School levy, bond issue on May 11 ballot

Edina Public Schools is asking voters to support two areas of operation: a $7 million technology levy and a $7 million bond for facilities improvements.

The two ballot questions will be decided May 11, when voters in the school district head to the polls.

If approved, the technology levy would replace a portion of the district's existing authorization, scheduled to expire this year. The revenue will go toward school district technology, including the acquisition, installation, replacement, support and maintenance of software, software licenses, computers, improved technology equipment, technology systems related to security and operations, and technology-related personnel and training.

The bond, if approved, would use up to $7 million for parking lot improvements at Countryside Elementary School and Valley View Middle School. It also includes parking lot and bus traffic flow improvements at Creek Valley Elementary School and the expansion of the bus garage facility.

The estimated property tax impact for a home valued at $400,000 is $15 per year for the levy and $6 for the bond. More information on the ballot questions can be found at edinaschools.org.

Kim Hyatt


Gertens seeks permit for new greenhouses

Gertens wants to build two greenhouses in rural Denmark Township in Washington County to grow hanging flower baskets, vegetable and herb transplants, mums and early perennials — everything but trees and shrubs, said co-owner Lewis Gerten.

Each greenhouse would be 156,000 square feet, with a breezeway connecting them. The project would also include construction of a truck maneuvering area and a loading dock. One greenhouse would be built first, with a second to follow three to six years later.

The Inver Grove Heights-based Gertens Garden Center bought the 78-acre property in Denmark Township in 2012.

The project is undergoing an environmental review by the state's Environmental Quality Board, with public comment open until Thursday.

The project still needs approvals and permits from other agencies, including Denmark Township, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Washington County and the South Washington County Watershed District.

Kathy Higgins, chairwoman of the Denmark Township town board, said she doesn't expect problems with Gertens getting permits from the township. "It's a pretty clear-cut proposal," she said.

Erin Adler

Lino Lakes

City to open COVID vaccination site

A former YMCA now owned by Lino Lakes will become a COVID-19 vaccination site.

The Lino Lakes City Council on Tuesday voted to allow the state to use the building as a public vaccination site. The arrangement  starts on Monday and will run through June 30.

Appointments will be required. Information is available at health.state.mn.us.

The YMCA of the North closed the Lino Lakes fitness center last year because of the pandemic and said it would not reopen. The city has been working to figure out how to reopen the building on Village Drive.

Tim Harlow