The idea of filling up White Bear Lake with water piped in from the Mississippi River raised a number of concerns last week at the City Council meeting.

“This is a tremendous environmental issue,” Council Member Kevin Edberg told colleagues as they sorted out the implications. “We have pure water in that public lake and we don’t want algae blooms [from river water]. If we screw that up, we will have committed a massive sin.”

The council was reacting to a report from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and commissioned by the Legislature that placed the upfront cost of augmenting the depleted lake at roughly $50 million to $100 million.

Among the questions: who would pay for ongoing operations, oversee the project and pick up the bill even if the state helped with initial costs.

Said Council Member Doug Biehn: “This didn’t start happening until outer suburbs, the Woodburys and Lino Lakes, started developing. … The cost should be shared.”

Members of the local group pushing the project, including lake owners, have said it’s doubtful anything will happen unless costs can be reduced.

David Peterson



City judges Village Hall unsafe, closes building

The city of Carver on Thursday closed its Village Hall after a roof inspection deemed the building a safety risk.

With heavy snow in recent weeks, the city had set up a monitoring system on the building’s roof. Officials first noticed a problem when gutters were installed.

But the roof is just one concern, City Administrator Brent Mareck said. There are strong indications that there are other structural issues with the building, he said.

The 3,200-square-foot hall opened in 1957. It’s used for recreational programs, local events and city elections, Mareck said.

The Carver City Council will discuss plans for the building at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

beatrice dupuy



Eight projects get $1.2 million in county grants

The Hennepin County Board last week awarded $1.2 million in environmental grants to clean up contaminated sites for eight projects:

• City of Mound Housing and Redevelopment Authority, $390,982 to remove asbestos and lead paint for renovated affordable rental housing.

• Hennepin County Resident and Real Estate Services, $250,000 to raze polluted buildings on a former factory site in Minneapolis.

• Minnesota Brownfields, $200,000 to fund environmental grants for cities and nonprofit groups.

• City of Golden Valley, $152,000 to clean up soil at the DeCola Ponds Project, where stormwater management structures will be built.

• City of Lakes Community Land Trust, $115,000 to remove asbestos and lead paint for renovated houses.

• Perspectives Inc., $61,000 to clean up soil at a family center.

• Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, $50,000 to dispose of contaminated soil excavated for a biking and walking path along the river.

• City of St. Louis Park, $50,000 to clean up soil for expansion of an outdoor recreation center.




Local sailor honored for musical performance

A Wayzata native who plays percussion with the U.S. Navy Band received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal this month.

Chief Musician Randy Johnson, who attended Wayzata High School in Plymouth, received the award for his superior performance as command sponsor coordinator. Sailors in the Navy Band are full-time professional musicians.

Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in percussion performance from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a master’s degree in percussion performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston.

The U.S. Navy Band, based at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., is the Navy’s flagship musical organization.