Construction will begin this month on an independent senior housing development in Excelsior, the first of its kind there.

The 115-unit Waters of Excelsior complex, near Hwy. 7 and Water Street, will replace a restaurant and apartment building and is expected to open in late 2018.

The City Council gave the Waters its final approval in December 2016. The scale of the development had drawn the concern of two council members, who voted against it.

Excelsior Mayor Mark Gaylord said that the Waters development "will provide much needed improvements to the intersection of Oak Street and Water Street and allow residents of the College Lake neighborhood a convenient and safe way to access our city's commercial district."

The Waters operates eight other senior communities in the Twin Cities. For more information about the Waters Senior Living, go to

David Chanen


Sailing Center approaching fundraising goal

With a recent $1 million matching donation, the Wayzata Community Sailing Center has raised more than $3 million and is close to reaching its $4 million campaign goal to build a new headquarters on Lake Minnetonka.

The center, one of the largest sailing schools in the Midwest, has operated for years out of a 126-year-old house on Wayzata Bay. But the building is neither adequate nor accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The money will cover the costs of demolishing the house and replacing it with a 4,000-square-foot building.

Minnesota's only accredited sailing center hosts youth sailing lessons, camps, outreach programs and adaptive sailing for people of all ages.

David Chanen


Police officer wins $1,000 in national contest

A Minnetonka officer's desire to help residents with mental illness has won the police $1,000 in a national contest.

Community Engagement Officer Scott Marks came in second in the "Why We Serve" online contest run by Aftermath, a company specializing in biohazard removal.

Officers from around the country submitted videos saying how they would use the grant money. In his entry, Marks said the department often responds to calls from residents reporting mental health or similar issues. He said he hopes to fund an "aftercare" program that would train officers to visit patients sent to the hospital and provide resources after they are released.

"If this is effective, I think that it can be a great tool for other departments to use," Marks said.

The number of crisis and mental health service calls received by Minnetonka police has steadily risen over the years, from 120 in 2005 to 292 in 2016. The city is on track to receive 377 of those calls this year, Marks said.

The money will also be used to start a wellness program to assist officers dealing with trauma on the job.

Miguel Otárola

Hennepin County

Forum on body cameras to be rescheduled

The Hennepin County Board last week postponed an open forum on the Sheriff's Office pilot body camera program after several people raised concerns about problems getting ahold of the camera draft policy.

State law requires that the holding of a public forum held before a law enforcement agency begins using body cameras. But during Tuesday's forum, two people said they had trouble finding the policy online. Only three people spoke during the forum, and the board decided to reschedule the forum in two or three weeks.

The Sheriff's Office emergency services unit, which is essentially its 40-deputy SWAT team, would use the cameras.

Citizen-lobbyist Rich Neumeister urged commissioners to stay involved in the pilot program. He raised several issues about the policy, including whether deputies would have the right or ability to look at video before they fill out an incident report.

The policy is available at

David Chanen


Library to reopen this week after renovation

After a four-month renovation, the Edina branch of the Hennepin County Library is set to reopen Saturday.

The library, which shares its facility with the Edina Senior Center at 5280 Grandview Square, will have a reconfigurated floor plan, larger windows and new carpeting and paint.

It will also have updated features, including new seating options, restrooms, quiet and collaborative study rooms, reading areas and spaces for children and teens.

The Edina Library has been in its present location since 2002. It will open at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Miguel Otárola

New Hope

City leaders mull organized trash collection

New Hope city leaders are looking into an organized trash collection system, amid worries about the impact of garbage trucks on city streets.

The city currently allows residents to choose their own garbage hauler from among seven licensed haulers. With an organized system, one or more haulers would contract with the city.

More than 100 residents packed a recent meeting to voice concerns during a "listening session" on the subject.

The city has looked at the possibility of organized garbage collection in the past. A 2015 study showed that 52 percent of residents surveyed favored an organized collection system.

Residents can take a new survey on the topic at City Hall or on the city's website through Aug. 31.

Council members plan to review the survey results at a Sept. 18 work session. More information on the subject is available on the city's website:

Hannah Covington