Riot plywood to be reused for tiny homes

A local nonprofit that builds tiny houses for homeless people plans to reuse some of the plywood hung at businesses during last month's rioting following the death of George Floyd.

The group, Settled, said it's received more than 100 sheets of wood so far in donations from businesses and properties that were boarded up for protection. The plywood will be used to build Settled's $20,000 tiny homes, which sit on trailers and measure 100 square feet. The group plans to build a settlement of tiny houses at Faith Lutheran Church in Forest Lake.

Said Settled co-founder Gabrielle Clowdus: "This is an opportunity for us to turn something that once protected windows and is no longer being used into something extremely valuable."



City settles lawsuit filed by homeowners

The Lino Lakes City Council has agreed to pay homeowners Richard and Peggy Diehl $40,000 after a city-operated water main broke last year and damaged the family's residence and property.

The Diehls sued the city in October seeking damages of $52,790. The parties reached a settlement last month, and the City Council agreed June 22 to pay the city's portion out of the Water Operating Fund, which City Administrator Sarah Cotton said has an unrestricted reserve balance of $6 million.

The League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust will pay the balance of $12,790.



Koda Energy fined $20,000 by MPCA

Koda Energy will pay $20,000 to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as a penalty for air-emission violations since 2017 at its biomass energy plant in Shakopee.

According to the MPCA, emissions of particulate matter more than three times the amount allowed by Koda's permit were detected at the company's biomass conveyance area and truck unloading station. Such particles can attach to a person's nose, throat and lungs and may result in health problems.

Koda has completed a number of steps to prevent future emission violations. Koda, a partnership between Rahr Malting and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, creates energy by burning dry biomass fuels.



Port Authority to vote on loan program

The Bloomington Port Authority is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a $1.3 million emergency assistance loan program that the City Council approved to help small businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program, which the council passed last month, would offer forgivable non-interest-bearing loans to businesses with up to 20 full-time employees that made less than $2 million in revenue in 2019.

Loans of up to $7,500 would be available to small businesses, and loans of up to $3,000 would go to independent contractors and sole proprietors. The money can be used to cover expenses including payroll, rent or mortgage and utility costs.

Funding for the program would come out of federal CARES Act funding that the state is forwarding to Bloomington.

Mara Klecker