Market replaces Holidazzle

The Minneapolis City Council has approved city funding for a winter marketplace to replace the Holidazzle parade, reversing an earlier vote.

The proposal commits $395,000 in city money to the event, all of it coming from the city's sales tax-funded convention center account. That's a slight tweak from an earlier version, which failed in committee, that took some money from the city coordinator's office.

The money will be combined with about $1.3 million in private dollars being raised by the Downtown Council. The event, potentially held in Peavey Plaza, will attempt to re-create European-style marketplaces that have been organized in other cities, including Chicago.

The switch from a Holidazzle parade to a winter marketplace and Holidazzle "district" is one component of a larger Downtown Council plan to have more continuous programming downtown. The council is requesting $750,000 in the mayor's 2015 budget to accomplish this.

Eric Roper @StribRoper


City may bring back trolleys

A new attraction may be coming to Lake Minnetonka soon: a trolley.

On Tuesday, the Wayzata City Council will discuss a pilot program to add a trolley in July, aiming to reduce traffic congestion and boost tourism. It's a motorized trolley, so no tracks would be needed. A new nonprofit would run the trolley from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from July 8 to Sept. 18, stopping at 15 places.

The program would be funded by donations, ridership fees and $8,000 from the city. Wayzata had a trolley that stopped service in 2010.

"There's been a strong interest in the community to bring it back," said Jack Amdal, a City Council member. "We've gotten a lot of interest from the senior community and from the shopping center and retail community."

KELLY SMITH @kellystrib

Elk River Schools

Board seeks $104M in levies

The Elk River School District will ask voters to pass two levies totaling $104 million this fall. The school board voted unanimously last week to place the items on the Nov. 4 ballot.

One question involves a $6 million operating levy to hire more teachers to reduce class sizes and fund more classroom technology. The second question seeks $98.03 million in new construction, including additions at several schools.

The district conducted a communitywide survey and collected nearly 2,000 responses to weigh public sentiment. Five schools have enrollment at 110 percent or more of capacity, the district said. Taxes on a $250,000 home would increase by $42 per year.

If approved, the construction will be completed by fall 2016.


east metro

Five lakes a cleanup priority

Five lakes in northern Dakota and southern Ramsey counties are in urgent need of protection or restoration, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Lower Mississippi River Watershed Management Organization. A plan to reduce nutrient concentrations that have impaired the lakes has been prepared by the control agency, and is seeking public comments through July 16.

The five lakes are Thompson Lake in West St. Paul, Pickerel Lake in Lilydale and St. Paul, Rogers Lake and Lake Augusta in Mendota Heights, and Sunfish Lake in the city of Sunfish Lake.

Many state and local agencies, along with community groups and local residents, participated in developing the restoration and protection plan. Comments should be submitted in writing by 4:30 p.m. on July 16 to Barb Peichel of the MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, or barbara.peichel@state.mn.us. Peichel is available to answer questions by phone at 651-757-2646.

Jim Anderson