Excelsior and Minnetonka last week joined the list of Minnesota cities requiring residents to wear face masks in public indoor places.

In Excelsior, city officials approved an order requiring face masks in indoor spaces including stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, common spaces in multifamily and shared business buildings and most other areas accessible to the public. Exempted were athletic facilities, churches and schools.

Minnetonka city officials approved an ordinance requiring face masks in indoor areas accessible to the public, effective Thursday. Officials also encouraged people to wear masks in indoor private spaces and outdoors when social distancing isn't possible.

Katy Read


Mayor orders masks in public indoor spots

White Bear Lake Mayor Jo Emerson has issued a proclamation mandating masks in public indoor areas in the city to slow the spread of COVID-19, effective Friday.

Places where cloth face coverings will be required include restaurants and bars when not at a table, retail stores, public transportation and sports facilities. Those who fail to comply will be asked to leave the premises.

Those exempt from the mandate include children 2 and younger, people with medical conditions with difficulty breathing, and youth sports participants. Salon patrons may go without masks if the business is observing state COVID-19 restrictions.

For more information on city services and resources, go to whitebearlake.org/covid.

Kevin Duchschere


City weighing utility fee for paving work

The Ramsey City Council gave tentative approval Tuesday to an ordinance that would create a gas and electric franchise fee to pay for a $2.1 million pavement management program.

It's estimated that the five-year project would cost residents $14 per month for both utilities, amounting to an annual fee of $168. Churches and commercial users would be charged $20 per month.

The City Council is scheduled to take a final vote July 28, with the ordinance taking effect Sept. 28 and residents getting their first franchise fee bill shortly after.

Since 2014, Ramsey has relied on an annual property tax levy to support ongoing pavement work. City officials decided to shift to a different funding source for this project.

Kim Hyatt