In an effort to draw new visitors to the city’s parks, Plymouth has installed a pump track, the first of its kind in Minnesota.
“It’s pretty unique,” said Barb Northway, deputy director of the city’s parks and forestry department. “We always like to revamp our parks.”
The fiberglass and steel track is about the size of a tennis court and replaces an outdoor skating rink at Plymouth Playfield, 9755 36th Av. N. It will be a park within a park, Northway said.
The 210-foot track has waves and berms that can be used for bicycles of all sizes, skateboards, Rollerblades and scooters, using momentum to get around it.
The city decided to build the track, which cost $47,000, as Plymouth aims to renovate its older eastern parks. It includes a mural by local Perpich Center for the Arts artist Amy Mason.
A grand opening to celebrate the track will begin at 6 p.m. Sept. 15 and include a ribbon cutting and demonstration by representatives from Erik’s Bike Shop.
Northway said Plymouth saw a desire for a pump track for teens at the adjacent middle school. But the track can be used by all ages and everyone from skateboarders to mountain bikers who can’t use dirt tracks during wet weather.
Housing Authority plans to name leader soon
A leader of the search for only the second person to lead the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) in the agency’s 25-year history hopes to recommend a new executive director to the MPHA board by the end of October.
That’s the timeline laid out by board member Tom DeAngelo, the chairman of the search committee. The search committee will decide whom to interview for the job in October.
DeAngelo said the goal is to get the recommended candidate to the agency board for its November board meeting.
A search firm currently is seeking and vetting applicants and also is collecting the views of the agency’s staffers and more than 6,000 tenants.
Current director Cora McCorvey announced earlier this year that she will retire by February 2017.
Schleuning named lake district director
The agency that regulates boating and the use of Lake Minnetonka has a new leader.
The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District’s board unanimously approved former Brooklyn Center Assistant City Manager Vickie Schleuning last week to fill the top job at the west metro agency. She was selected from among five finalists.
Schleuning will be the agency’s first female director in its nearly 50 year history. She starts work Monday.
She also has worked in Brooklyn Center as a public health and code enforcement manager, in Minnetonka as an environmental health supervisor and at North Hennepin Community College and Inver Hills Community College as an adjunct faculty member.
Schleuning replaces longtime leader Greg Nybeck, who stepped down after the board of directors approved a separation agreement in February and put him on paid administrative leave until Oct. 31.
Since then, Jim Brimeyer, a former Metropolitan Council member and former St. Louis Park city administrator, has served as interim leader.
The Legislature created the conservation district in 1967 to regulate use of the Twin Cities’ largest lake. The district is partly funded by property taxes from 14 cities on the lake.
The only other lake in Minnesota with a conservation district and its own local rules is White Bear Lake.
City’s library closed this fall for renovation
The St. Anthony branch of the Hennepin County Library, 2941 Pentagon Dr. NE., closed this weekend for an $850,000 renovation and won’t be open again until Dec. 17.
Work on the building will include a larger meeting room and interactive learning space in the children’s area. Walls and ceilings will be changed to create a more open feel, and new comfortable seating areas will have natural light and power outlets.
Carpets, furniture and shelving will be replaced, and computers will be rearranged for both individual and collaborative work. Behind the scenes, the handling of books will be newly automated.
While the library is closed, patrons who have asked to have material delivered there will be able to pick things up at the Northeast library, 2200 Central Av. NE., Minneapolis.
Library users can select a different pickup location for holds, by calling 612-543-KNOW (5669) or making the request in person at any Hennepin County Library branch.
Library materials may be renewed or returned to any other Hennepin County branch. To renew materials by phone, patrons can call a renewal line at 612-543-8811.