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Wayzata is a premier suburb located 11 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. With a population of 4,500 people, Wayzata is a tight-knit community which is known for its vibrant downtown and picturesque setting on Lake Minnetonka. A popular destination for visitors, Wayzata’s downtown is home to a number of specialty shops, boutiques, professional services, and restaurants.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

City Council Approves Section Foreman House Preservation Site Designation


At Tuesday’s Wayzata city council meeting, the council unanimously approved a motion to place an Historic Preservation Site designation on the Section Foreman House.

Courtesy City of Wayzata



The Section Foreman House was built in 1902 to support the section foremen and their families.

Resolution 03-2020

The section foreman was in charge of a section gang tasked with making sure the railroad tracks were in good repair.

The Wayzata Section Foreman House is believed to be the only section house in Minnesota still standing at its original location.

The Section Foreman House is located along the railroad tracks on Lake Minnetonka just east of where the Great Northern Depot stands. The depot was built in 1906.

With a Heritage Preservation Site designation in place, a site alteration permit will be need to be approved by the City Council.

The main reason for the site alteration permit  is to ensure that no changes will be made that will impair the historical integrity of the structure. The process allows for more public input and transparency around proposed changes to historic house.

Disclaimer: Dan Gustafson, owner of Wayzata.com, serves as chair of the Wayzata Heritage Preservation Board.


Monday, January 20, 2020

2020 Wayzata Art Experience Cancelled


The annual Wayzata Art Experience has been cancelled for 2020.

Courtesy Wayzata Art Experience

The Wayzata Chamber of Commerce announced the cancellation in a news release.

The two-day celebration was established in 2004.

It was scheduled for Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23.

This year’s Art Experience was cancelled due to construction scheduled  for Lake Street as a part of the Lake Effect (Panoway) Project

The construction is scheduled to begin in March.


Wayzata City Council To Review Section Foreman House Preservation Site Designation Request


At Tuesday’s city council meeting, the council will review a preservation site designation request for the Wayzata’s Section Foreman House.

Courtesy City of Wayzata
On Monday, Dec. 16, the Wayzata Planning Commission reviewed a request from the Heritage Preservation Board to designate the Section Foreman House as a Heritage Preservation Site.


Courtesy City of Wayzata/WCTV


The commissioners unanimously approved a motion to direct staff to prepare a draft Planning Commission report and recommendation for approval that the Section Foreman House be designated as a Historic Preservation Site to be reviewed and adopted at the next Planning Commission meeting.

According to city code, the designation requires a public hearing with the Planning Commission and approval by City Council.

The Section Foreman House was built in 1902 to support the section foremen and their families.

The section foreman was in charge of a section gang tasked with making sure the railroad tracks were in good repair.

The Wayzata Section Foreman House is believed to be the only section house in Minnesota still standing at its original location.

The Section Foreman House is located along the railroad tracks on Lake Minnetonka just east of where the Great Northern Depot stands. The depot was built in 1906.

With a Heritage Preservation Site designation in place, a site alteration permit will be need to be approved by the City Council.

The main reason for the site alteration permit  is to ensure that no changes will be made that will impair the historical integrity of the structure. The process allows for more public input and transparency around proposed changes to historic house.

Disclaimer: Dan Gustafson, owner of Wayzata.com, serves as chair of the Wayzata Heritage Preservation Board.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Business Feedback On Lake Street Development Discussed Tuesday

On Tuesday, the Wayzata city council will discuss the Panoway On Wayzata Bay plan at a workshop prior to the city council meeting.

Tuesday's workshop is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. followed by the regular city council meeting at    7 p.m.

Courtesy Lake Effect Conservancy


Stahl Construction, the company authorized to rebid Phase I of the Panoway construction project, will summarize the feedback it received recently from Lake Street businesses.





Courtesy City of Wayzata/WCTV

At a previous city council meeting (Nov. 19), a professional services agreement with Stahl Construction for construction management services for Lake Effect’s first phase was approved.

The agreement includes $25,200 pre-construction services, approximately $100,000 for construction management, $50,000/month for construction services and $4,260/month for reimbursable expenses.

