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Home Care In St Bonifacius, MN

Home Care St Bonifacius, MN

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic Veterans Memorial gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in St Bonifacius, MN is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care St Bonifacius, MN

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“I am a current client of this provider Always Best Care comes in to help my dad a shower at night. When the guy came out to interview, he was really good and helpful, but it was just hard to find someone to help with dad been a little bit bigger and heavier. They like the person that they had come out a couple of times. The caregiver is good.”


What is Non-Medical Senior Care in St Bonifacius, MN?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care St Bonifacius, MN

Types of Elderly Care in St Bonifacius, MN

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care St Bonifacius, MN
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers St Bonifacius, MN
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Missile Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care St Bonifacius, MN
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local St Boni Bistro or visit Missile Park, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care St Bonifacius, MN

Benefits of Home Care in St Bonifacius, MN

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in St Bonifacius, MN, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care St Bonifacius, MN

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your MN's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care St Bonifacius, MN

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in St Bonifacius, MN understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care St Bonifacius, MN

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers St Bonifacius, MN

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • Nagel Assisted Living & Memory Care
  • New Perspective Senior Living
  • Waconia
  • Auburn Meadows
  • Auburn Home-Waconia
  • Waconia Minnesota Nursing Home Senior Living
Home Care St Bonifacius, MN

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care St Bonifacius, MN

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in St Bonifacius, MN 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care St Bonifacius, MN

Latest News in St Bonifacius, MN

St. Bonifacius garden is winner in Star Tribune's ‘Beautiful Gardens’ contest

We are used to seeing glorious gardens from the likes of Edina, Minnetonka and the Minneapolis lakes area featured in home and garden publications. But this year, the back yard of a St. Bonifacius couple, David and Sheila Aadland, was recognized in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Beautiful Gardens contest.Their gardens were among six contest winners announced in Sunday’s newspaper and will be highlighted in its home and garden section in the coming weeks. A Star Tribune writer and photographer were at the home for more than...

We are used to seeing glorious gardens from the likes of Edina, Minnetonka and the Minneapolis lakes area featured in home and garden publications. But this year, the back yard of a St. Bonifacius couple, David and Sheila Aadland, was recognized in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Beautiful Gardens contest.

Their gardens were among six contest winners announced in Sunday’s newspaper and will be highlighted in its home and garden section in the coming weeks. A Star Tribune writer and photographer were at the home for more than two hours last Friday morning, the Aadlands noted.

“Ours is just a modest home, so maybe that was a factor in selecting a winner from out here,” David laughs.

The home sits on a cul-de-sac on Maple Lane in St. Boni. It has an inviting curbside presence, but it’s what’s behind the house that stands out – a sprawling hillside garden with annuals, perennials, varieties of evergreens and several water features.

“We call it our secret garden because no one really knows it’s here,” Sheila said.

Readers know now, but only because a neighbor over for a backyard barbecue was wowed by the garden and submitted a contest entry to the Twin Cities daily newspaper, which has been conducting its annual Beautiful Gardens contest for more than 20 years.

It was around 20 years ago that the Aadlands built their home, and the place where their lush gardens bloom now had been a field and a mound of clay. But with a vision, loads of black dirt and mulch, rocks collected from excavated areas where other homes were built, and lots of hard work and nurturing, the back yard has evolved to what it is today.

“Sheila has the design eye and garden knowledge, I’m just a laborer,” David says.

The Aadlands moved into their home in winter, so Sheila’s initial focus was to give the back yard some winter interest – hence the arborvitae, juniper and rock treatment – and to start to develop a natural backdrop and screening for their property.

It was also a place to be at home and do things with their two boys when they were younger, so there is a strategically placed path where they could run around the garden, not through it.

One son has since gone to become a professional organic farmer at an event center in North Carolina. The other took another career path – computer information technology, although he still helps put down mulch every year.

As the boys grew, the garden did too. Sheila plugged in annuals and perennials along the way. She used young plants to save money and shifted them around as other plants grew, or pulled them out entirely if they didn’t work. She also notes that as trees and shrubs grew, it affected sun patterns, which also figures into changes in the garden palette.

“This garden has been evolving for 20 years,” says Sheila, and she is out there every day. “It’s a lot of upkeep, but it’s my passion. I love the beauty, the pruning and the perfecting.”

“It’s spiritual, nurturing and creative, and it’s something I can continue to do as a I get older,” adds the semi-retired personal trainer.

The Aadland’s back deck looks over the garden. A glass sunroom they added recently does too.

“A big Friday night out for us,” David said, “is weeding gardens together and then sitting out on the deck or in the hot tub with a glass of Merlot.”

