Robbinsdale

Council OKs $420K bid to build first park pavilion

After years of planning and fundraising, Robbinsdale is getting its first park pavilion.

Construction started this month on a new picnic pavilion at Lakeview Terrace Park. The pavilion, scheduled to open in May, will be located on the south side of Crystal Lake.

The City Council on Sept. 20 approved a $419,800 construction bid from Burnsville-based Derau Construction. The city has $200,000 budgeted for the project, and City Manager Marcia Glick said the city is using contributions and other city reserves to pay the balance.

The city has been raising money for years for a simple open-air pavilion with lake views that could host its 110-year-old band along with weddings and other events. The city’s band, one of the oldest of its kind in Minnesota, has no permanent home.

Unlike other cities, Robbinsdale doesn’t have a large community gathering space, so the park has become its unofficial center for events like the city’s Whiz Bang Days festival.

KELLY SMITH

LAKE MINNETONKA

Program adds walleye to Lake Minnetonka

Lake Minnetonka will get 28,000 more walleye in the coming weeks.

A local privately funded campaign is in its fourth year restocking the massive west metro lake. This year’s fish were paid for with $50,000 in private donations and amount to more pounds of walleye, about 4,000, than the first three years combined.

The Westonka Walleye Program was started in 2013 by Mound angler Johnny Range amid frustration over the fact that few walleyes could be found in the metro area’s largest and most popular lake. The state Department of Natural Resources has approved the program’s efforts to restock the lake, where walleyes have declined due to invasive species and shoreline development.

The DNR has been putting walleye fingerlings every other year in Minnetonka, which also is stocked with muskies. Range’s program stocks walleyes that are more expensive and larger than usual, at 8 to 9 inches. For more details, go to 472fish.org.

KELLY SMITH

MINNEAPOLIS

Open house to be held on NorthPoint project

An open house will be held this week on the relocation of Estes Funeral Chapel to Hennepin County’s NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center in north Minneapolis.

Hennepin County’s $67 million project to expand NorthPoint, a county facility, was unveiled this fall. It requires moving Estes across Plymouth Avenue, where the county will build a new chapel for the 54-year-old business.

The entire project is expected to be done by 2019.

KELLY SMITH

WAYZATA

Council to vote on public parking ramp

Wayzata is scheduled to move forward with plans for the city’s first public parking ramp, once a vote is taken on construction bids on Tuesday.

The ramp would cost an estimated $10.3 million if officials choose designs that include a ground level and one-deck upper level with a roof. Without the roof, the cost would be $9.4 million.

The ramp would be funded with bonds and tax-increment financing generated by the Promenade of Wayzata, the largest redevelopment project in the city’s history.

While some residents have questioned the need for a ramp, city officials said it’s needed to address a growing parking crunch in the popular Lake Minnetonka city. Downtown Wayzata has one privately owned ramp, and street parking is free.

The nearly 400-stall ramp near Broadway Avenue and Mill Street would replace a 182-stall surface lot.

KELLY SMITH

Brooklyn Park

Council gives green light to dual hotel project

Visitors to Brooklyn Park soon will have a wider array of accommodation options, thanks to a dual hotel project approved by the City Council last week.

Midas Hospitality, a Missouri-based hotel management group, plans to build two hotels at the southeast corner of W. Broadway Avenue and Highway 610.

The Hampton Inn will cater to guests seeking short stays, while a nearby Home 2Suites will offer an in-room kitchenette for longer stays.

Despite having a population of nearly 80,000 residents, Brooklyn Park has only two hotels, said Council Member Rich Gates. Developers said the hotels could open as early as the end of next year, he said.

Hannah covington