The city stated these costs will be paid out of the Lake Effect Fund and were previously unplanned.

The expectation is that the Stahl expenses will decrease the overall project costs.

Lake Effect’s first phase essentially consists of Lake Street, Lake Street Plaza and the Dakota Rail Regional Trail Extension.

Stahl was brought in after bids for the first phase came in double the estimated costs earlier this year. City council rejected those bids in July.



Courtesy City of Wayzata/WCTV

On Tuesday, Stahl and city staff will discuss valet parking, construction work during off hours and increased signage.

In addition to discussing the construction project, the city council will talk about the marketing and communications plan.

According to the city council workshop packet, the marketing and communications plan will cost $100,000. The city will pay for $70,000 and the Lake Effect Conservancy will pay for $30,000.

Goff Public, True Voice Communications and Fuzzy Duck created a proposal for the work.

You can read more about the proposal in the city council workshop packet beginning on page 13.

The proposal comprises the following:
  • Messaging and training - $5,000
  • Philanthropy fact sheets - $3,500
  • Website - $4,500
  • Social media - $5,500
  • Owned channels - $4,000
  • Media relations - $4,000
  • Stakeholder/donor meetings - $1,000
  • Brand ambassador training - $7,500
  • Groundbreaking event - $21,000
  • Ongoing communications and strategy - $44,000
Back in July, the city council approved a $40,000 Business District Initiative Agreement with Hennepin County. 

That money was designated for the Navigate Wayzata campaign.

The marketing initiative as aimed at informing the public about Wayzata/Superior Boulevard and Highway 101 bridge construction. 

Goff and Fuzzy Duck were hired to work on that initiative.


Friday, January 17, 2020

Wayzata Public Schools Dismissing Early Ahead Of Winter Storm

A significant winter storm will arrive Friday afternoon. 

Wayzata Public Schools will be dismissing school two hours early on Friday, Jan. 17. 



This means your school will dismiss two hours earlier than the normal dismissal time. All students will take the bus home or will need to be picked up at the earlier dismissal time. Home Base and Bright Start will be closed Friday afternoon.

All after-school and evening activities at elementary and middle schools (including the Central Middle School dome and arena) are canceled on Friday.

The National Weather Service is predicting 7-10 inches for Wayzata.

Blowing and drifting snow could be an issue on Saturday.

When big snow comes, the city of Wayzata has a specific protocol it follows.

If the snowfall is two or more inches by 8 p.m., the snow parking regulations kick in at 2 a.m. the following morning.

That means any vehicles parked on unplowed city streets will be tagged and possibly towed.

Residents can call (952) 404-5369 after 8 p.m. to find out if the parking ordinance is in effect.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Gov. Walz Recommends $10M for Wayzata Lake Effect

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is recommending $10 million for a grant to the City of Wayzata for a boardwalk and for ecological restoration along the shoreline of Lake Minnetonka as a part of the Lake Effect project.


This is a part of a $300 million proposed investment in water quality and infrastructure projects.


In November, City Manager Jeff Dahl stated that he and other city officials met with the Governor’s office to discuss bonding bill funding for the Lake Effect Project.

“This is all in preparation for our ask of $10 million to help with this overall project,” said Dahl at a city council meeting in November. “In late winter, early spring we will be active again in trying to leverage our community support in getting regional support. While it’s for the residents of the city of Wayzata, certainly people come from outside Wayzata and we think it’s appropriate the state pay its fair share.”

On Nov. 14, The City of Wayzata hosted the Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee to learn about the Lake Effect Project.

This follows a visit from a similar committee from the Minnesota Senate a few weeks prior.

The state portion would come from an upcoming legislative bonding bill.

Now, state legislators in St. Paul will review the Governor’s recommendations when the next legislative session begins next month.

The $10 million ask of the state is to fund later stages of the Lake Effect Project. The initial phase will be paid for by the city.


A groundbreaking  is scheduled for March.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Wayzata High School Seeking Professionals As Mentors

The school is looking for mentors in Business Management and Economics as well as Cybersecurity and Applied Mathematics.

