Council rejects bike trail review petition

The Minnetonka City Council last week rejected a request for an environmental review of a controversial proposal to add mountain bike trails in Lone Lake Park.

The council denied the petition for a review on a 4-2 vote, with Council Members Bob Ellingson and Patty Acomb voting in favor of the review.

Local environmentalists had brought forth the petition, arguing the trails could have a negative impact on the park's ecosystem, especially the endangered rusty-patched bumblebee found in the park.

Council members said the city already had done its due diligence by conducting a study of the project earlier this year. "Just because we decide not to do [an Environmental Assessment Worksheet] doesn't mean we stop worrying about the bumblebee," Mayor Brad Wiersum said.

Miguel Otárola

Ramsey County

County proposes $1.5M budget hike

County Manager Ryan O'Connor is proposing that Ramsey County spend about $1.5 million more in 2019 than the County Board approved last year in its biennial budget.

The proposed second-year budget would put the spending plan at $737.8 million, up from the $736.3 million approved in December 2017.

Next year's tax levy hike would remain at 4.3 percent.

The increase would pay for seven more employees for the Sheriff's Office and four new hires for the county's information and public records team.

The budget also would cut a handful of vacant positions in other departments.

Ramsey County operates on a two-year budget, and the board typically makes minor changes in the second year. It will officially approve the budget in December.

Greg Stanley


City acquires land for anticipated hotel

The Jordan City Council on Monday unanimously approved the $300,000 purchase of two commercial lots near Hwy. 169, parcels that they hope will entice developers to build what would be the city's first hotel.

The city's Economic Development Authority (EDA) identified the land as "one of the best" remaining sites in Jordan for potential development, City Administrator Tom Nikunen said.

The council used EDA funding to buy the properties from New Market Bank.

The combined lots, located on El Dorado Drive, span nearly 3 acres.

Liz Sawyer

New Hope

City Council will fill Lammle vacancy

New Hope is seeking applicants for the City Council seat to be vacated by Eric Lammle, whose resignation takes effect Wednesday.

Lammle, whose term runs through the end of 2020, announced last month that he was resigning his seat because of plans to move out of the city. A Richfield police detective, he was elected to the council in 2008 and reelected in 2012.

The City Council will appoint a new council member to fill out the remainder of Lammle's term. The council has five at-large members — including the mayor — who serve four-year terms.

Those interested in the position can find an application online or contact City Clerk Valerie Leone at 763-531-5117 or vleone@newhopemn.gov. Applications must be received by Friday.

Hannah Covington