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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.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Commanding A Legacy: Buck Doran & The Wayzata Legion

 If you’ve stepped foot in the Wayzata American Legion, you probably know Buck Doran.


Wayzata American Legion Post 118 Commander Buck Doran

He’s the Commander of the Legion and has been for several years.

There was a bit of a buzz around Post 118 last week as Buck turned 75 years young.

The Legion is a tight-knit family and Buck is the patriarch.


Buck serving in the Navy

Buck enlisted in the Navy right after graduating from Wayzata High School in the early 60s.

He’s been a member of the Wayzata Legion for decades.

Buck was front and center last year as the Wayzata Legion celebrated 100 years in the community.

The Post originally held meetings above the city hall on the corner of Manitoba and Lake Street. The group began meeting at Hart’s Café in the 1940s. In 1948, the Post got its own building which still stands today. World War I vets had purchased a piece of land where Wayzata West Middle School is located. That land was traded for land along Wayzata Boulevard where the Legion stands today.

In a way, Buck is a bridge between the Legion’s past and its future. When he first got involved, World War II vets were the foundation.

Now he commands an organization that encourages more young people to join.

Fundraising is a big function of the Legion.

These campaigns allow the Post to make donations to local charities – toy drives, schools and hospitals all benefit from the Legion’s year-round fundraising efforts.

A charity that is near and dear to Buck’s heart is Hope Kids. Each June, the Legion teams up with the Lake Minnetonka Power Squadron and puts on a summer picnic on Big Island for kids with cancer or some other life-threatening medical condition.

The challenges of COVID-19 have put a stop to twice-a-week bingo at the Legion. Buck has called countless Saturday afternoon bingos. And if you’re lucky enough, you’ll hear him growl out “B-11” soon again.

Wayzata is filled with community members who give back and Buck is a prime example.

If you know a community member who goes above and beyond, email nate@wayzata.com.

Lake Street Construction Update: Bike Path Paving, Pouring Splash Pad, Restroom Work

Sept. 11 continues to be the target date Stahl Construction estimates that Wayzata's Lake Street will be completely open.

                         Looking west from the Lake Street Plaza Park, Courtesy City of Wayzata

This week along Lake Street you’ll see Stahl crews working on the following:

  • Continue installing precast benches
  • Prep soil around precast benches for concrete
  • Begin installing the metal panels on the restroom building
  • Pave remainder of the bike path
  • Remove job trailer
  • Begin installing IPE on precast benches
  • Continue landscaping and tree planting
  • Pour concrete for the splash pad
  • Remove and store salvaged items near RR crossings
  • Complete shade structure install
  • Install rock near restroom building

Beyond this week, Stahl projects the following items to be completed by the following dates:

  • Continue installing IPE on precast benches
  • Install finishes on restroom building
  • Pave base course from Barry to Manitoba
  • Pave wear course from Broadway to Barry
  • Painting road striping o Install bike racks
  • Assemble site furnishings
  • Open lake street completely 9/11/2020
  • Plaza area open to the public 9/11/2020 

9/14/2020-9/18/2020

Begin demolition at Barry and Ferndale RR crossings (contingent on receiving permit from BNSF next week)

9/21/2020-9/25/2020

Continue work at Barry and Ferndale RR crossings (contingent on receiving permit from BNSF next week)


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August 17, 2020

Lake Street Plaza Park Open To Public

The Lake Street Plaza Park, a part of the Lake Street construction project, has been opened to the public.

It is located adjacent to CōV Restaurant.

According to the city of Wayzata, work continues on landscaping and plant installation, sidewalk and concrete pavement construction, irrigation and lighting systems.

READ MORE

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August 8, 2020

Lake Street Plaza Bathroom Becomes Town Talker

 At the beginning of July, a bathroom facility began to take shape on what was previously the CōV Restaurant parking lot along Lake Street in downtown Wayzata.

It is a portion of a $9 million construction project.

A month later, it has become the town talker.

READ MORE

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August 2, 2020

Portion Of Lake Street Closed Monday - Wednesday 6a - 5p

According to Stahl Construction, the 600 block of Lake Street in Wayzata will be closed from 6 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.

The closure will allow the completion of planter bed landscaping.

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August 1, 2020

Panoway Plaza Work Behind Schedule

As Phase 1 of the Panoway Project moves forward, portions of the work have fallen behind schedule.

The work on the plaza outside of CōV restaurant is one section of that construction.

READ MORE

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June 21, 2020

$10M For Wayzata Lake Effect Doesn't Make Special Session Cut

As new asphalt paved the way along Lake Street as part of the Panoway (Lake Effect) Project Phase 1, a $10 million request for Phase 2 stalled at the state Capitol.

A week-long special session ended Saturday morning with many items still on the table.

One of these includes a bonding bill.

But even if legislators passed a bonding bill, both the House version, HF107, and the Senate version, SF4, did not include the $10 million the city of Wayzata had asked for.

This is the second time Wayzata's request did not make the cut.

READ MORE

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March 26, 2020 

Wayzata City Council Moving Forward With Panoway Lake Street Project, Construction Begins Monday

The Wayzata City Council decided to continue moving forward with the Panoway Lake Street construction project at a special emergency workshop meeting on Thursday, March 26.

