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.
|Courtesy Lake Effect Conservancy/City of Wayzata
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.
In May, as the regular session wrapped up, Panoway Project Phase 2 was not on the final version of bonding bills before the legislature.
This hasn't deterred the city.
“We fully anticipate being a part of the bonding bill and need the funding in order to move forward Phase 2," said Wayzata City Manager Jeff Dahl. "It’s a long process of obtaining public funds, though, that may continue beyond this year.”
With a lot of unfinished business in St. Paul, the Legislature could be called back for another session in July.
That means Wayzata's $10 million ask may have another chance.
In an effort to secure state funds, the city hired Lockridge, Grindal, Nauen PLLP in August of 2019 to advocate for Wayzata.
The firm was initially hired on a 12-month, $40,000 contract.
“We have no interest in ending our partnership with LGN on capturing public funds to assist in meeting the initiatives of the City,” said Dahl.
Back in October, Wayzata city officials hosted the Minnesota Senate Capital Investment Committee to educate them on the importance of a boardwalk and ecological restoration along the shoreline of Lake Minnetonka as a part of Phase 2.
In January, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz recommended a $10 million for a grant to the City of Wayzata.
But funding Panoway Phase 2 is not limited to a $10 million request of the state.
In 2016, the city council approved an agreement with the Lake Effect Conservancy.
“The Wayzata Conservancy role in support of the City of Wayzata's efforts to bring forward Panoway are as follows: Advocacy, Fundraising, and Project Coordination,” said Conservancy Board Chair Andrew Mullin.
Mullin says that the Conservancy has pledges of nearly $2 million dollars.
But that number could be negatively impacted because of the current economic downturn.
“The Covid pandemic and resulting recession/depression have made an already challenging fundraising task even more difficult and will likely place some of our private pledges to date at risk,” said Mullin.
Pledged money aside, Mullin says the Conservancy's cash balance as of May 31, was $201,224.90.
“The project will continue to evolve and the City with support from the Conservancy will pursue both regional and state public dollars in addition to private support for Panoway on Wayzata Bay to complement any funding we may receive from bonding,” said Mullin.
Mullin says the Conservancy plans to have some community engagement events on or around Phase 1 construction completion this fall.
Panoway (Lake Effect) Project Phase 1 is already underway – reconstructing Lake Street from Barry Avenue to Broadway Avenue, creating a multi-use park, and extending the Dakota Rail Regional Trail.
Panoway (Lake Effect) Project Phase 2
includes the restoration of the Section Foreman House, building a boardwalk along the lakefront, and restoring the Lake Minnetonka shoreline.
Panoway (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.