Nestled on the southern border of Minneapolis and St. Paul, the City of Mendota Heights is a first-ring suburb with a small town feel and big city amenities, overlooking the scenic confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers.
First organized as a Dakota County Township in 1858 and a Village in 1956, the City itself was not established until 1974; however, Mendota Heights has a long and rich heritage dating back to 1805, with the establishment of Fort Snelling on land acquired from the Dakota Indians. For many years, the area was primarily truck farm and dairy country, with a population that increased rapidly at the end of World War II.
Today, Mendota Heights is home to more than 11,000 residents and approximately 750 businesses. The City is known for its natural beauty and exceptional quality of life. Along with a multitude of housing options, residents also have convenient access to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, as well as award-winning restaurants, retail, arts and entertainment venues in the Twin Cities metro area.
The City boasts more than 295 acres of parkland and 17 public parks, as well as several state and private parks, with a multitude of recreational opportunities. Unique to this community is a Native American gathering place and burial ground named Oheyawahi – meaning “a sacred place much visited” in the Dakota language – which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mendota Heights operates under the Plan A form of government, the most common type of city government in Minnesota. The City Council consists of a mayor and four council members, who are elected at large. Local elections are held in November of even-numbered years. The Mayor is elected to a two-year term, and Council members are elected to four-year terms.
The City Council legislates for the city and sets administrative policy. The City Administrator, who is appointed by the City Council, serves as the chief administrative officer for the city. The administrator oversees the day-to-day operations of the city and implements the policies of the City Council.
With a mission to provide the highest quality police services, the Mendota Heights Police Department is made up of 18 sworn police officers, four police reserve officers and three civilian staff.
The Fire Department, made up of two command staff, four fire captains and up to 36 paid-on-call firefighters, responds to fire-related emergencies in Mendota Heights and three neighboring communities. The Department also has a strong focus on community outreach programs throughout the year.