Former Nike Hercules missile in St. Bonifacius stands as a reminder of the Cold War

For 14 years, they were the last resort for protecting the Twin Cities in case of a Soviet air attack.With 15 minutes’ warning, Nike Hercules missiles could be raised from bunkers, moved to launchpads and aimed to shoot down enemy bombers before they reached the metro area.One of the few remaining deactivated missiles in the country still is standing in the southwest metro city of St. Bonifacius. It has received much greater appreciation recently with the addition of interpretive panels.“People questioned why...

For 14 years, they were the last resort for protecting the Twin Cities in case of a Soviet air attack.

With 15 minutes’ warning, Nike Hercules missiles could be raised from bunkers, moved to launchpads and aimed to shoot down enemy bombers before they reached the metro area.

One of the few remaining deactivated missiles in the country still is standing in the southwest metro city of St. Bonifacius. It has received much greater appreciation recently with the addition of interpretive panels.

“People questioned why we had it, and they didn’t know what it meant,” said Fred Keller, president of the St. Bonifacius area community development group.

Keller, 72, served in the Navy in Guantanamo Bay shortly before the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, so he’s well aware of what things were like when the St. Bonifacius missile base was built in 1958.

It’s history familiar to others who grew up during the early Cold War years in the 1950s and 1960s, when Soviet achievements in developing nuclear weapons and launching the Sputnik satellite had the United States worried about defending its major cities, military bases and industrial centers. Schools practiced “duck and cover” drills in case of an attack, and some families built bomb shelters.

The Army built defensive missile bases at dozens of locations, including four that ringed the Twin Cities near St. Bonifacius, Farmington, Bethel and Roberts, Wis.

Defense only

The St. Bonifacius site, on farmland about 25 miles from Minneapolis, was chosen because it’s one of the highest points in Hennepin County, Keller said. It contained missiles stored horizontally underground, three large radar units above ground and an administrative building.

The missiles were for defensive purposes only and had a range of about 90 miles. They used the most advanced technology of their time, with missile-tracking radar that allowed the Hercules fins to be adjusted electronically during flight to home in on evasive aircraft.

Jay Gregg, president of the St. Bonifacius Historical Society, remembered how the Army held an open house at the base one day each summer when he was a young man. “They would bring the missiles out of the ground to show them off,” Gregg said. “Everybody was quite impressed.”

Each base had about 115 enlisted men and officers who served three-year tours of duty, according to news accounts of the time. No missiles ever were launched from any of the four Twin Cities bases, and they were deactivated in 1972. By that time, Soviet priorities had shifted away from bombers to intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the United States responded by deploying a new generation of larger, more sophisticated defensive missiles that had faster speeds and longer ranges.

A local businessman succeeded in buying one of the missiles shortly after the St. Bonifacius base closed and stored it behind an appliance shop for a time. Since its installation in the park, civic groups and city workers have repainted the missile’s white exterior as needed, and the large black letters that spell “U.S. Army” vertically along its sides.

Explaining history

The missile in St. Bonifacius with its booster rocket stands about 40 feet tall in the city’s park, just off County Road 92, which runs through town. It’s a peaceful area, framed by mature elm and maple trees, and next to a large picnic pavilion that overlooks the St. Boni Saints baseball field. The Hercules was installed in 1974 with a small marble slab in memory of those who served at the base.

However, fewer and fewer people knew what the missile meant as the decades passed, so Keller spearheaded an effort in 2010 to receive a $14,000 grant from the Minnesota Historical Society. It paid for research and installation of two large interpretive panels that tell the story of the missile and missile base within the greater context of the Cold War. The money came from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund approved by voters in 2008 and was supplemented by donations from a few citizens and local businesses.

“There isn’t a week goes by when there isn’t someone down here looking at this,” Keller said, standing near the missile last week. That includes history classes from local schools, he said, occasional visitors who knew of the base or even served there, and people riding the nearby regional bike trail that detour a few blocks to see it.

“Folks that have been here for generations are pleased that it gives recognition to that era, that time,” Keller said.

It also educates newer generations, long removed from the Cold War and how it relates to conflicts in Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere, he said.

“I have a son who’s about 50 years old, and he didn’t realize half this stuff,” Keller said.

St. Bonifacius carpenter pierces heart with nail gun, survives

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Video (00:29) : Eugene Rakow, 58, was at work when the 3 1/2-inch nail pierced his chest and came within 2 millimeters of a coronary artery.

A self-employed carpenter in the west metro beat long odds after accidentally shooting himself in the heart with a nail gun and was back home just a few days later to celebrate the birthday of one of his seven children.

"The surgeon said most people die right there," said Eugene Rakow, 58, of St. Bonifacius. "He said nine out of 10 won't make it."

Rakow was building a deck for a neighbor Friday when the 3 1/2-inch nail pierced his chest and came with 2 millimeters of a coronary artery, said Allina's Gloria O'Connell, a spokeswoman for Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, where he was treated.