Construction will begin Monday, March 30.

READ MORE


The History Of The Wayzata Depot

“The handsomest and best built structure of its kind on the Great Northern System”. That’s how James J. Hill described the newly-erected Wayzata train depot in 1906. The depot stands as a reminder of the city’s past, but also a symbol of peace between Hill and Wayzata – an olive branch offered following a tumultuous relationship.


Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

Hill was born in 1838 in Ontario, Canada. At the age of 18, he left his country settling in St. Paul. In 1866, he became an agent for the St. Paul Pacific Railroad Company. One year later, the railroad arrived in Wayzata. The tracks were laid by St. Paul Pacific. 


Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

1873 was a pivotal year for Hill. A financial panic gripped the country and crippled both St. Paul Pacific and Northern Pacific. Both went bankrupt and Hill saw an opportunity. He and two other investors would later purchase St. Paul Pacific.

In the beginning, Hill’s relationship with Wayzata was troubled. Wayzata was incorporated as a village in 1883 and one of the first actions it took was to demand that the tracks of Hill’s Great Northern Railroad (previously St. Paul Pacific) the town sought to move the tracks 300 feet back from the lake. Businesses were concerned with the smoke and sparks from the engines.

This did not sit well with Hill. In retaliation, he built a depot about a mile east of town. People had to trudge through a swamp to get there. But the grudge wouldn’t last forever. Hill had a change of heart and built a Tudor-style depot complete with platform canopies, steam heat, gas lights and indoor bathrooms.  Electricity would come a year later. In addition to all of the bells and whistles, the depot was much more convenient – that familiar spot near the corner of Lake Street and Barry Avenue. Hill was on hand to christen the train stop with an opening ceremony on August 5, 1906. Hill and Wayzata’s past disagreements were now water under the railroad bridge.

Since 1975, during the weekend following Labor Day, Wayzata has celebrated JJ Hill Days. It’s the “unofficial” end to summer fun along the shores of Lake Minnetonka. There is food, music, a street market and parade that includes a James J. Hill look-a-like. Watch closely, he’ll be the guy with the white beard wearing a suit riding in a convertible. And he’ll be smiling. It’s further proof that the city and the railroad man are still on good terms.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Lake Street Starbucks Temporarily Closed Due To COVID-19 Precaution

The Starbucks on Lake Street in downtown Wayzata is temporarily closed until Thursday, August 27.

Starbucks store, 740 E. Lake Street, Wayzata

A media relations employee with Starbucks corporate released the following statement:

“I’ve had a chance to connect with local leadership for the store in question and can confirm that there is not a positive case of COVID-19 with one of our partners (employees) here. After a partner indicated they were experiencing potential symptoms, that partner and all other partners who were determined to have been in close contact with them have been self-isolating as a precaution. As a result of limited staffing, the store is temporarily closed. It is set to reopen this Thursday, 8/27.”

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Wayzata Ferndale Residents Concerned About Diamond Lake Regional Trail Plan

The Three Rivers Park District is in the middle of a master planning process for future development of a new north-south regional trail through the western portion of Hennepin County.

Courtesy Three Rivers Park District

It’s called the Diamond Lake Regional Trail and it will stretch approximately 20 miles from Wayzata to Dayton.

The concept is a 10-foot-wide paved, multi-use trail that will connect natural areas, other regional trains in the Three Rivers system, local parks and trails.

Biking, hiking, dog walking, running and in-line skating will be allowed on the trail.

Right now, there are many potential trail route options and the Three Rivers Park District is seeking input.

Each segment of the trail will have its unique pros and cons. Ultimately, one preferred route will be determined from this collection of trail segments in the map, based on public and stakeholder input.

The park district has set up a way for residents to comment. Here is a link to the guest book where you can share your views.

Proposed Diamond Lake Regional Trail Map (red dashed lines indicate proposed routes, yellow circles indicate where a resident has posted a comment on the plan)

The trail would come into Wayzata from the north and west. 

One proposed route follows the Luce Line Trail to Ferndale Road and south. 

Another branches off from the Luce Line Trail onto Long Lake Road to Wayzata Boulevard to Ferndale Road.

Luce Line Trail at Ferndale Road

From the intersection of Wayzata Boulevard and Ferndale Road, there are two separate route alternatives.

Ferndale Road & Wayzata Boulevard

One continues east along Wayzata Boulevard and south on Barry Avenue to Lake Street.

Barry Avenue & Wayzata Boulevard

The other takes Ferndale Road south and meets the Dakota Regional Trail.

Ferndale Road & Shoreline Drive

It’s this last option of the last leg that has gained the most comments on the Three Rivers Park District guest book:

"Please do not bring the Diamond Lake Trail into Wayzata. I believe the trails should stay out in the nature and rural areas and not go through the residential areas. There has been a significant increase in traffic and population density on the west side of Wayzata. It would be a dangerous crossing over Wayzata Blvd and at the Ferndale/Lake Street or Barry/Lake intersections. Ferndale is already a very busy road and the traffic will only increase with the addition of more condominium buildings under development. The grade is significant and will result with bikers going into a high speed down the hill into a very busy intersection. There will be a significant impact to the residents along Ferndale to their landscapes and privacy, noise and pollution. In addition, the beauty of Ferndale will be ruined because you would have to cut down so many lovely trees along the road to accommodate the trail.”

