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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.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

$100k Proposed For Valet To Help Businesses During Wayzata Lake Street Construction


At a Feb. 18 Wayzata City Council workshop, city officials reported an update on the first phase of the Panoway Project funding.

Courtesy Panoway Project/City of Wayzata
There is $200 thousand budgeted for mitigation efforts - to help local businesses during the Lake Street construction.

$100 thousand of that will be designated to a potential valet parking system to help get customers to and from restaurants, shops and other businesses. 

The valet system would be available for a three-month period. 

The hub of the valet system would be centered at the intersection of Lake Street and Broadway Avenue.

"That needs to be presented, assuming that we are generally supportive of that dollar amount, to the businesses to get their feedback," said City Manager Jeff Dahl at the Feb. 18 workshop.

Increased communication, inventory, and additional risk insurance would make up the other $100 thousand for mitigation.

The initial phase includes Lake Street, Lake Street Plaza, and the Dakota Rail Regional Trail.

The Panoway Project is a part of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) as its own fund (officially named the Lakefront Improvement Fund).

Courtesy Panoway Project/City of Wayzata

Overall construction cost is projected at $9,049,790. 

A re-bid for the construction work that is a part of Phase 1 of the Panoway Project went out January 30.

The bids are due Thursday, Feb. 20.


At the Nov. 19 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 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. The city council rejected those bids in July.

Stahl has been gathering feedback from Lake Street businesses and other stakeholders that will be impacted by the construction which is expected to last from March until September.

Meanwhile, 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 Panoway Project’s Phase 2.

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


The new Minnesota legislative session is scheduled to go through mid-May. The bonding bill will be one of the big talking points.

Wayzata is like many communities asking for the state's help with locally-based projects.
  
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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Earl Hebeisen, Longtime Wayzata School Teacher, Dies


Earl Hebeisen, a longtime teacher in the Wayzata School District, died at the age of 88 on Feb. 14.

Longtime Wayzata School Teacher Earl Hebeisen/Courtesy Gearty-Delmore Funeral Chapels
Hebeisen was an elementary teacher at Widsten, Gleason Lake and Oakwood schools for more than 30 years.

He was preceded in death by infant daughter, Debbie; parents, Fred and Lydia; brothers, Chester, Marvin, Fritz, Alloyd, and Floyd; and sisters, Violet, Valeria, Myra, and Marion.

Hebeisen is survived by his wife of 63 and a half years, Clara; sons, David (Pat), Mark (Diane), Dan (Tammy), and Jim (Sue); grandchildren, Jacob, Jessica, Eric (Karla), Jennifer, Adam, Joe, Ian, Alex; great-granddaughters, Katya and Pearl Ann; sister, Dorothy; and brother, Dick.

His interment will take place at St. Barnabas Columbarium.

In lieu of flowers, memorial preferred to Hopkins Educational Foundation, Wayzata Education Fund, and Interfaith Outreach.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Wayzata To Update Panoway Funding At Tuesday’s City Council Workshop


On Tuesday, Wayzata city officials will give an update of the latest funding plan for the first phase of the Panoway Project (Lake Effect) which includes Lake Street, Lake Street Plaza, and the Dakota Rail Regional Trail, prior to consideration of bids.

Courtesy Lake Effect Conservancy/City of Wayzata
This will take place at the city council workshop at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18.

The Panoway Project is a part of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) as its own fund (officially named the Lakefront Improvement Fund).

Overall construction cost is projected at $9,049,790. Staff will go over the updated CIP in more detail at the meeting.

Courtesy Lake Effect Conservancy/City of Wayzata
A re-bid for the construction work that is a part of Phase 1 of the Panoway Project went out January 30.


At the Nov. 19 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 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. The city council rejected those bids in July.

Stahl has been gathering feedback from Lake Street businesses and other stakeholders that will be impacted by the construction which is expected to last from March until September.

Meanwhile, 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 Panoway Project’s Phase 2.

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


Minnesota lawmakers went back to work on Tuesday. The new session is scheduled to go through mid-May. The bonding bill will be one of the big talking points.

Wayzata is like many communities asking for the state's help with locally-based projects.

There will be plenty of back and forth in St. Paul in developing what the final bonding bill will comprise.
  