The doctor who performed the surgery, Louis B. Louis, said, "This nail went through the front and the back of his heart, barely missing critical structures. I'm very pleased his post-operative courts has been so uncomplicated."

Following surgery to remove the nail, Rakow checked out of Abbott on Monday afternoon and looking forwarding to celebrating the 20th birthday of daughter Laura at the home where he lives with his wife, Carmen, and all the kids.

"I was leaning against a board with the gun," Rakow said. "I had the gun at an angle, chest level, and it jumped and I still had my hand on the trigger. It impaled the nail in my chest."

At first, Rakow recalled, the injury didn't hurt "that bad. Your body kind of goes into shock. … I could feel it gurgle a little, crunch a little. I knew it wasn't good."

Rakow ran to his truck and got his wife on the phone. She drove him to nearby Waconia Hospital, then he was transferred to Hennepin County Medical Center before ending up at Abbott that night and for the duration of his treatment. Now, he's out of work for several months as he recovers.

Following surgery, he was given the nail as a reminder of how close he came to missing Laura's birthday and many others in his family.

The doctor said Rakow "was extremely lucky, first that he was able to get to a hospital and second that the nail missed the coronary artery by about 2 millimeters twice — going in and going out," O'Connell said.

"The sternum also acted as a 2-by-4 and stopped the nail from going in deeper than it did," she added. "In the end, [the doctor] put two stitches in the heart."

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

BL City hears voting integrity concerns

Last week Wednesday, during the council workshop meeting before the regular council meeting, Rick Weible, former mayor of St. Bonifacius and current member of Midwest Swamp Watch gave a presentation to the council on election integrity and the issues he and his organization have found with the Dominion voting machines, the machines which Sherburne County uses. County Auditor Diane Arnold was invited to come and offer a rebuttal of Weible’s claims, but declined to attend.Weible explained to the council and others in atte...

Last week Wednesday, during the council workshop meeting before the regular council meeting, Rick Weible, former mayor of St. Bonifacius and current member of Midwest Swamp Watch gave a presentation to the council on election integrity and the issues he and his organization have found with the Dominion voting machines, the machines which Sherburne County uses. County Auditor Diane Arnold was invited to come and offer a rebuttal of Weible’s claims, but declined to attend.

Weible explained to the council and others in attendance the various ways in which the machines were unreliable. The machines run on Windows 7, which Microsoft no longer supports and therefore they do not receive regular security updates. He also noted that the wifi network, though private and locked, was visible to any person visiting the government center, making it that much easier for a hacker to locate the correct network.

Besides the machines being outdated and hackable, human error can lead to inaccurate counts as well. Incomplete logs of votes and of people entering and exiting the rooms where ballots are stored are two of the issues he discussed.

Weible suggested hand counting the ballots in the upcoming election to eliminate or alleviate these issues.

The full recording of Weible’s presentation to the Big Lake Council can be found at

After Weible’s presentation, Mayor Paul Knier responded by saying that he was concerned about the issues raised regarding the machines themselves, but that he had full faith in Gina Wolbeck, the city clerk who ran the elections. He promised to continue to research the issue.

Open Forum

Brad Cross, in light of the recent uncertainty cast on the election process in the county, wanted to share his point of view as an election judge. He spoke of the integrity of Gina Wolbeck, city clerk who is in charge of running elections, and had many positive things to say about the way she has run elections in the city. He confirmed that, during the last general election, one of the Dominion voting machines did go down, but that he and another election judge worked quickly to secure the unit. Judges from each party handled all ballots and no ballots were compromised. Cross believes that hand counting ballots would be a bad idea, as he believes this will lead to errors over the course of a long day.

Northland Meadows

The Northland Meadows Second Addition will feature single-family homes and single-family villas.

Council members and staff discussed some concern about the housing density of the proposed project. The area is zoned for R1 residential, but the proposed project would represent slightly more density, making it R2 (although, according to staff, the true density would land somewhere between R1 and R2). Although all of the units are single family homes, the tightly-packed villas with small yards (which are marketed towards 65 and older individuals who don’t need much space and don’t like to do a lot of yard maintenance) make the density higher than the city intended for the area.

The developer’s representative explained that there hasn’t been as much demand for large yards, and in the current market he doubted anyone would be able to develop the area to an R1 standard.

However, the developer was unsure whether they wanted to pursue the plan, anyway, as there would be a significant cost to providing sewer services to the area.

Code Revision

The council heard an update on the code revision project. Staff is working to make city code more “user friendly” for developers and residents. Staff approached the council to give the council members a chance to ask questions and provide feedback. The new code should be in use by next spring if everything goes as planned.

