Rosemount Town Pages: Editorial: U of M program could be a good resource

Originally published in the Rosemount Town Pages, February 7, 2013

There likely aren't many cities that have a shortage of projects they'd like to get done if only they had the time, or if only they had the money. The more information a city can gather, the more they can know about their resources, their residents, their needs and their opportunities, the better off it is. But shrinking budgets and busy staffs often make it difficult to gather that information.

That's what makes a possible partnership with the University of Minnesota so enticing. If the city is chosen for what the U of M calls its Resilient Communities Project, it could suddenly have a lot more resources in the form of graduate students who would be put to work exploring the city and working on needs Rosemount employees have identified.

The U of M put the project in place on a trial basis last year in Minnetonka, and that city is reportedly very happy with the results. The project led, among other things, to a water-conservation project between the city and one of its businesses and a study of how the city could develop needed mid-price housing in a way that doesn't conflict with its desire to preserve open space.

There is a cost associated with the partnership. If it's selected, the city would pay $15,000. But that's a small price tag for the kind of things the city could potentially accomplish. The kind of projects it could get done.

There is no guarantee yet the city will even be selected for the partnership. Council members only approved the application on Tuesday. But we are hopeful good things will come from this.