-Wayzata Resident

“Please do not put the bike path along Ferndale. Ferndale is already a way too busy street and often feels ‘like an accident waiting to happen’ now. It is difficult to imagine you would consider removing the beautiful trees which would not only be a detriment aesthetically but very damaging to the property values at the Meyers Place and Ferndale Ridge communities. Their properties are already too close to the road both from a privacy and safety position. Barry Avenue would be a better choice.”

-Wayzata Resident

“Please take Ferndale Rd off the possible plans. The canopy of trees lining Ferndale are a beauty to our town and a landmark. The loss of this would be a loss to all of us who drive this beautiful road daily.The close proximity to the townhome and offices would have a big impact on privacy and values of these properties. Barry Ave could be a better choice. However, I question going through Wayzata and tearing up the town more.”

“Barry Avenue is the most logical option. Barry Ave. already has a wide street, sidewalk, and a bike right of way. A trail on either side of Ferndale is dealing with a road with no decent right of way. For the homes on the east side of Ferndale, a trail extension option would remove privacy from those homes, and the townhomes fronting Ferndale. The HOA would bear significant expense to replace boulder walls, privacy walls and hedges/trees. Existing privacy would become a major casualty for all east side homes and townhomes.”

-Wayzata Resident

“Making the connecting route on Broadway makes the most sense by far. It will bring more business to downtown Wayzata and to the Panoway Project and it is a straight connection to the Luce Line over the already existing I-394 bridge. Plus, there will be a public bathroom for the bikers on the Panoway project. This is long overdue to hook up The Dakota Trail and the Luce Line Trail. Both trails are great and this will make them even greater.”

-Wayzata Resident

Lake Street Construction Update: Landscaping, Splash Pad, Street Reopening

Stahl Construction estimates that Wayzata’s Lake Street will be completely open by Sept. 11.

                         Looking west from the Lake Street Plaza Park, Courtesy City of Wayzata

This week along Lake Street you’ll see Stahl crews working on the following:

  • Installing the precast seat walls
  • Landscaping and tree planting  
  • Restroom building interior
  • Metal panel layout and install for restroom building  
  • Install sod and rock near restroom building
  • Pouring the concrete for the splash pad  
  • Completing shade structure install

Beyond this week, Stahl projects the following items to be completed by the following dates:

  • Pave bike trail 8/31/2020
  • Pave base course from Barry to Manitoba 9/7/2020
  • Pave wear course from Broadway to Barry 9/8/2020
  • Stripe Lake street and bike trail 9/9/2020-9/10/2020
  • Open lake street completely 9/11/2020
  • Plaza area open to the public 9/11/2020 
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August 17, 2020

Lake Street Plaza Park Open To Public

The Lake Street Plaza Park, a part of the Lake Street construction project, has been opened to the public.

It is located adjacent to CōV Restaurant.

According to the city of Wayzata, work continues on landscaping and plant installation, sidewalk and concrete pavement construction, irrigation and lighting systems.

READ MORE

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August 8, 2020

Lake Street Plaza Bathroom Becomes Town Talker

 At the beginning of July, a bathroom facility began to take shape on what was previously the CōV Restaurant parking lot along Lake Street in downtown Wayzata.

It is a portion of a $9 million construction project.

A month later, it has become the town talker.

READ MORE

-------------------------------

August 2, 2020

Portion Of Lake Street Closed Monday - Wednesday 6a - 5p

According to Stahl Construction, the 600 block of Lake Street in Wayzata will be closed from 6 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.

The closure will allow the completion of planter bed landscaping.

-------------------------------

August 1, 2020

Panoway Plaza Work Behind Schedule

As Phase 1 of the Panoway Project moves forward, portions of the work have fallen behind schedule.

The work on the plaza outside of CōV restaurant is one section of that construction.

READ MORE

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June 21, 2020

$10M For Wayzata Lake Effect Doesn't Make Special Session Cut

As new asphalt paved the way along Lake Street as part of the Panoway (Lake Effect) Project Phase 1, a $10 million request for Phase 2 stalled at the state Capitol.

A week-long special session ended Saturday morning with many items still on the table.

One of these includes a bonding bill.

But even if legislators passed a bonding bill, both the House version, HF107, and the Senate version, SF4, did not include the $10 million the city of Wayzata had asked for.

This is the second time Wayzata's request did not make the cut.

READ MORE

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March 26, 2020 

Wayzata City Council Moving Forward With Panoway Lake Street Project, Construction Begins Monday

The Wayzata City Council decided to continue moving forward with the Panoway Lake Street construction project at a special emergency workshop meeting on Thursday, March 26.

Construction will begin Monday, March 30.

READ MORE



Census 2020: Wayzata, We Can Do Better

Census takers are out in full force going door to door asking folks to fill out their Census.

Minnesota leads the nation in overall response rate. So far, 73.3% of Minnesotans have responded to the Census. Meanwhile, Wayzata residents are just a tick below at 72.2%.

So what’s the big deal?