Mentors and students are expected to communicate at least once a week and meet four to five times between February and May.

You can find more information at: wayzataschools.org/whs/academics/compass.

Contact Miriam Lejonvarn – Miriam.legonvarn@wayzataschools.org or 763.745.6884 – if interested.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Wayzata Welcomes Back Firefighter Chris Mattson

The Wayzata Fire Department welcomed back firefighter Chris Mattson at Tuesday's City Council Meeting.



Mattson had been with the WFD years ago, moved out of town and then moved back.


Jan. 7, 2020 City Council Meeting (Courtesy WCTV)


"To get back with the band of brothers," said Mattson. "And get around some positive people again, was really a desire for me and my family."

Thursday, January 09, 2020

City Hall Remodel Project Moving Forward Amid Higher Than Anticipated Bids

At Tuesday’s Wayzata City Council meeting, city staff recommended authorizing RJM Construction to award the bids and approve the proposal with Henricksen for the City Hall remodel project.



Jan. 7, 2020 City Council Meeting (Courtesy WCTV)

In 2019, the city identified approximately $318,000 in the Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) for the project.





RJM Construction is the project manager for the project.

The bids RJM received totaled more than $518,000.

City Hall would make up most of the cost of the remodel at an approximate price of $334,000. 

Police, motor vehicles and furniture comprise the balance of the total.

According to the city, the overall goals of the project were to create additional work spaces for employees, improve visibility and safety and increased efficiency for DMV and city hall lobbies.

Current market conditions contributed to why the bids received were $200,000 more than anticipated.

City staff stated that the $200,000 gap could be reduced by value engineering ($50,000) and the General Fund Capital Improvements Plan ($150,000).

The city council motioned to have staff authorize RJM to award bids and approve the contract with Henricksen by removing any new office furniture from the project that can be delayed without adding future costs and a reduction of construction management fees based on an updated project.

A phased construction plan would begin in February and finish in April.

The city hall front office and police department would be a part of the first phase.

The second phase would include motor vehicles and back offices.

Monday, January 06, 2020

Wayzata.com: A Commitment To Journalism Excellence

Happy New Year,

My name is Nate Leding and my hometown is Wayzata.



I spent two decades as a journalist working throughout the country behind the scenes in television news. I obtained my Masters in Journalism from the University of Minnesota.

My wife and I met in kindergarten at Widsten Elementary in Wayzata. We have a 12-year-old daughter.

I am thrilled to be writing for Wayzata.com and covering the news in my hometown.

I believe every community deserves great journalism and that's what Wayzata.com is all about.

We want to cover the news that matters to this community.

Our mission is to create a more informed public by collecting and distributing high-quality news and information.

We hold those who serve and influence this community to a high standard.

We also hold ourselves to a high standard and expect excellence in journalism based on honest, fair and ethical reporting.

If you have a news tip, letter to the editor or would like to see something covered - email me at nate@wayzata.com.

Here's to a great 2020!

-Nate

Saturday, January 04, 2020

City Council To Discuss Panoway (Lake Effect) Phasing and Logistics Plan

The Wayzata City Council will get an update on the Panoway on Wayzata Bay (Lake Effect) phasing and logistics plan at Tuesday's city council workshop.


Courtesy Lake Effect Conservancy

The construction project includes Lake Street, Lake Street Plaza and Dakota Rail Trail Regional Extension. 

According to the city council workshop agenda, Stahl Construction, the company hired by the city to handle the bidding process, has met with business owners along the 600 block of Lake Street.

The Panoway (Lake Effect) portion of the workshop is scheduled for 5:45 p.m.


Stahl Construction President Jessie Houlihan addresses city council Dec. 3, 2019

Stahl will hold an open house on Tuesday with construction project stakeholders, according to the workshop agenda.

At the Nov. 19 city council meeting, a professional services agreement with Stahl Construction for construction management services for Lake Effect’s first phase was approved.

