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

Jun 11

For the Love of Parks

Posted to Park and Rec Staff Blog by Jessica Abrahams

Author: Mary Jo Knudson, Administrative Specialist

A little over a year ago people began swarming to the parks and trails as an outlet to enjoy being outside and seeing something other than the same four walls.  Parks and trails have always been popular in Owatonna, but 2020 saw record numbers.  About a year ago, we tried something new…offering individuals and families an opportunity to take a Park Clean Up Kit for a week.  The Clean-Up Kit was very popular, and most kits were checked out every week.  We were thrilled at the turnout and how passionate our residents were about helping keep our parks clean!  Thank you to everyone who participated in our first year!


It is that time again, and our Park Clean-Up Kits are still available to check out.  Register on our website, pick up supplies at the Park Shop on Wednesday and return the kits the following Tuesday. 


New this year, is the opportunity to take pride and ownership in Owatonna’s beautiful parks by adopting a park or trail.  Volunteering for Adopt-A-Park is a chance to assist the Parks Department to maintain a clean, beautiful area and communicate any issues associated with a specific park, trail or open space.  Anyone can participate – church groups, organizations, businesses, school clubs, families or individuals.  Volunteers are asked for a once monthly commitment April through October.  Volunteers are responsible for cleaning their site of trash, debris and downed tree limbs.  The City provides safety vests, trash bags, buckets and pickers to volunteers.  We also coordinate pickup of trash, debris and limbs.  A waiver is required.


Volunteers may undertake beautification efforts in the adopted area upon approval by the Park Director.  If a project is approved, the parks department provides the materials required.  Volunteers are also asked to help spread the word of Pack-in, Pack-out and leave no trace!  Encourage others to take with them whatever they brought into the park and dispose of properly.


Volunteers are recognized on signs at the entrance of the adopted park as well as on the city website and social media.  Parks can be adopted (to begin with) for one or two years.  Those adopting parks now, will have the first opportunity to continue with their chosen location.  


The City has 38 locations to choose from in all sections of town.  Our current adopters & adoptees include:  Brown Park – Greg & Martha Lutz, Steve & Barb Spencer; Buecksler Park – The Vincelli Family; Dartt’s Park – The Wavrin Family; Hammann Park – The Izaak Walton League; Jaycee Park – Pack 354 & Troop 253 BSA; Kaplan’s Woods Park & Trails – Margaret Michaletz & LaVonne Trotter; Manthey Park – Owatonna Rotary Club; Mineral Springs Park – Owatonna Middle School Student Council; Morehouse Park – Judy Srsen; Walter H. Gainey Park – Greg & Martha Lutz, Steve & Barb Spencer; Lake Kohlmier Area Trails – Greg Posch; 18th Street Trail – Greg Posch; Rose Street Parking #3 Rain Garden – Hair Studio One; and a park TBD – Owatonna Public Utilities Employees’ Club.  Thank you volunteers, you definitely love your parks!


Many locations are still available!  Choose from any of the following: Archery Park, Central Park, Countryview Park area, Crocus Park, Daikin Soccer Complex, Fairgrounds Park, Fremont Park, Lake Chase, Lake Kohlmier, Leo Rudolph Nature Reserve, Maple Creek, North Bluff Park, Owatonna Soccer Complex at Lincoln, River Springs Water Park area, Sid Kinyon Courts, Summer Park, West Hills, Willow Park, 26th Street Trail, Cashman Park Trails, North Straight River Parkway, Mineral Springs Area Trails, Buxton Trail, or the Muckle Trail.


Contact Mary Jo Knudson 507-774-7364, maryjo.knudson@ci.owatonna.mn.us or Jesse Wilker 507-774-7086, jesse.wilker@ci.owatonna.mn.us for more information or to adopt your park!


If you haven’t already played a round, Brooktree Golf Course is in fine shape!  Summer specials include Senior Monday special $30 – 18 holes/cart or $20 – 9 holes/cart.  And on Wednesdays, enjoy an 18-hole round of golf for just $32 with a cart and a burger and fries after your round.  The specials are until 2 p.m. and do not include league players.  The clubhouse opens at 7 a.m. daily, so grab your clubs and head to the links!


Jun 11

Engineering Updates 6/11/2021

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 continued on Phase 1. During installation of the large diameter culverts that were delivered on-site last week some watermain relocation work was needed and this was completed this week. Installation of the culverts has continued and is anticipated to be completed early next week along with ditch grading and preparation. Work next week will include continued storm culvert installation followed by grading of the road base material.