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Friday, February 14, 2020

Planning Commission To Review New Boatworks Application


The Wayzata Planning Commission will review a new Boatworks Development Application during a public hearing March 4.
Courtesy Boatworks II, LLC

















The application proposes the construction of a new four-story, 49-foot tall, mixed-use building at 294 Grove Lane East.
Courtesy Boatworks II, LLC


Boatworks owner Rick Born submitted the new application February 3.

Courtesy Boatworks II, LLC


Courtesy Boatworks II, LLC

The change in height from 49 feet to 58 feet is not the only change made in the new proposal. 

Courtesy Boatworks II, LLC

According to the application other changes include: removal of the roof top patio and mechanical equipment, elimination of the mezzanine level parking deck, addition of public inside seating area, redesigned northeast entry area providing ADA accessibility.

Courtesy Boatworks II, LLC

The main discussion points about the project at previous planning commission and city council meetings were the height of the building, exterior design, pedestrian access to docks and lakeshore and the proposed public benefits.

Courtesy Boatworks II, LLC




Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Crews Battle House Fire On Wayzata Bay


A home under construction caught fire on the 2700 block of Gale Road on Wayzata Bay in the town of Woodland Wednesday night.

Courtesy Mike Wilson
The Wayzata Fire Department, which services Woodland, faced several challenges.

According to Chief Kevin Klapprich, there were no fire hydrants closely available.

Crews had to bring in a water tanker.

Courtesy Mike Wilson

Firefighters also had to contend with the frigid temperatures.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

From Wayzata to St. Paul to New Hampshire

Two significant political events take place today that have ties to the Wayzata community.

One is happening in St. Paul - the other in New Hampshire. Minnesota lawmakers open the 2020 legislative session. Meanwhile, New Hampshire is holding its presidential primary.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar rally Monday in Manchester, New Hampshire/Courtesy amyklobuchar.com

New Hampshire

Wayzata native Sen. Amy Klobuchar is among several Democratic presidential candidates vying for the party's nomination.

Some polls suggest an uptick for her since a debate this past Friday.

The New Hampshire primary follows confusion at the Iowa Caucuses last week in which issues with a mobile app delayed results.

Mark Zdechlik with Minnesota Public Radio is traveling with Sen. Klobuchar along the campaign trail. Zdechlik took a moment to share his insights with Wayzata.com.

“If you look at fundraising alone, they claim $3 million since the last debate that’s not a huge amount of money for some of the other candidates but it is a lot of money for Klobuchar,” said Zdechlik. “The crowds at Klobuchar events are getting bigger and she’s doing better in polls in New Hampshire but ultimately the voters will let us know.” 

Nevada and South Carolina's primaries occur later this month followed by Super Tuesday (March 3) in which a number of states hold their primaries - including Minnesota.

“She has put out a new television ad featuring remarks from that debate that she got so much attention for her doing well in,” said Zdechlik. “She’s just going with a sort of full court press trying to do the best she can to turn out voters.”

State Capitol, St. Paul/Courtesy mn.gov

St. Paul

As the ballots are tabulated in New Hampshire, Minnesota lawmakers get back to work at the Capital today.

A new session is scheduled to go through mid-May.

A bonding bill will be one of the big talking points.

In January, Gov. Tim Walz sent lawmakers his proposed $2 billion list of infrastructure projects he wants included in the bonding bill.

Wayzata's Lake Effect Project made his list. 


Wayzata is like many communities asking for the state's help with locally-based projects.

There will be plenty of back and forth in St. Paul in developing what the final bonding bill will comprise.

Republicans have stated they would like to trim the governor's $2 billion proposal down.

We'll have to see if Wayzata makes the final cut.

It's not only a bonding bill year, but it's also an election year.

There are a total of 201 seats up for reelection (134 in the House and 67 in the Senate).

This includes District 33A Rep. Jerry Hertaus and District 33 Sen. David Osmek who both represent Wayzata.

Wayzata City Council: Alex Plechash, Johanna McCarthy, Ken Willcox, Dan Koch, Jeff Buchanan












Monday, February 10, 2020

Storm Sewer Repairs Begin Along Wayzata Blvd & Grand Ave


Storm sewer pipe repairs begin this week in Wayzata along the south side of Wayzata Boulevard to the east of Grand Avenue South.



There will be a lane restriction for eastbound traffic on Wayzata Boulevard.

