Blog module icon

All Blog

Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Aug 05

What a Celebration in Owatonna!

Posted to Park and Rec Staff Blog by Timothy O'Connor

This past week Owatonna got to celebrate the culmination of a grass roots project started more than five years ago by moms Missy Ahrens and Amanda Gislason, they had a dream.  They worked tirelessly for We All Play!  And now, their children Miley and Gunnar, played alongside hundreds of others and enjoyed the Grand Opening of the city’s first inclusive playground and Miracle Field baseball field.

I am borrowing parts of Missy’s speech (with her permission) to explain how important of a project and just how big of a deal this really is.  

How is this project different?  It changes lives.   Not a lot of people had heard of an inclusive playground at the start.   Inclusion, no barriers, all abilities, accessibility and intergenerational were some of the words they used to help people understand why this was such a need in our community.   Every child deserves the opportunity to play, and just as important, every parent and grandparent should have the opportunity to be able to play with their children and grandchildren.

Missy challenged each and everyone in the crowd of over 500 to find ways to build in inclusion in their lives, in our community and within our school system.  Say “hi”, extend the invitation, presume competence, celebrate differences, be conscious of the visible and invisible barriers and ask how do I remove them.  Be intentional in planning, get creative and speak up!  Monday was that first step toward an inclusive community!

We.  All.  Play.   Three simple words.  Two amazing kids.  Huge community support.  One pretty awesome park!

How can we best understand what inclusion can look like?  Enjoy the pictures of our community, together.

Aug 30

Engineering Updates 8/27/2021

Posted to Public Works - Engineering Updates by Anna Schwichtenberg

City of Owatonna Engineering

Construction has begun and various projects can be seen around The City of Owatonna. Please slow down and use caution when approaching a construction zone.
 We thank you for your patience as these projects are completed. 

2021 Construction Projects:
2021 Project Location Map

 2021 Bridge Street: Work this week included finishing the foundations for the new signal poles at the intersection of Park Drive and W. Bridge Street, landscaping the median, traffic control modifications, continued removals at the 24th Avenue intersection and utility coordination.

The intersection of Park Drive and W. Bridge street is open to three directions of traffic, with east and westbound traffic along W. Bridge Street to open to traffic east of Park Drive to both directions of traffic. Some work will continue to occur along the roadway and at the Park Dr intersection as needed. Please continue to use caution and follow the detour routes as work will continue to finalize Phase 1 and progress Phase 2.

Next week work is planned west of the Park Drive intersection to prepare the subgrade, place subbase and base. In addition, work at the 24th Avenue intersection will continue as existing utilities are adjusted as needed.

To sign up for updates specific to the 2021 Bridge Street Project, please visit Notify Me.

2021 N Cedar StreetscapeWork this week included installation of the concrete sidewalk along Rose Street, sanitary sewer installation through the intersection of Pearl Street and watermain connections at Pearl Street. While working within the Pearl Street intersection the asbestos steam line was found and is on the schedule for abatement. Working together with the new hotel project, a temporary sidewalk has been established along the east side of the 200 block to allow more direct access to businesses. Please continue to use extra caution and awareness when walking or driving near the construction area as work continues on the sidewalk, signals, etc. and adjacent to the intersection and walkways. 

Next week, the contractor will continue to install the watermain and storm sewer through the Pearl Street intersection and install water services within the 300 block. The contractor will also be completing removals and re-establishment of the alley entrance off Rose Street to allow for improved accessible facilities in this area as well as paving the boulevard between the sidewalk and back of curb along Rose Street. Removals and closure of the remainder of the 200 block is anticipated to begin in about two weeks.

To sign up for updates for the North Cedar Streetscape Project, please visit the ISG Project Page, scroll to "Stay Connected" and fill out the form titled "Sign up here for project updates"

To sign up for various department notifications, use the Notify Me feature on The City of Owatonna Website.

To submit a Public Works Maintenance Request, please call 507-444-4350 or fill out an Online Public Works Maintenance Request Form.

