The Hennepin County Board last week directed county administrators to negotiate an agreement to relocate the Southdale library from its longtime home on York Avenue in Edina to the Southdale Center.

Mall developer Simon Property Group plans to raze the former Herberger’s store at the mall and build a library building on the site. The county would pay Simon $562,600 in annual rent for the first five years plus operating costs, utilities and taxes.

The County Board decided four years ago that it wouldn’t be feasible to renovate the York Avenue building.

The existing library, which sits about two blocks from the mall, will remain open during construction of the new facility, which is expected to begin in 2020 and be finished in 2022.



Work begins on plaza near future LRT stop

Government and education leaders broke ground this month on a temporary public plaza near a proposed light-rail transit stop that officials hope will set the stage for future development.

The plaza, at 85th Avenue N. and W. Broadway, will feature a performance stage with seating and include pathways, greenery, a play area and surface parking for food trucks. The cost of the plaza will be shared by the city, Hennepin County and the McKnight Foundation.

Officials eventually hope to build a theater and arts center on the site for nearby North Hennepin Community College. Brooklyn Park Mayor Jeff Lunde, Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat and NHCC President Barbara McDonald participated in the ceremony.



City adopts platform for public feedback

Stillwater has launched a new online civic engagement tool to seek public input, joining more than a dozen metro area communities already using Polco, a Wisconsin-based communications firm.

Stillwater residents will be able to answer questions posed about their city, allowing Polco to aggregate data they can compare with that of other communities. The tool also will ask for feedback on city programs and projects. Users can access the questions on or by downloading the Polco app.

“This is another means for the city to get community input and engage our residents,” said City Administrator Tom McCarty. Stillwater will pay $3,000 annually for the platform.



Library to reopen after $3.6M project

The Pleasant Hill Library in Hastings will reopen Tuesday following completion of a $3.6 million project that adds 1,500 square feet to the facility and offers new features.

The renovated library, a branch of the Dakota County Library system, has a technology section with a 3-D printer, an interactive children’s area, fireplace lounge, outdoor patio and more meeting rooms than before. Officials said the changes were based on staff ideas and public feedback.

A celebration to mark the reopening will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the library, 1490 S. Frontage Road. For information, go to and look under Pleasant Hill renovation.