From new Minneapolis high school fitness centers to a new ice rink in St. Louis Park, schools and cities are benefiting from Hennepin County’s $1.8 million in new youth sports grants for 2017.

The ninth annual grants will help fund 14 sports facility projects and 21 small equipment projects throughout the county. The funding, which comes out of revenue from the county sales tax that pays for Target Field, helps cities and schools pay for facility improvements and sports equipment.

A second round of grants will be made this spring.

Since the program began in 2009, the county has awarded $17.6 million to 108 facilities, 200 small equipment projects, five playground projects and a swimming lesson pilot project.

When the 30-year program ends, county officials estimate it will have funded $130 million for youth sports and library programs.

The Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission administers the program. For a list of 2016 grant winners, go to


Bloomington | 

Online utility bill system down for weeks

Bloomington residents accustomed to viewing and paying their utility bills online will have to find another way to do so for the foreseeable future.

The city’s web payment service stopped working Dec. 31, according to a city report. A vendor has been selected to implement a temporary solution until a new system is created.

The temporary fix should be up and running in two to three weeks, according to communications administrator Janine Hill.

In the meantime, the city recommends residents either take their payments to Civic Plaza, mail them to 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road or call 952-563-8757 and pay with a credit card.

Residents can follow updates about the service by calling 952-563-8726 or going online at

Miguel Otárola


Hy-Vee store planned for city’s north side

A second Hy-Vee grocery store is slated to be built in Maple Grove, after the City Council last week gave final approval to plans for the site near Hwy. 610 and Maple Grove Parkway.

A 96,000-square-foot store will be built with a 12,000-square-foot expansion, and a 4,100-square-foot gas/convenience store with a carwash.

The project has been dubbed “Hy-Vee North” since the company is slated to open another store in the southern part of Maple Grove, off Hwy. 101 and Bass Lake Road. Construction is expected to start in the spring.

The Iowa-based company has been dramatically expanding in the Twin Cities, with stores planned or being built in Robbinsdale, Savage, Cottage Grove, Shakopee, Farmington and Columbia Heights.



More workshops planned on library site

Edina is asking residents who visit the Southdale branch of the Hennepin County Library for ideas on redeveloping the 8-acre site.

The city is holding a public workshop from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the library, 7001 York Av. Residents are invited to share opinions about preliminary concepts for the site before a request for proposals is sent out to developers in the spring.

Hennepin County, which owns the property, moved one county facility off the site last year and is expected to move its court facilities out in 2019.

The library will be rebuilt on a smaller scale in the next three to five years, according to city officials, who are still deciding whether the site should include residential, commercial or mixed use components.

Another workshop is set for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Feb. 9.

Miguel Otárola


St. David’s Center to host tours next month

St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development will be hosting tours of its newly renovated classrooms.

The center’s $13.7 million project added a mental health clinic for children, an autism day treatment center, a pediatric therapy clinic and a preschool.

The renovations will allow St. David’s to double the number of children it reaches in the next few years.

Funding for the project came from private and public contributions, including $3.75 million in state bonding awarded in 2014.

The nonprofit is hosting an early childhood education open house on Feb. 1, with sessions at 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For details, go to or call 952-548-8700. St. David’s is at 3395 Plymouth Road.