Department Reports

Norm Michels of the streets, parks, and fleet department gave an update on his department’s preparations for the summer. Spring crack filling has been going on for several weeks. They have also been dragging over the ball fields in preparation for youth baseball.

A local excavator volunteered their truck to move pieces of the Lakeside Park pier back to the lake, since none of the city’s vehicles were capable of doing so. Michels offered his sincere gratitude for the gesture, as did the council members. Improvements were made to the boat landing, which had some significant cracking.

The city is working with Sherburne County to offer a story stroll at Highline Park. Kids who complete all the story strolls in the county and collect stamps from each one can receive a prize from their local library.

Dan Childs of the Water and Wastewater department reported that improvements to the water treatment facility have led to much more water conserved.

Main Street – St. Bonifacius, Minnesota

A week after I came to the Twin Cities (June 1999), I picked up a City Pages and saw this great article by Katy Reckdahl: The Cars of St. Bonifacius.Head west on Highway 7 past Excelsior about 35 miles from Minneapolis, cross the rails put in place a century ago by the Great Northern Railroad, and you’ll be in St. Bonifacius, population 1180. Immediately off to the right across a grassy ditch is the St. ...

A week after I came to the Twin Cities (June 1999), I picked up a City Pages and saw this great article by Katy Reckdahl: The Cars of St. Bonifacius.

Head west on Highway 7 past Excelsior about 35 miles from Minneapolis, cross the rails put in place a century ago by the Great Northern Railroad, and you’ll be in St. Bonifacius, population 1180. Immediately off to the right across a grassy ditch is the St. Boni Farm Store, which Tom Logelin’s father started in 1932 as a feed and seed store and Logelin has continued as an appliance outlet. Logelin–a dignified man with a shock of wavy gray hair and an “I’d Rather Be Fishing” belt buckle that explains his nut-brown tan–gracefully winds up a dishwasher demonstration before approaching another potential customer.

“Oh, yeah, the taxicab thing,” he says when informed of the visitor’s question. “We register more damn taxis out here than any other place around. We always know it’s that time of the year–October or November–because there are a stream of taxis stopping here, asking for directions.” But this year may see the last time Logelin leaves his sea of white Whirlpools to gesture the way to city hall (up the hill and to the right). If state regulators have their way, St. Boni will have to gear up its bureaucracy, or forsake its unlikely status as the metro’s taxicab capital.

First, some numbers. A decade ago, according to city hall estimates, St. Bonifacius had only about 50 licensed cabs. But in the last few years, cabdrivers around the metro area have found out that Logelin’s directions lead them to one of the best license deals around: $50 per car per year, compared with more than $300 in St. Paul and $400 in Minneapolis. Airport cabdrivers, who have to be licensed with a metropolitan city in order to receive a permit, have been taking notice. In 1998, 390 cars–more than two-thirds of all airport cabs–were licensed in St. Bonifacius. That’s roughly one cab for every three people in St. Bonifacius, for a total number that edges out the 343 registered cabs in the city of Minneapolis, and eclipses the 124 licensed by St. Paul. …

As part of my tour of Main Streets of Minnesota, I accidentally stumbled upon St. Bonifacius on my way to Hutchinson and New Ulm (see coming episodes). I knew intellectually this was a small town. But given its legend as taxi capital of Minnesota, it was smaller than anticipated.

The article continues:

St. Bonifacius wasn’t always a taxi town. The area was settled in the 1850s by German immigrants, among them Tom Logelin’s grandfather, and Logelin serves as the community’s unofficial historian. At one point, he boasts, “we were a hub of commerce for the surrounding area. Much bigger than Mound, Excelsior, Waconia.” The locally headquartered Minnetonka Canning Company “was the biggest cannery west of the Mississippi. Every canned good on the Great Northern came from St. Boni.”

But the advent of the automobile changed all that, Logelin says, allowing people to travel further for their errands and cutting into business on Main Street. Car travel also hurt the rail business, which put the pinch on Minnetonka Canning. The firm shut down its assembly lines during the Depression. “Isn’t it ironic?” Logelin asks, in an oratory style used most recently when he spoke at the local Memorial Day service. “Whereas in the old days the development of the automobile started the demise of St. Boni, today’s great income is from the automobile.”

Work Projects Administration Project 1939. City Park Rules. No Pets Allowed. No Bikes Skateboards or Motorized Vehicles Allowed. Park Closes at Dusk

Main Street (County Highway 92) intersects Highway 7, and the town is a couple of blocks in from the current right-of-way of the highway, centered on the intersection with Kennedy Memorial Drive, a block south of Old Minnesota 7. The town now has over 2200 people.

So if you are ever on Highway 7 and looking for a Meat Raffle, a Ham Bingo, or a playground for the kids, take a right on Main Street.


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