The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, inform hundreds of billions in federal funding every year, and provide data that will impact communities.

Over the next decade, lawmakers, business owners, and many others will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. The results will show where communities need new schools, new clinics, new roads, and more services for families, older adults, and children.

The results of the 2020 Census will inform decisions about allocating hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding to communities across the country—for hospitals, fire departments, school lunch programs, and other critical programs and services.

The closer Wayzata’s response rate is to 100%, the better.

And if this isn’t enough reason to fill out your Census, consider that neighboring cities like Plymouth (84.7%), Minnetonka (83.5%) and Orono (79.5%) are better than Wayzata’s response rate.

Do you want Wayzata to be ranked behind those cities? We didn’t think so!

Go online and do your Census today - https://my2020census.gov/

Monday, August 17, 2020

Lake Street Plaza Park Open To Public

The Lake Street Plaza Park, a part of the Lake Street construction project, has been opened to the public.

Wayzata.com - August 16, 2020

It is located adjacent to CōV Restaurant.

Wayzata.com - August 16, 2020

According to the city of Wayzata, work continues on landscaping and plant installation, sidewalk and concrete pavement construction, irrigation and lighting systems.

Eastbound Lake Street will remain closed to allow the contractors access to the new Plaza Park area.

Meanwhile, Lake Street, between Ferndale Road and Barry Avenue is open to motorists in both directions and to pedestrians on the south side of Lake Street. 

According to Stahl Construction, this week crews will continue to work on the interior of the plaza bathroom, and begin installing precast seat walls.

Stahl projects that it will begin to pour the concrete for a splash pad that will be located across from Ben & Jerry’s next week.

Read previous Lake Street construction stories here.


Sunday, August 16, 2020

Wayzata Chamber Weathers COVID Storm


COVID-19 has fundamentally changed what we do. The ripple effect of health and economic impacts has touched everyone.

Bellecour Restaurant, Wayzata

Local businesses have taken a big hit. Recently, Wayzata’s Bellecour Restaurant announced it closed its doors for example.

Other businesses are doing their best to stay afloat as they navigate COVID-related restrictions.

Chambers of commerce who support those local businesses have not been insulated from the jolt.

The Excelsior Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce has launched a program called “Help Save The Chamber” to raise funds. The organizations goal is to raise $130,000 by the end of the year. Community residents and businesses have rallied around the chamber holding fundraisers and making donations.

A big cause of the dire straits is the cancellation of annual events due to COVID-19. The revenue from these events fund a big chunk of a chamber’s budget.

The Greater Wayzata Area Chamber of Commerce recently announced that one of its biggest events and revenue generators, 2020 James J.Hill Days, has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

“Events are an important contribution to our annual operating budget,” said Wayzata Area Chamber of Commerce President Becky Pierson. “That said, revenue from our member dues along with other membership revenue is also critical.  The two together cover 50/50 of our overall budget.”

Greater Wayzata Area Chamber of Commerce President Becky Pierson

Fortunately for Wayzata’s chamber, it has money to fall back on.

“We are utilizing current revenues and siphoning off cash reserves we have saved as a result of a 5-year strategic plan goal established several years ago to support the Chamber in case an event is cancelled or weather impacted an event.” 

On Tuesday, the Wayzata City Council will consider approving an agreement with the Wayzata Chamber for temporary communications services through the end of the year.

If approved, the city would pay the chamber $4,000 per month to write and produce communications for the city.



The other piece of the revenue puzzle is membership dues.

Greater Wayzata Area Chamber of Commerce President Becky Pierson, Director of Community Events & Marketing Brooke Beyer, Director of Membership Services Kathy Peterson, Communications Coordinator Olivia Laskey

“Many businesses and members are having a hard time managing expenses,” said Pierson. “We have a broad and varied membership base of 400+ and each impacted differently. We are grateful when members have been able to renew their membership, we have also had new members join our chamber and when members are struggling we work with them on payment options.”

Of course, the challenges facing chambers is not isolated to the Lake Minnetonka area.

Darren Noble Executive Director of the SouthWest Metro Chamber of Commerce

“Many businesses impacted by COVID-19 have had to reduce staff size & hours, and unfortunately we’ve had to as well,” said Darren L. Noble Executive Director of the SouthWest Metro Chamber of Commerce. “Our Chamber, which serves four communities (Carver, Chanhassen, Chaska, and Victoria) reduced its staff size this past May; however, we continue to be mission-focused and eager to help businesses through this challenging period.”

Anne Yoder, Senior Director, Communications, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

“We work with the entire network of local chambers throughout the state,” said Anne Yoder, Senior Director, Communications, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. “Since the onset of COVID-19, they have pivoted their services and events to meet the needs of their members, by providing resources and connections to funding, and shifting in-person events to virtual where possible. As chambers and their members focus on surviving the pandemic and resulting Executive Orders, they understand that budgets will be tighter.”


The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce organized the MinnesotaReady Coalition. This group of chambers advocate for common interests to elected officials. It is an effort to make sure businesses are represented in the decision making on reopening Minnesota’s economy. Wayzata’s chamber is a member of the coalition.

