Courtney Johnson

Courtney Johnson

Inspired by the Chaska Herald’s annual Top 10 stories, for the past three years I’ve taken the opportunity to reflect on the previous year in the city of Carver. Here is my list of the Top 10 most memorable and impactful things in our community in 2021:

10. Veggies galore: 2021 was the inaugural year for the Carver Farmers Market and our Community Gardens. Both were great additions to our community and made it easier to get fresh produce in Carver.

9. New website: Early last year got a much-needed facelift! The updates to our website produced a modern, more user-friendly site, which is searchable and easy to navigate.

8. PHEV purchase: In July the city of Carver purchased a PHEV (Plug-in Electric Hybrid Vehicle) for our Community Development Department, which uses it for daily building inspections. The vehicle runs on electric power with a gas backup when the battery has been exhausted. So far, we haven’t had to refill the gas tank!

7. Space study: After working with architects and engineers on a space study, we identified the need to construct a 9,600-square-foot vehicle and equipment building. The proposed building site would be just west of the existing Fire Station/Public Services building. The space study also identified a need to construct an 820-square-foot addition on to the south side of the existing fire station to house firefighters’ turnout gear in a room separate from the fire garage, with its own ventilation system.

6. 5,241: Last summer we got the results of the 2020 Census, and the city of Carver’s population is now 5,241. Having crossed the 5,000 population threshold, Carver now qualifies for Municipal State Aid. This means Carver will now receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state of Minnesota for road construction and maintenance.

5. LRIP grant: Carver won a $1.25 million Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP) grant from MnDOT, which will be used to make improvements to Sixth Street West. The project will include full-depth pavement reclamation, enhancements to the storm sewer system to alleviate flooding, and pedestrian and bicycle mobility improvements along the corridor, and will take place this summer.

4. Levee progress: Last summer and fall I hosted visits from U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, and both the Minnesota House and Senate Capital Investment Committees, all who walked the levee with me and learned about the city of Carver’s need for funding to make improvements to this vital piece of infrastructure. I’m hopeful 2022 will bring additional funding to continue our momentum on this project!

3. Watering ban: Last summer amid a drought and on some of the hottest days of the summer, the city of Carver had a watering ban for eight days. With two new wells and our Water Treatment Facility expansion, which will all go into service this year, in addition to repairs to the existing well that are being made this winter, I’m confident there won’t be another watering ban anytime soon.

2. Pavement management plan: This plan was built around an annual investment in street maintenance, while incorporating recommended street maintenance best management practices such as bituminous mill and overlays, reclamations, a seal coat and crack seal program, and reserving funds for miscellaneous repair needs. The repair and replacement of streets as identified in the Pavement Management Fund will be financed through the Street Maintenance Fund, which is part of our general fund budget — NOT franchise fees.

1. JCP improvement project: The most memorable event in the city of Carver last year was the Jonathan Carver Parkway (JCP) Improvement Project. After seven months of construction, Carver now has a beautiful corridor which will safely and efficiently move traffic throughout our community for a long time to come!

Happy New Year!

Courtney Johnson is the mayor of the city of Carver. She welcomes questions or comments, and can be reached at Follow Johnson on Facebook (@CarverMayorCourtney) and Instagram (@Carver_Mayor_Courtney).