects more


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