“COVID-19 has had fundamental impacts on our economy – some businesses will not survive, some will change their business products or functions to meet COVID needs to adjust for a remote workforce,” said Yoder. “But the fundamental operations of a chamber have remained the same in the 100+ years that the industry has existed: To provide a voice for business, support and connections for the business community as a whole. The strong chamber network that exists in Minnesota will continue to provide high caliber return on investment for all of their members.”

“Chambers of Commerce are vital to their communities and worth the investment; our Chamber’s mission is to serve and strengthen our member businesses as a community partner and resource,” said Noble. “We stimulate the local economy through programs, events, and services that promote business activities and encourage entrepreneurs.  Also, we advocate for a pro-business climate and strong economic vitality via our relationships with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, local/state/federal elected officials, and community leaders.”

“Our Mission remains our focus, to be a positive force in the Community; promoting, connecting and supporting our members, “said Pierson.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Community Input Sought For Proposed TCF Building Condo Development


Image courtesy Google

The TCF Headquarters building located at 200 Lake Street East between Barry Avenue and Ferndale Road has been acquired by a new owner, according to the City of Wayzata.

According to city officials, the new owner is interested in redeveloping the parking lots on either side of the building.

The owner intends to convert the existing office building into condos.

The city states that there is not currently a development application.

The building was constructed in 1990.

A neighborhood listening session is scheduled for Thursday August 13 at 7 p.m.

You can find out more about the meeting here:

https://www.wayzata.org/655/TCF-Headquarters-at-200-Lake-St-E.

Primary Election Held Tuesday

The Minnesota primary will take place Tuesday, August 11,  and Wayzata voters will have a variety of choices to make.

Some of those choices include: U.S. Senate, U.S. Third Congressional District, and Hennepin County Commissioner.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Below is a link to a sample primary ballot for Wayzata residents.

https://myballotmn.sos.state.mn.us/ShowImage.aspx?i=0594DBB0-CE1A-4DB8-B1E3-3064AA749168

Filing for the Wayzata mayor and two council seats ends Tuesday, August 11.

So far, Wayzata city council member Johanna McCarthy is the lone candidate for mayor. Current mayor, Ken Willcox, announced in July that he would not seek a fourth term.

Meanwhile, Wayzata Planning Commissioners Cathy Iverson and Jeffrey Parkhill announced they are running for city council. Current city council members Dan Koch and Alex Plechash are up for re-election.

The mayoral and city council seats are four-year terms.

Read more about the candidates Wayzata residents will chose in the 2020 election here:

https://www.wayzata.com/p/2020-election.html?m=1

———-

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


Democratic Candidate Challenging Incumbent Republican For Minnesota Senate District 33 Seat

A Democratic candidate is challenging an incumbent Republican for the Minnesota Senate District 33 seat.

The City of Wayzata falls in Senate District 33.



Sen. David Osmek

Wayzata.com reached out to incumbent David Osmek and did not receive a response to our questions.

 Osmek was first elected to the legislature in 2012.




Gretchen Piper

His opponent, Democrat Gretchen Piper, answered the following questioned posed by Wayzata.com:

Why run?

The health of our democracy depends on our involvement. I’m running to put our shared values into action, not the values of a political party. I’m committed to listening to you and being part of constructive, common sense solutions that benefit our communities - all of us.

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

My life has been about taking action for what I believe in, for what makes our communities stronger and healthier. Through college, business school and in my professional career and leadership actions, I have always worked with companies that align with my personal mission to improve our communities every day - representation and transparency in government, healthcare access for everyone, high quality public education, environmental conservation, clean water, human rights, caring for our elders and providing opportunities for all.

Tell me about your family.

I come from a family that places a high value, and an expectation, on service. I’ve spent most of my life in the district, growing up in Hamel and now living in Wayzata with my husband and our two teenagers. My parents and two of my brothers and their families live in the district, and my grandparents also lived in the district. I am so grateful for our community, our public schools and how we come together to support one another. 

What do you see as the priorities in the 33rd District?

Right now, our top priority must be the health and safety of our neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how we return to work and school while protecting our most vulnerable neighbors and getting our businesses back on track. For example, investment in technology and internet access for everyone is critical, and an important step toward ensuring our recovery. Now is the time we must come together and work together, putting our shared values into action, not letting partisanship get in the way of good policy. We are smart, hard working and innovative neighbors and I trust that together we will find new ways to work, go to school and have a thriving business community. 

What differentiates yourself from your opponent?

I believe in progress above politics. I believe that when we take time to listen to our neighbors, we find the common goals and common ground we need for a vibrant economy, good schools, safe communities and a healthy environment. Regardless of party affiliation, we must work together to get our businesses and economy moving forward again. Partisan politics is hurting our communities. If there were ever a time for us and our creative neighbors to come together, this is it. I know we can do better. We can’t change where we have been, but we can start now, where we are, and create a better path forward. Join me in moving forward. 

How has the development of COVID-19 and the economic downtown impacted the role of a state senator in your mind?

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored vulnerabilities in our communities, and in our infrastructure. Now is the time to work together, to pass critical legislation that ensures the safety of our community, investments in infrastructure projects like water and sewer treatment, best in class internet access, shovel-ready construction projects, and aid that is desperately needed to keep our communities safe and our economy thriving.  

