MILFOIL FREE LAKE MINNETONKA
Dick Osgood, Executive Director of the Lake Minnetonka Association made a presentation to the Wayzata City Council about the Mil foil-Free program that was implemented this year, a joint program between the LMA and Lake Minnetonka Conservation District. The plan, which included herbicide treatments of Grey’s Bay, Carmen’s Bay and Phelps Bay. According to Osgood, this was the 1st year of a 5 year plan to stop mil foil and preserve native plants.
Osgood indicated that there were enough results in for him to be disappointed with the results but encouraged. Gray’s Bay was the most effected and that the mil foil was controlled for the vast majority of the summer. That being said what happened this year needs to be tweaked to be more effective for next year. A substantial portion of the mil foil has grown back towards the end of the season. In communication and consultation with the manufacturer of the mil foil herbicide, they have promised it will work better in 2009 and further years.
Mr. Osgood also detailed the concerns about zebra mussels, spiny water fleas, hydrilla, Brazilian elodea, rusty crayfish, and viral hemorrhagic septicemia. Mr Osgood came before the Wayzata City Council to lay the groundwork for asking for funding from the City of Wayzata to invest municipal funds in prevention, education, and coping with aquatic invasive species. One of his proposals which is bound to be controversial is the suggestion of user fees to access Lake Minnetonka, as Minnesota has a long standing tradition of not inspecting or charging to get on the water.
AMENDMENTS OF VARIOUS TIF DISTRICTS AND TERMINATION OF TIF DISTIRCT
Jeanie Vanda presented information on amending Tax Increment Financing District #2 Central Redevelopment Authority, 1403 & 1404, District #3 Widsten, 1406, District #4 West Lake, 1405
District #2 will have by 2013 5.5 million dollars and has flexibility in use of funds to apply to qualified expenses in the TIF plan.
Authorize TIF district pooling of 25% of funds. The process started in June with HRA and set a public hearing that was continued. Termination of TIF district #4 with an escrow of $235,000.
You know what, all this TIF district talk makes my head spin. No one made a public comment, and the amendments were made without comment from the council. My guess is that the council and city staff are just as bewildered as I am.
COUNCIL CONTINUED A VARIANCE FOR TWO CURB CUTS ON A HALF CIRCLE DRIVEWAY.
The owners of 195 Lakeview Lane applied for a variance because the council could not find a hardship on behalf of the property owner, but did seem to want to allow a half circle driveway. Narrow streets and saftey did not trump the lack of hardship. Beyond that, Ken Wilcox was concerned about the precedent that an approval of a variance without proving a hardship would set for the city. Council recommended that applicants amend the variance to a conditional use permit.
City engineer Mike Kelly made a presentation on the Skate Park located at Wayzata West. The council declined to approve any of the 3 options presented at this time. Kelly indicated there was $150,000 budgeted for the skate park, but the plans the Wayzata School Board had indicated they would support would cost about $180,000 to complete the 2nd option for development of the skate plaza which would include a lazy river option. Option #1 is a smaller skate plaza, 3 is a larger layout that encompass the majority of the site. Some of the proposed obstacles for the skate park are Lake Barry Plaza, Funeral Home Stairs, Boatworks Wall, Library Stairs.
The Council decided to table the issue to make further determinations as to priority versus the Capital Improvement budget as the option that was most desirable was option #2 that would take the project over budget. Kelly indicated other projects in the city that may be a higher priority: Klapprich park upgrades, re-grading, new hockey boards, storm sewer replacement. The council decided to revisit the Skate Park discussion during capital improvement budget time to better determines the City’s priorities.
WAYFINDING SIGNS UPDATE
The City Council approved Phase I of the Wayfindings Signs – a number of blade signs with black backgrounds and white lettering that identify the important cultural and civic areas in town people should be visiting. Examples include the beach, the Depot, City Hall, the Library, Police and Fire, etc. The first phase will cost about $57,000 and will contain a large number of blade signs to be hung up on existing light poles. The council approved Contract Documentation of New Signs.
On Oct 14th there will be an open house for public conversation on how to connect the Dakota Rail Trail and the Luce Line trail on Ferndale. There are some topographic challenges such as retaining walls etc. Once the decision has been made, wayfinding signs will likely mark the path that connects the two trails.
The City Council unanimously approved all the municipal licenses before it.