A group of Minnetonka residents who oppose the city’s plans to tear down trees to update water main pipes and sewers and add curbs and gutters has won a temporary delay.
Residents filed a petition with the state Environmental Quality Board asking the city to do an environmental assessment work sheet on the project. Trees were supposed to be cut down last week but the work will now be delayed, and the City Council will review the request at Monday’s meeting.
Residents say that 290 trees are scheduled for removal on 10 streets, and have pushed instead for a boring technique to do the infrastructure work that wouldn’t affect trees.
City leaders have said they’re trying to balance tree preservation with the need to do necessary projects in a timely and cost-effective way. But they say the project can’t be done without removing trees, which are in the city’s right of way.
The project was approved in February and bids were awarded in March.
Construction work starting on Hwy. 5
Construction crews will start work this week on Hwy. 5 from west of Dell Road to west of Market Boulevard, where they will build a dry pond for better drainage, improve intersections and replace traffic signals.
The $2.8 million construction project will continue until August.
Crews will add acceleration lanes at Hwy. 101/Dakota Avenue and Hwy. 101/Market Boulevard, and extend the eastbound turn lane at Market Boulevard to increase traffic capacity for nearby events.
The work will lead to temporary lane closures and detours. According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, residents can expect lanes to be narrowed and speeds to be reduced during the project.
MnDOT will host a public meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday in the Chanhassen City Council chambers, 7700 Market Blvd., where project staffers will be available to answer questions about the project.
City considers sites for planned dog park
Chaska city officials looking at sites for an off-leash dog park have whittled choices down to two sites, one at Audubon Road and Engler Boulevard and another near Lions Park, and a meeting has been scheduled for May 9 to let residents state their preference.
Both sites would be fenced in and include a rest area. The city does not plan on requiring fees for the park, but only licensed dogs would be able to use it.
City officials had put dog park plans on hold due to the Firemen’s Park renovation project, but city leaders and park board representatives held a work session April 18 to discuss potential sites in terms of accessibility, location and compatibility with nearby residential areas.
Both of the proposed sites would need some work. The Audubon Road site would require trees or some kind of a shelter for shade, and trees would have to be removed at the Lions Park site to make room for the park.
The city has approved about $100,000 for the project, and hopes to begin construction sometime in June.
Ice skating show celebrates 42nd year
Minnetonka’s All Season Skating School and the Lake Minnetonka Figure Skating Club are making final preparations to hold their 42nd annual “Silver Skates Ice Revue” Thursday through Saturday, April 28-30.
The show, “Star Struck,” will take place at the Minnetonka Ice Arena with nearly 230 skaters from across the west metro area, as well as nine U.S. Figure Skating gold medalists and 2016 U.S. National Intermediate Pair bronze medalists Berit Cummings and Jabe Roberts.
Performances begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and continue at 2 p.m. April 28, and tickets are $6. For more details, call 952-939-8310.
ST. LOUIS PARK
Community TV seeks sports announcers
ParkTV is seeking volunteer announcers for spring high school sporting events, including baseball, softball and lacrosse.
ParkTV provides local cable access programming to the city of St. Louis Park, with five channels covering news, sports and events in the city.
No minimum commitment is required of potential announcers, and scheduling can be flexible. No previous experience is required.
Contact Paul Broden, ParkTV 16 program producer, at 952-924-2635 or email@example.com.