How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of a state senator in your mind?

Our legislators must be proactive, not reactive. For too long, many have let partisan politics get in the way and failed to address issues of race and policing, delaying difficult conversations and actions. The legislature created a task force of strong, informed community voices who proposed specific changes. Now, we must listen to those recommendations and prioritize action over political grandstanding. 

Anything else you would like to add?

Your voice matters. Each of us has a role to play in our democracy and in making our community better for everyone. I believe our representatives are elected to listen to us and to represent us, not special interests, not a political party. I am not taking any PAC, lobbyist or special interest money and I’m running to represent us, the people of senate district 33. I invite you to visit gretchenpiper.com and join me for a listening session or personal conversation about how we can work together for a better future.

 

Saturday, August 08, 2020

Lake Street Plaza Bathroom Becomes Town Talker

 At the beginning of July, a bathroom facility began to take shape on what was previously the CōV Restaurant parking lot along Lake Street in downtown Wayzata.

It is a portion of a $9 million construction project.

A month later, it has become the town talker.

Wayzata.com photo - July 29, 2020

"I know there's a lot of talk in the community about that," said Dahl during the Aug. 4 city council meeting referring to the construction of the plaza bathroom.

                                                     Wayzata.com photo - July 16, 2020

“I have received a few comments recently about the design of the project, particularly relating to the restroom which is currently under construction,” stated Dahl.

“Public restrooms were demanded by the business community and property owners as a part of our lengthy engagement process,” added Dahl. “Restrooms are usually ‘necessary evil’ when it comes to public space design. While they are needed there is never an ideal location for them.”

Plaza bathroom discussion during the Wayzata City Council Meeting 8/4/20

"One of the conversation pieces around the location of the restroom was also with regard to the relocation of the trail head and bike parking in the public ramp and close proximity to all those things," said city council member Johanna McCarthy during the Aug. 4 city council meeting. "So, as I remember the conversation, that was certainly also a discussion point in terms of where we would locate the restroom facilities."

To get a better idea of the community concerns, Wayzata.com asked Facebook followers what they thought of the bathroom’s location.

The comments were mostly negative. A small sampling includes:

  • “Absolutely terrible. No one wants to look at a latrine when you are enjoying $15 cocktails and a $250 dinner. Admit it is in the wrong location and move it while you still can.”
  • “It looks ridiculous. Sit on the patio of COV, McCormicks & Gianni’s and enjoy a view of the toilet.”
  • “Horrendous, the planners and the city should be embarrassed they approved this into their plans. The goal of the Lake Effect Program was to beautify the landscape of our incredible city.”
  • “I would move it.”
  • “I feel bad for the businesses that now have a view of the bathrooms instead of the beautiful lake.”

During the planning stages, the city looked at three options for the restroom:

1.) West end of plaza

2.) Within the central plaza

3.) Just west of Cov Restaurant (current location)

Dahl admits that while it currently looks like a cinder block, the final product will be different.

Photo courtesy City of Wayzata

Photo courtesy City of Wayzata

“The structure will be skinned in a semi-reflective material with a series of white ‘fins’ wrapping the structure to provide further articulation and tying it into the design of the shade structure in the central plaza. The reflective material will reflect the trees, lake sky and adjacent activities, further softening it appearance and further help it blend into its surroundings,” said Dahl.

“Additionally, because it is the only vertical structure currently installed it stands out,” said Dahl.


Friday, August 07, 2020

State: CōV COVID Compliant

CōV Wayzata was one of 14 bars and restaurants warned last month for employees violating mask requirements, adherence to social distancing with tables less than six feet apart and establishments serving to more than 50 percent capacity.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) now says that CōV Wayzata and the other 13 establishments are now COVID compliant.

“We are grateful to those establishments who are working hard to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by following a few simple guidelines,” said DPS Assistant Commissioner Booker Hodges. “We can all do our part to help keep our businesses safe by wearing a mask, social distancing and adhering to establishment seating limits.”  

The other 13 bars and restaurants initially warned include:

  • Neisen’s Sports Bar, Savage 
  • K & J Catering , North St Paul
  • Route 47 Pub & Grub, Fridley
  • Long Siding Bar & Grill, Princeton
  • Danno’s, Anoka
  • Hoban Korean BBQ, Minneapolis
  • Pablo’s Mexican Restaurant, Shakopee
  • Arnie’s Friendly Folks Club, Shakopee
  • Princeton Speedway, Princeton
  • Rollie’s, Sauk Rapids
  • Breakfast Bar, Minneapolis
  • The Stadium, Annandale
  • Cowboy Jacks, Minneapolis

Law enforcement officers surveilled 919 restaurants and bars throughout the state looking for violations between July 4 and July 13.


Thursday, August 06, 2020

Wayzata Schools To Present Hybrid Learning Plan To School Board

In a letter to Wayzata Public Schools families and staff, Superintendent Chace Anderson announced that the school district will present a hybrid learning plan to school board members next week.


Below is the text the school district sent out in an email Thursday afternoon.

