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Meet Paul Bilotta, Roseville’s new community development director
Just one week in, Roseville’s new community development director Paul Bilotta already knows the lay of the land. When talking about topics like TCAAP redevelopment, the Snelling Avenue arterial bus rapid transit line or the up-and-coming millennial generation, his eyes light up and he becomes a font of knowledge, spouting bits of information and ideas about how those projects might affect the city.
Bilotta, 48, is no stranger to the north suburban area. He’s worked as a consultant for Stantec in Roseville for years, and currently lives in his childhood hometown of Arden Hills. His three daughters all attended Valentine Hills Elementary, his alma mater.
After completing a year at Stanford University in California, Bilotta returned to the Midwest to finish a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After graduating, he stayed in the area, working as a planner for the city of Champaign. Just a few years later, he went back to school to earn a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan.
He then came back to Minnesota, this time as a planner for the city of Shakopee, and later became the community development director there.
Since then, he’s worked at a couple consulting firms, where he has worked on projects for many local municipalities and other entities.
Lauderdale’s city administrator, Heather Butkowski, said Bilotta recently helped the city update its comprehensive plan and guided them through discussions about establishing a municipal liquor store.
“I think he’ll do a great job in Roseville,” Butkowski said. “He knows a lot. He’s very approachable.”
Interests: retail, TCAAP and millennials
As for any pet projects Bilotta might have, he said his main interests are keeping Roseville the “retail mecca” it currently is, whether that entails redevelopment or maintenance of what’s already there, as well as seeing what becomes of the former army ammunition plant (TCAAP) in Arden Hills.
“It’s a positive thing for the area,” he stated. But, he added, he’s aware of the competition it might create for Roseville: “It’s easy land to develop.”
Additionally, the city is “well-positioned” to deal with the millennial generation, the biggest since the Baby Boomers, Bilotta said.
“I like where Roseville is located,” he said. “Lots of forces in the market right now are pushing to first-ring suburbs, and especially millennials.”
Bilotta fills the position city manager Pat Trudgeon held for seven years before he was appointed to his current position in February.
“Paul has over 25 years of planning and economic development experience with municipalities, consulting companies, and private development firms,” Trudgeon said in a statement. “It was clear throughout the search process that he had the breadth of experience the city was looking for, especially in economic development activities.
“Paul will be a great addition to our team and we are looking forward to having him as part of staff.”
Bilotta started the position May 12. After his first week, he’s still just getting his feet wet, he said.
“Staff is working on a wide range of projects,” he said. “I’ve been very well impressed with the people I’m meeting.”
Johanna Holub can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-748-7813. Follow her on Twitter @jholubnews.