The agreement includes $25,200 pre-construction services, approximately $100,000 for construction management, $50,000/month for construction services and $4,260/month for reimbursable expenses.

The city stated these costs will be paid out of the Lake Effect Fund and were previously unplanned.

The expectation is that the Stahl expenses will decrease the overall project costs.

Lake Effect’s first phase essentially consists of Lake Street, Lake Street Plaza and the Dakota Rail Regional Trail Extension.

Stahl was brought in after bids for the first phase came in double the estimated costs earlier this year. City council rejected those bids in July.

Stahl Wayzata Lake Street Communications Timeline

According to Stahl’s Wayzata Lake Street Communications Timeline provided in the city workshop agenda, there will be monthly updates on the Lake Street Project including an open house in January.

The regular monthly updates will include: construction updates, social media content, dedicated construction website and newsletter content, and neighborhood/local business meetings, according to the timeline.

The timeline also states that there will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the start of construction in March. There will be substantial completion prior to James J. Hill Days according to the timeline.

Stahl offered other marketing ideas for consideration including: promoting local businesses, Chamber of Commerce cross promotions, engagement of local media, as well as print materials including yard signs, postcards, billboards and brochures.

Stahl High Level Project Pull Plan

According to Stahl’s High Level Project Pull Plan, bids for the project are scheduled to go out Feb. 13, 2020. The selection of bids and bid approval are scheduled for the Feb. 18, city council meeting. 

The plan states that an open house and groundbreaking will take place in February. 

Construction is slated to begin in March according to Stahl’s plan.

Legislative Bonding Bill

On Nov. 14, The City of Wayzata hosted the Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee to learn about the Lake Effect Project.

This follows a visit from a similar committee from the Minnesota Senate a few weeks prior.

The city is asking the state for $10 million of an estimated $20 million to complete the Lake Effect Project.

The state portion would come from an upcoming legislative bonding bill.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Wayzata Planning Commission Reviews Section Foreman House Preservation Site Designation Request

On Monday, Dec. 16, the Wayzata Planning Commission reviewed a request from the Heritage Preservation Board to designate the Section Foreman House as a Heritage Preservation Site.


Courtesy City of Wayzata

The commissioners unanimously approved a motion to direct staff to prepare a draft Planning Commission report and recommendation for approval that the Section Foreman House be designated as a Historic Preservation Site to be reviewed and adopted at the next Planning Commission meeting.

Courtesy City of Wayzata

According to city code, the designation requires a public hearing with the Planning Commission and approval by City Council.

The Section Foreman House was built in 1902 to support the section foremen and their families.

The section foreman was in charge of a section gang tasked with making sure the railroad tracks were in good repair.

The Wayzata Section Foreman House is believed to be the only section house in Minnesota still standing at its original location.

The Section Foreman House is located along the railroad tracks on Lake Minnetonka just east of where the Great Northern Depot stands. The depot was built in 1906.

With a Heritage Preservation Site designation in place, a site alteration permit will be need to be approved by the City Council.

The main reason for the site alteration permit  is to ensure that no changes will be made that will impair the historical integrity of the structure. The process allows for more public input and transparency around proposed changes to historic house.

You can read more about the process in the Planning Commission agenda packet beginning on page 31.



Monday, December 16, 2019

Yard Display Not A Sign Buchanan Running For Wayzata Mayor


A Wayzata resident asked Wayzata.com about a political yard sign that appeared near the corner of Bushaway Road and McGinty.



The sign reads “Jeff Buchanan for Wayzata”.

The resident wondered if this was a sign that council member Jeff Buchanan was running for mayor.

Wayzata.com reached out to Buchanan to ask about the sign and received the following response:

“No. That’s an old sign that got resurrected somehow. I need to climb up there and take it down.”

Buchanan was elected to the council in November of 2018. He is serving a four-year term. 

Johanna McCarthy was reelected to the council during that same election.

In 2020, Mayor Ken Willcox, council member Dan Koch and council member Alex Plechash are up for reelection. 

All three ran unopposed in 2016. 

Willcox was first elected mayor in 2008. 

Koch and Plechash are serving their first terms.