Dear WPS Families and Staff, 

I am pleased to share Wayzata Learns—A flexible plan for the 2020-21 school year. Safe learning is at the heart of our planning for the 2020-21 school year. One thing the virus is teaching us all is to be flexible. This plan reflects that flexibility, preparing us for the possibility of in-person learning and the necessity of distance learning as the year progresses.

Based on the current trends of COVID-19 in our community, we are proposing to practice safety by beginning the year with hybrid learning. Our Wayzata Distance Choice scenario is an option for families who are not comfortable with hybrid or in-person learning.

The Wayzata Learns plan is being presented to the Wayzata School Board at a Work Session today at 4 p.m. A link to the meeting can be found on our online District Calendar.

Please share your feedback by completing the survey that can be found in the Wayzata Learns plan no later than noon on Saturday, August 8. The Board is planning to take action on a recommendation at its August 10 regular meeting at 7 p.m.

Thank you again for your continued support, patience and understanding as we do our very best to plan for the 2020-21 school year.

Sincerely,

Chace B. Anderson

Superintendent


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Gov. Tim Walz announced last week that individual Minnesota public school districts will determine their own instruction plans for the upcoming school year as a part of the Safe Learning Plan.

COVID-19 cases in each school district will impact how school districts determine the plan for fall.


Gov. Tim Walz at news conference July 30, 2020

The State of Minnesota recommends the following learning models according to the number of COVID-19 cases.

These are recommendations that are given to the individual school districts to help determine what is best for their students and staff.




There were basically three options on the table: 1.) Students return to class full time, 2.) Students return to class part time and do distance learning part time, 3.) Students do only distance learning.


According to a recent survey of families done by the Wayzata school district, more than half of parents interviewed were either very comfortable or comfortable with in-person instruction.

Meanwhile, more than half of school district staff stated they were very comfortable or comfortable in returning to their school/work location this fall according to a school district survey.



Wayzata High School Football And Volleyball Moved To Spring Amid COVID Concerns

The Wayzata state champion football and volleyball teams will have to wait until spring to defend their titles.

The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) announced football and volleyball are moving to next spring.

The board states spring football will have no scrimmages, a shorter season, and fewer games. The postseason plan still has not been determined.

The MSHSL’s board of directors decided to move forward with other fall activities including girls tennis, cross country, soccer and girls swimming and diving.

“Our Board of Directors recognizes the importance of the League’s activities in supporting the mental and physical well-being of our students and worked very hard to provide some level of participation in all activities,” said MSHSL Executive Director Erich Martens. “In addition, they recognize their responsibility in focusing on the health and safety of all who participate in or support these opportunities.”


2 City Planning Commissioners File For City Council Seats

Two Wayzata Planning Commissioners have filed for city council seats.

Both Cathy Iverson and Jeffrey Parkhill filed this week.




Iverson ran for city council two years ago. Ultimately, current council members Johanna McCarthy and Jeff Buchanan were elected.

Iverson and Parkhill will face off with current council members Dan Koch and Alex Plechash in the November election.


Meanwhile, council member Johanna McCarthy announced she is running for mayor. Current mayor Ken Willcox recently announced he is not running again.


 




Sunday, August 02, 2020

Portion Of Lake Street Closed Monday - Wednesday 6a - 5p


According to Stahl Construction, the 600 block of Lake Street in Wayzata will be closed from 6 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.

The closure will allow the completion of planter bed landscaping.

Democratic Candidate Challenging Incumbent Republican For Minnesota House District 33A Seat

A Democratic candidate is challenging an incumbent Republican for the Minnesota House District 33A seat.

The City of Wayzata falls in House District 33A.

Rep. Jerry Hertaus

Wayzata.com reached out to incumbent Jerry Hertaus and did not receive a response to our questions.

Hertaus was first elected to the legislature in 2012.



Caitlin Cahill

His opponent, Democrat Caitlin Cahill, answered the following questioned posed by Wayzata.com:

Why run?

As a lifelong Minnesotan and longtime resident of this district, I have first-hand insight into the values and challenges of our community. We live in some of the fastest-growing communities in the state, and we need practical, forward-thinking representation to match that growth. Business as usual will not suffice. I will make it a priority to listen to constituents and develop data-driven solutions to make our communities even better.

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

As a city council member and a former county library board member, I have over a decade of experience developing effective public policy, and I understand the interconnectedness of local government from municipal to county to the state. As a small business owner, I know the importance of open communication, which includes being available and listening to people’s concerns to identify pain points.

Tell me about your family.

My family has a tradition of public service. From my grandfathers who served in the military to my parents and siblings who have all worked in public institutions, including local schools, county government, and state services. My three siblings and I grew up in Plymouth and all graduated from the Wayzata Schools. Growing up, we enjoyed Minnesota’s wonderful outdoors, with many family road trips to state parks.

What do you see as the priorities in District 33A?

Many of our cities need support upgrading their water and sewer infrastructure to ensure safe drinking water, to protect our environment from pollution, and reduce costs to residents. We also have several roadways, such as Highway 12, in need of safety upgrades. As such, I would prioritize a robust jobs & local projects bill, which would also help counteract some of the effects of the pandemic on our construction industry. I have also heard from many small businesses and parents about the struggles of slow internet, as commerce and schools moved online due to the pandemic; I would also prioritize reliable high-speed internet across the state. Ensuring economic security and affordable healthcare for all will always be a priority for me as a legislator.



