The Edina City Council accepted a recommendation Tuesday not to put more resources into studying passenger rail service in the Dan Patch corridor, although it left the door open to another look in the future.
City staffers and St. Paul-based consultants Kimley-Horn recommended that the council stop looking at rail possibilities in the corridor for the time being, a move strongly backed by Council Member Bob Stewart.
Stewart called the city’s efforts to study passenger rail options along the tracks west of Hwy. 100 a “failure” and “a waste of time and a waste of money.”
The study cost the city $30,000.
“I just feel like we didn’t spend our $30,000 very well,” Stewart said. “We learned nothing for the effort.”
He said that Edina will need to look at rail service in the future as the metro population grows and roads become more congested. But he said that the study questions presented during the public meetings were “poorly phrased” and led people to think the city was only interested in high-speed rail, not slower and cheaper alternatives such as a trolley system.
“Kimley-Horn may have ruined our chances for being able to build a stronger case” for rail, Stewart said. “I hope the well hasn’t been poisoned too badly so we can’t revisit this.”
Other council members echoed Stewart. “We cannot shut the door on studying [rail],” Council Member Mike Fischer said. “It’s going to be necessary at some point.”
District seeking members for advisory group
The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District is seeking applicants for its Citizens Advisory Committee.
The committee consists of residents from across the watershed, from Minnetonka to Minneapolis, who provide input to the district board on water quality issues and help guide the district’s work in the community. It meets monthly to discuss clean water concerns, review district projects and make recommendations to the board.
Committee members also have opportunities to educate others about the district and how they can protect and improve lakes and streams through educational seminars, materials about water quality topics like yard care and salt use, and service as a liaison between the district and community groups.
Committee members are appointed to one-year terms by the district board and typically meet the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the district offices, 15320 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka.
Interested candidates may apply at www.minnehahacreek.org/CAC or contact Education Program Manager Darren Lochner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 952-641-4524. The deadline for applications is Nov. 21.
St. Louis Park
Trees to be planted along Minnetonka Blvd.
St. Louis Park is looking for volunteers to help plant trees in a corridor that hasn’t seen a tree canopy since the early 1970s.
The city, in collaboration with Hennepin County and Tree Trust, an organization that plants trees across the Twin Cities, is planting 138 trees along Minnetonka Boulevard on Oct. 28..
Volunteers will work from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the stretch of Minnetonka Boulevard between Quebec and Webster avenues. The area was covered with an arch formed by elm trees decades ago, before the trees fell prey to Dutch elm disease.
Tree Trust has led tree plantings in several other cities this fall, including Minneapolis, St. Paul and Lakeville. Organizers have yet to decide where volunteers will meet to begin planting. Residents can sign up to help at bit.ly/2xyyuSN/.
Rotary Club honors Animal Humane Society
The Animal Humane Society of Golden Valley last week was named the city’s Business of the Year by the Rotary Club.
The club honored the nonprofit organization, which cares for animals and puts them up for adoption, on Tuesday.
“Animal Humane Society of Golden Valley is living by their core values: Be good to animals, partner with people, lead responsibly with compassion,” said Mike Herring, former president of the club, during the award presentation.
More than 23,000 animals come through the Golden Valley shelter each year, including dogs, cats and other small pets. Herring said the Golden Valley location found homes for 96 percent of the animals in its care in the last fiscal year.
The shelter, off Hwy. 55 and Theodore Wirth Parkway, is one of a handful of other Animal Humane Society branches in the Twin Cities.
The Golden Valley Rotary Club has given previous Business of the Year awards to General Mills, Culver’s, the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery and other organizations.
City to host discussion on racial disparities
Edina’s Race and Equity Board is inviting residents to share their views and experiences regarding racial disparities at a meeting on Monday.
The board’s task force, made up of Edina residents, is asking participants whether they have experienced racial discrimination in local government and facilities.
Participants also will be asked to share places in Edina where they feel welcome or not welcome.
The Race and Equity Board was formed nearly a year ago after a videotaped altercation between a white Edina police officer and a black pedestrian drew a critical response online.
The meeting is from 6 to 8 p.m. at Southview Middle School, 4725 South View Lane.