2021 N Cedar StreetscapeConstruction is set to begin on Monday, June 21st, 2021.
• Construction work will take place Monday–Friday 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. There will be limited times when work must occur outside of this time period, but we will do our best to coordinate and communicate when this is needed.
• Construction will begin with traffic control, detour setup, erosion control, and setting up a temporary watermain.
• Street removals will follow once traffic control is in place.
o Removals will be between Rose Street and Pearl Street while utility installation is completed.
o Partial sidewalk areas will remain in place while the initial work is performed. Safety fencing will be placed alongside the removal limits to separate construction and pedestrian traffic.
• The Contractor may be reaching out to building owners before the construction start date to perform documentation of existing building conditions to ensure no damage to the buildings takes place during construction activities. 
o Vibration monitoring devices will be installed in specific locations to ensure the construction methods are modified as necessary to minimize building vibration.

To sign up for weekly updates for the North Cedar Streetscape Project, please visit the ISG Project Page.

2021 Truman Avenue: Northland Grading & Excavating finished work on the new storm sewer construction in Phase 1 of the project. Items completed include: removal of existing storm sewer pipe, and installation of new storm sewer main, storm sewer manhole structure, and storm sewer catch basin structures. 

Next Week: The Contractor plans to start sub cutting and the sub grade preparation next week. Items of work planned for next week in Phase 1 of the project include: subgrade preparation, test rolling, and aggregate base.


2021 Street Maintenance: The Crack Sealing crew started on Wednesday (June 9th) and have been working through Friday morning. They have completed all designated streets in the Northeast quadrant of town, and are about half done with their part of the project. On Monday, they will continue crack sealing with several streets in the Northwest, and then Southwest. They should finish by the end of the day Tuesday. 

The Seal Coating contractor is expected to arrive sometime during the week of June 21st. That part of the project should only last several days, except the loose aggregate may not get swept of for another week after that.

Please notice and obey the temporary “No Parking – Street Maintenance” signs where they are placed. They will only need to be there for a day or two.

Public Works
Street Department: Are you wondering why the pot hole you reported hasn't been fixed yet? Pot hole reports are routed to the street department who then inspects the issue. Then areas needing repair are prioritized by size, number and street traffic volume. The street department works hard to address all reported issues as they're received. 

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.

May 13

West Hills Social Commons Happenings

Posted to West Hills Social Commons Blog by Jessica Abrahams

West Hills Social Commons
West Hills Social Commons is now open! Our hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:00am-4:00pm. Below you will find the schedule for the next week.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Monday- May 17

Wednesday- May 19

Friday- May 21

8:30- Sewing

9:00- Weight Training

1:00-Book Club

1:30- Bunco

9:00- Weight Training

11:00- Spring Craft

1:00- Billiards

1:30- Players Choice Dice Game

9:00- Weight Training

11:00- Yahtzee

1:00-Billards

1:30- Bingo


Book Club– Third Monday of the Month at 1:00pm
Calling all avid readers! Adult Leisure Pursuits has a book club! Join the Book Worms at West Hills Social Commons to discuss the monthly books.

  • May 15- Tamarack County– William Kent Krueger
  • June 21– The Icecutter’s Daughter– Tracie Peterson
  • July 19– The Secret of Pembooke Park– Julia Klassen
  • August 16– The Book of Lost Friends– Lisa Wingate
  • September 20– This Tender Land– Will Kent Krueger
  • October 18– Where the Crawdads Sing– Delia Owens
  • November 15– The Winter Sister– Megan Collins
  • December 20– Skipping Christmas– John Grisham               

AARP Safe Driving Class
AARP Safe Driving Classes are cancelled through September 1, 2021.   AARP classes can be taken online at https://www.aarpdriversafety.org. Use the code Drivingskills for a discount.

Dawnlight Senior Bowling Highlights

   Monday, May 3:

   High Series Over Average: 

       Dee Schroeder 427 ( 100)

    Pins Over Average:

       Game 1:  Dennis Branstad 226 ( 53); Reuben Ebeling 196 ( 46);

                       Dee Schroeder 150 ( 41); Jerry Drevlow 237 ( 37)

       Game 2:  Judy Drevlow 192 ( 33)

       Game 3:  Dee Schroeder 163 ( 54); Marty Speikers 215 ( 33);

                       Judy Johnson 164 ( 31)

     Split Conversions:  Arlene Gleason: 5-10, 4-5, 3-9-10;

                       Marty Speikers 3-6-7 & 4-5 twice;  Sharon Hassing 3-10;

                       Judy Johnson 2-4-7-10; Willie Peterson 3-6-7 & 3-10;

                       Reuben Ebeling 9-10 & 3-10

  Friday, May 7:

    Fifth Frame Strike Jackpot:  Mike Dettmer

    Pins Over Average:

       Game 1:  Marty Speikers 192 ( 10)

       Game 2:  Rod Fletcher 215 ( 21)

       Game 3:  Sharon Hassing 173 ( 45); Jerry Drevlow 234 ( 34)

       Series Over Average:  Sharon Hassing 419 ( 35)

    Split Conversions:  Willie Peterson 3-7-10; Mike Dettmer 6-7 & 3-10