Saturday, August 01, 2020

Panoway Plaza Work Behind Schedule

As Phase 1 of the Panoway Project moves forward, portions of the work have fallen behind schedule.


600 block of Lake Street with Plaza area in the foreground (Wayzata.com photo taken 7/12/20)

The work on the plaza outside of CōV restaurant is one section of that construction.

The overall construction project and additional delays are impacting local businesses.

“It has been difficult because the majority of our guests only feel comfortable eating outside,” said Gianni’s Steakhouse owner Terri Huml. “The dust and construction are not a pleasant situation for our diners to enjoy the experience.”



Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

Stahl Construction releases a weekly report showing the plans for the upcoming weeks.


Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

The paving of the plaza appeared on a previous report to be worked on the week of June 29. It has appeared on the subsequent six weeks including next week, the week of August 3.


Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

On Friday, July 24, Wayzata.com asked the City of Wayzata and Stahl Construction what was causing the delay in the paving of the plaza. 


Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

"There were a few elements beyond our control that has impacted the overall schedule regarding the plaza and the paving," said Stahl Construction President Jessie Houlihan. "Namely the catenary light pole base design and materials, which were stuck for a few months with the design team / procurement."


Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

"Procurement means stuck with the vendor," said Wayzata City Manager Jeff Dahl. "The shipping of the actual catenary equipment has been delayed, unfortunately. There were a few needed design tweaks, as well, given all of the underground utilities running underneath."

"The plaza will be poured soon and we are projecting that the park, along with the rest of the project will be substantially completed by our original goal. There, of course, will be things that will be completed afterwards such as the catenary lighting," added Dahl.

Dahl stated that the goal has consistently been substantial completion by James J. Hill weekend which was supposed to begin Friday, Sept. 11.


In March, Stahl estimated the targeted entire project close out date as September 7.

“A lot of people ask about how the street is going to function with parking and two lanes of traffic, when is it going to be done, etc.,” said Huml. 

Stahl also stated that because the light pole footings are located over a Met Council forced sewer main and they had to come up with a different plan. Stahl said it needed Met Council’s approval and that pushed the work back by weeks.

The Met Council says that an inspector is overseeing the work in the area of the sewer main on south side of Lake Street during the Panoway project. According to the Met Council, the line enters Lake Street at Grove Lane (lift station) and continues east along Lake Street and transitions into Eastman Lane and then down Highway 101/Bushaway to Minnetonka.

The catenary lighting system is illustrated in the images below as system that will be strung over Lake Street.


Courtesy City of Wayzata

Courtesy City of Wayzata

Courtesy City of Wayzata

Meanwhile, the precast benches and walls requested by the city have also been an issue. According to Stahl, the exploration of a hybrid alternative delayed the ability to secure an order with the precast supplier. It was later determined that the hybrid alternative was not a viable solution. Once the product was confirmed to install, the order was placed, according to Stahl. The issue of benches and walls took more than two months to resolve.

As COVID-19 hit Minnesota, the Wayzata City Council decided to continue moving forward with the Panoway Lake Street construction project at a special emergency workshop meeting on Thursday, March 26.



According to the Wayzata Lake Effect "Panoway On Wayzata Bay" Phasing model,  the targeted completion date for the 600 block was July 16.

Plaza Park is targeted to be completed by August 14 according to the phasing model.

The construction is a part of the Panoway on Wayzata Bay (Lake Effect) Project Phase 1.

The city allocated roughly $9 million toward the first phase of the project.

The current Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) includes $200,000 for business impact mitigation tactics.

Earlier this year, city staff met with business owners to discuss specific tactics including “open for business” signage as well as complimentary valet services for the downtown area.

But considering the COVID-19 outbreak, the city considered different ways to allocate the funds.

“At this point we have used the funds to waive sidewalk patio fees, pay for some additional signage, and pay for overtime to expedite Panoway Construction,” said Dahl. “We have not officially waived liquor licenses fees as of yet, but we have allowed delayed payment. The Council is still considering it and if we do, that will take up the lion’s share of the $200,000.”

“It’s the most difficult thing I have ever had to deal with,” said Huml. “I'm trying to be a strong and positive leader but some days I wake up and am gripped with fear. Both COVID and construction are completely out of my control and yet both have affected my ability to run my business. My goal is to provide a safe environment for my staff and guests and offer an opportunity to dine out.”

RELATED CONTENT: Construction Work Begins On Wayzata’s Lake Street

Panoway on Wayzata Bay (Lake Effect) Background

In February of 2011, the city council appointed a Lakefront Task Force to research and provide a recommendation for the future of the City’s lakefront.

The city council adopted the Report of the Wayzata Lakefront Taskforce in January of 2012.

In March of 2014, the city council adopted the Wayzata Lakefront Final Framework Report.

Wayzata selected Civitas as the design team for the Lake Effect Signature Park schematic design in September of 2015.

On December 15, 2016, the city council approved an agreement with the Lake Effect Conservancy as a part of Resolution 29-2016 which defined the scope of the Lake Effect Project and its next steps.

That agreement states that the Conservancy will actively raise Private and Philanthropic Funding.

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