Edina won’t be offering dockless bicycle and scooter sharing this year following a recent City Council vote not to renew an agreement with scooter-sharing company Lime when it expires in March.
Council members said that while electric scooters were popular during the city’s two-year pilot program, Edina lacks the infrastructure to support their use for transportation. Officials also got complaints about safety and the unsightliness of bikes and scooters left in residential areas.
Council Member Mary Brindle said Edina doesn’t have the same need for scooters as Minneapolis but may someday. “We’ve put our toe in the water, gotten an idea about what they are and how people use them,” she said. “Our day will come.”
Kotze named chief financial officer
Alexandra Kotze, a top official with the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), has been named chief financial officer and finance director for Ramsey County and will begin her new job March 2.
Kotze worked in fiscal and budget management for Milwaukee County, Wis., and since 2013 has served as chief financial officer for DHS. She worked to establish better training and communication in the department, which has come under recent scrutiny for financial mismanagement.
The county finance department handles budgeting, accounting, debt financing and payroll, among other duties.
“Alex’s deep experience and knowledge of public-sector finance and county government … will benefit our organization greatly,” County Manager Ryan O’Connor said.
Bond request made for treatment center
Gov. Tim Walz is recommending $6.6 million in state bonding for a remodeling project at Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center, the state’s largest psychiatric hospital.
The 110-bed campus, at 3301 N. 7th Av., is looking to remodel the north wing of the now-vacant Miller building. The project, designed to serve patients with chemical dependency issues, is the first phase of a larger renovation plan to provide more safety and improvements there without disrupting services.
Many patients at the Anoka facility are civilly committed by a court as mentally ill and sent there from across the state, since many community hospitals are unable to deal with highly complex medical conditions. Patients stay an average of 100 days.
Options emerge after grocery store closes
In response to the recent closing of the city’s only grocery story, Minneapolis-based charity Loaves and Fishes has opened a new site in Farmington, and a mobile food pantry called Open Door now will offer a “pop-up produce stand” at a senior center there.
Loaves and Fishes will work with Faith United Methodist Church, which had been offering free weekly meals. Meals will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the church, 710 8th St.
Open Door will stop at the Rambling River Center from noon to 1 p.m. on the second or third Monday of the month. The pantry also will add a monthly visit at Spruce Place Apartments, a Farmington senior living facility.