The City of Wayzata hired Widmer Construction, LLC to do the work.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Ice Fishing On Lake Minnetonka


When most people think of Lake Minnetonka, perhaps a warm, sun-splashed day crawling with boats comes to mind. 

Ice Fishing Houses In The Distance On Grays Bay, Lake Minnetonka

No doubt the lake is a big draw when the days are long, but when the north wind blows fiercely and the temperatures plummet, lake activity doesn’t hibernate – it simply takes a different shape.

A great example of this weekend's Wayzata's Chilly Open. The community has hosted the event since 1984. Nearly 2,000 people are likely to take part in the unique frozen golf event.

Another example of winter lake activity is ice fishing which has a long history on Lake Minnetonka.

Thelma Jones documented ice fishing on Lake Minnetonka in the early 1900s in her 1957 book Once Upon a Lake. Jones told the stories of many of the early settlers of the area. 

William A. Gonyea was 90 years old when he looked back on a lifetime of ice fishing. 

Gonyea was quoted in the book, “It’s the excitement. There’s something about ice fishing if you have the patience. You sit there watching the bobber. There’s something about it. Maybe today they’ll bite.”

Despite improvements in clothing and equipment, the number of people ice fishing each year continues to drop.

In the past, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conducted aerial surveys of the number of fish houses on Lake Minnetonka. In 1961, the DNR spotted 2,125 houses from above. During the last year of aerial surveys, 2003, only 242 were recorded.

Warmer temperatures and thinner ice have had an impact over the years.

But the lake is still full of fish. And for those who brave the elements, it can be very rewarding.

There’s less competition than in the old days and less worry that your fellow angler will move in and crowd your lucky spot. 

So, make a seat on your bucket or cozy up in that fancy fish house and enjoy the peaceful quiet of a lake that can be enjoyed all through the year.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

3 Wayzata City Council Seats Up In 2020

Monday's Iowa Caucuses have squarely fixed the nation's political focus on our border state to the south. Wayzata native, Amy Klobuchar, and several other Democratic presidential candidates are hoping to win over the Hawkeye State.

A month from now, Minnesota will participate in Super Tuesday. Minnesotans and people living in 13 other states will take part in their own presidential primaries.

Wayzata City Council: Alex Plechash, Johanna McCarthy, Ken Willcox, Dan Koch, Jeff Buchanan

At a local level, let's fast forward to November - three members of the Wayzata city council will be up for re-election: Mayor Ken Willcox, council member Dan Koch and council member Alex Plechash.

Willcox was elected mayor in 2008 after serving on the city council and the city planning commission. He ran unopposed in 2008, 2012 and 2016. He told Wayzata.com that he is "undecided" as to whether he will run again for mayor in 2020.

Council members Koch and Plechash are currently in their first four-year term. Both ran unopposed in 2016.

Pleschash told Wayzata.com that he intends to run for re-election this year. And so did Koch.

“I really enjoy being on the council and enjoy serving with my fellow colleagues on the council,” stated Koch in an email to Wayzata.com. “I would like to continue serving and currently plan to run for re-election, barring any unforeseen circumstances that would make me change my mind leading up to the filing deadline.”

Considering Mayor Willcox said he is undecided about running for mayor again, Wayzata.com asked the other two council members, Johanna McCarthy and Jeff Buchanan if they would consider running for mayor should Willcox not seek another term.

“I am unsure at this time,” stated Buchanan in an email to Wayzata.com.

“I haven't thought about it,” stated McCarthy. “I'd want to confer with my colleagues on the council and others, especially Mayor Willcox, before making that decision. It is a big responsibility that I don't take lightly and would want to ensure that whoever is in that role, that person is the best one to represent all constituents in Wayzata.”

That's where things stand here in February.

Wayzata.com will continue to track the city council race as we march toward the November 3rd election.

There are a couple of dates to circle on your calendar before then.

Filing for the mayor and the two council member seats begin on July 28. That window closes on August 11.

Below is a list of city council election results since 2000.

