Bloomington has entered into a nonbinding agreement with the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities to move forward on development of a new community center.

The City Council approved the partnership during its meeting Monday, agreeing to set planning milestones and form a working group for stakeholders by the end of September.

A task force recommended that Bloomington find a partner to build a new community center rather than make improvements to the Creekside Community Center.

The city and the Y began discussions last fall.

“The task force felt strongly that given the cost projections it was crucial that the city find a partner,” said Diann Kirby, community services director for Bloomington.

Construction could begin in early 2019 and the center could open in early 2020, Kirby said.

The agreement approved Monday by the council outlines how Bloomington residents and Y members would share access to the center. The city and the Y would share funding and construction costs.

City officials have yet to pick a site for the center, and are still considering funding sources.

HENNEPIN COUNTY

Workers sought for cyclist, pedestrian count

Hennepin County is teaming up with Minneapolis Public Works for the second annual countywide bicyclist and pedestrian count.
Last year, volunteers helped collect data in eight cities outside Minneapolis. This year, the county hopes to have enough volunteers to cover more than 20 locations in 13 cities.

Pedestrian and bicycle counts help county and city public works departments better understand how streets, sidewalks and trails serve people walking and biking. Accurate counts provide better understanding about what is working and what could be improved.

Count shifts run from 4 to 6 p.m., Sept. 12-14. Registration can be done online or by contacting Emily Kettell at emily.kettell@hennepin.us or 612-543-1963.

Minnetonka

Commission to weigh in on housing project

Minnetonka’s Planning Commission is expected to make a recommendation Thursday on whether to approve construction of a 49-unit apartment complex bordering Hopkins.

The commission’s recommendation will go to the City Council, which expects to make a final decision on Sept. 25, according to the project website.

The building, developed by Ron Clark Construction, would be located on a city-owned lot along Shady Oak Road near Hopkins’ Mainstreet. It would have one- to three-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $800 to $1,200 a month, according to a proposal.

Several area residents were concerned about the size of the three-story building in the original site plan presented earlier this year.

Developers have since revised the plan, cutting the number of units, flattening the gable roof and lowering the building’s height.
Julie Wischnack, the city’s community development director, estimated the project would cost between $12 million and $15 million.
The Planning Commission, which also decides land-use requests, had been expected to make its recommendation last month. But it chose to table the item to let the developer again update the site plan.

Edina

Feedback sought on passenger rail proposal

Edina is continuing to gather feedback on whether to study a potential rail passenger line along the Dan Patch corridor.

City officials will hold one more public meeting about the corridor Thursday. Consultants from Kimley-Horn and Associates plan to summarize the feedback from the July meeting, review existing policy surrounding the corridor and answer questions.

A final report and recommendation are expected to go to the City Council later this year.

The Dan Patch corridor is just west of Hwy. 100 and stretches from Minneapolis, through Edina and down to Northfield. A commuter line ran on tracks there from 1910 to 1942.

A legislative gag rule adopted in 2002 barred state and regional authorities, but not cities, from studying a revival of a passenger line. Edina’s final report would recommend whether to seek removal of that gag rule.

Community members at the July meeting generally were critical of a commuter line, citing concerns about decreasing property values and safety, according to city documents.

About 60 percent of written comments showed opposition to a rail line, and only 24 percent indicated support for further study.
Thursday’s meeting will be held at the city’s public works facility, 7450 Metro Blvd. Consultants are expected to make presentations at 5 and 6:15 p.m.

EXCELSIOR

Historical society to hold Apple Day program

“A History of Apple Day” will be presented Sept. 10 by the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society at the Excelsior Brewing Company, 421 3rd St., Excelsior. This event is free and open to the public.

First celebrated in 1935, the Apple Day community tradition was run for many years by Darel and LaVerna Leipold, owners of Leipold’s in Excelsior. They will share images from their collection and stories of Apple Day, which will be marked this year on Sept. 16.

The Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society produces the monthly Tapping History series to highlight local history in word and image. Founded in 1972, the society collects, preserves and shares the history of Deephaven, Excelsior, Greenwood, Shorewood and Tonka Bay. Its archives and museum are open to the public.

For more information, go to www.elmhs.org.

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