Jul 09

West Hills Social Commons Happenings

Posted to West Hills Social Commons Blog by Jessica Abrahams

West Hills Social Commons
Did you miss us? The West Hills Socials Commons is open again to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8-4pm.
** The Social Commons will be closed on Monday July 5th
Adult Leisure Pursuit Membership
Sign up for our membership and get access to discounted programming along with discounts at several business part of our local partnership program. The annual membership fee remains at $40 for 2021 year; however, our 2020 members will receive a $16 discount off their 2021 membership with a remaining balance amount of only $24. Annual memberships are valid for January through December.
St. Paul Saints Baseball Game: Sunday, July 18th
Join others from Adult Leisure Pursuits as we take a trip up the CHS Field, home of the St. Paul Saints. Take advantage of this great opportunity to watch outdoor baseball and take a stroll through the beautiful CHS Field concourse. The Saints will be taking on the Columbus Clippers for a 2:05pm first pitch. Bring a friend, grandchild, or the whole family. Children under the age of 18 pay the members price
-Cost: $32 members/ $47 non-members
-Registration Deadline: July 9th
-Depart SeniorPlace:12:15pm
Strength Training (Free/ with Membership)
Try our FREE Strength Training Class. This program will teach you how to get a full-body workout from either a standing or a sitting position. Weights and resistance bands are available for use if you are looking for a challenge. You will go through stretching to increase flexibility, mobility, and balance. The class is held in the Social Commons West on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays, from 9-10 am. No registration is required.  
Table Tennis
The table tennis program will run at West Hills Social Commons on Wednesday’s 12:30-2:00 PM ($1.00 per time). Any age can play the game, so don’t be afraid.  Players of all abilities are welcome. Wear comfortable clothing. They are willing to teach any new players!
500 Club (Free/ with Membership)
Played on Friday, June 25th, 2021. There were 13 players, 4 tables with 6 rounds each.  First place went to Betty Mikeworth with 3,480 points. Second Place went to Roger Milbrath with 3,130 points. Third Place went to Shirlly Malecha with 2,600 points. Fourth Place went to Lowell Larson with 2,440 points. Fifth place went to Mernie Malecha with 2,160 points. Sixth place went to Fran Kubista with 1,970 points Betty Mikeworth made a 10 spade bid 2 times. Roger Milbrath made a 10 no Trump Bid.

Owatonna Senior Bowling Highlights:
Friday, July 2:
Fifth Frame Strike Jackpot:  Chuck Newgard
Pins Over Average:
Game 1:  Mike Dettmer 214 ( 17)
Game 2:  Mike Dettmer 267 ( 71)
Game 3:  Judy Drevlow 198 ( 38)
Series High:  Mike Dettmer 696 ( 105)
Split Conversions:  Marty Speikers (2-5-7-8); Reuben Ebeling & Mike Dettmer (each 3-10)

Monday, July 5:
Pins Over Average:
Game 1:  Reuben Ebeling 181 ( 31); Rod Fletcher 223 ( 27)
Game 2:  Judy Drevlow 189 ( 31)
Game 3:  Dennis Branstad 220 ( 49); Sharon Hassing 185 ( 48);
Myland Vroman 204 ( 34); Jerry Drevlow 232 ( 27)
Series High:  (Tie); Myland Vroman 564 ( 54); Sharon Hassing 465 ( 54)
Split Conversions:  Bill Nelson (6-7-10); Chuck Newgard (4-7-9); Marty Speikers (2-7); Willie Peterson (3-10 twice); Reuben Ebeling (3-10)
Billiards (Free/ with Membership)
The billiards players are always looking for new players to join the group.  They meet on Wednesdays at 8:30am and Fridays at 9:00am . You don’t have to be a pool shark to enjoy a game of billiards.  Come on down and play a game or two.  Both men and women are always welcome if you are a beginner, the players would be happy to teach you the game.  Drop-in billiards is also available Monday-Friday when the building is open.  Cost: $0.50 for 2 hours.
Every Friday at 12:30pm in the multipurpose room, all participants must be Adult Leisure Pursuit Members. Pay per card.