Source: Minnesota Secretary of State/City of Wayzata

(* = winner)

2000

Mayor

*Barry Petit 1,194 (votes)
Sue Bangert 1,129

City Council (two seats)

*Robert (Bob) Ambrose 1,372
*Robyn Cook 1,190
Lynn Gruber 1,020

2002

City Council (two seats)

*Andrew Humphrey 1,028
*Sue Bangert 1022
Barry Birkholz 763
Gayle Wilson 677

2004

Mayor

*Andrew Humphrey 1,989 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Ken Willcox 1,244
*John Berns 1,211
Jim Gooley 933

2006

City Council (two seats)

*Sue Bangert 1,126
*Jack Amdal 758
Tom Tanner 695
Doug Hudson 539

2008

Mayor

*Ken Willcox 1,803 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Andrew Mullin 1,210
*Mary Bader 1,196
Tom Tanner 948

2010

City Council (two seats)

*Tom Tanner 898
*Jack Amdal 861
Jim Wilson 749

2012

Mayor

*Ken Willcox 1,842 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Andrew Mullin (re elected) 1261
*Bridget Anderson 1079
Alex Plechash 1076


2014

City Council (two seats)

*Steven Tyacke 865
*Johanna McCarthy 799
Alex Plechash 789
Jack Amdal 730


2016

Mayor

*Ken Willcox 2,226 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Dan Koch 1,718 (unopposed)
*Alex Plechash 1,715 (unopposed)

2018

City Council (two seats)

*Johanna McCarthy ,1337
*Jeff Buchanan 1,028
Cathy Iverson 956
Barry Petit 821

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Eibensteiner Retires From Public Works After Nearly 33 Years


Wayzata Public Works Superintendent Jim Eibensteiner retired Friday after nearly 33 years of service.

Courtesy City of Wayzata
Eibensteiner was involved in managing the city’s infrastructure including sewer lining, water main breaks, street repairs and general customer service.

Congrats on your retirement Jim!

Friday, January 31, 2020

Ready To Win The (Boat Slip) Lottery?


The deadline for the boat slip renewal and lottery application is this coming Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Courtesy City of Wayzata

The city of Wayzata maintains a 100-slip marina near the beach.

All permits will be issued in the following order of priority:
  • Class 1 – Residents of Wayzata
  • Class 2 – Persons owning real property in Wayzata who do not reside in Wayzata
  • Class 3 – Persons who work in Wayzata
  • Class 4 – All other applicants


Monday, January 27, 2020

Wayzata’s Klapprich Field

In the summer, it’s the “ping” of an aluminum bat hitting a baseball and dogs barking in a seasonal dog park. This time of year, it’s the sound of a hockey stick slapping a hockey puck and the sound of skates on ice. We’re talking about the sounds of Wayzata’s Klapprich Field.

Skaters play pick up hockey at Klapprich Park. Photo by Nate Leding. © 2020 Wayzata.com.
If you grew up in Wayzata or are currently living in Wayzata, you know exactly where Klapprich Field is located. 

It’s been there for decades along Wayzata Boulevard between Minnetonka and Barry Avenues.

And hockey enthusiasts play between boards that are used as a dog park enclosure during warmer weather.

Klapprich Field was featured nationally when Coors Light shot a hockey commercial in early 2017.

OK, so that’s the here and now. But what was the genesis of this cherished local gathering place?

Klapprich Field is named after a local man Ed Klapprich. The Wayzata City Council passed a resolution back in 1955 to name the recreation area in honor of Klapprich for his efforts to make the field what it is today.

In the early 1940s, Klapprich rounded up a crew of volunteers loading wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of dirt into a marsh.

 They spread the dirt with shovels.

A hockey rink was completed on the east end of the marsh by the mid-1940s. The boards surrounding the rink stood only 18 inches high. The warming house was a donated garage.

By 1947, a team of 14-year-olds from Wayzata, Hamel, Sunset Hill, Minnetonka Beach, the Woodhill Club and Medicine Lake was formed. Klapprich was the coach.

In 1955, Klapprich and others passionate about hockey went before the school board to ask for a hockey program for Wayzata High School. 

The board agreed and the team would play at the rink on the marsh with Klapprich as the head coach.
In the late 1950s, a cement block warming house was constructed on the northwest corner of the rink.
 
While the hockey rink kept kids busy during the winter, the baseball field provided hours of summer fun.

In July of 1948, the ball field was ready for games.

The local team, the Little Giants, beat a South Minneapolis team in the first game.

Klapprich Field was added to the Wayzata Parks System in 1986.

In 2005, the old warming house made way for a new one.

One man’s vision of year-round fun for local children more than seven decades ago lives on today.