The Richfield City Council has approved plans for the construction of a Jaguar and Land Rover car dealership near Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the second such dealership in the metro area.

The dealership, to be owned by Morrie’s Automotive Group, would be built at 1550 E. 78th St., near the Interstate 494 and Hwy. 77 intersection. Construction is expected to begin in July, and the dealership should be open for business in the spring of 2019.

The council unanimously approved the proposal at its Jan. 23 meeting.

City staffers had asked Morrie’s to address aspects of the proposal to make it more pedestrian-friendly and welcoming to the community. The company has committed to building a classroom that would be used by Richfield students to learn technical skills in the auto industry, according to officials.

The dealership would generate about $700,000 in annual property taxes, according to city reports. That would result in an average annual tax reduction of $20 for residents.

The property is currently home to the Adler Graduate School and Jim Ramstad Community Services Center.

Miguel Otárola


Recycling lagging at apartments, condos

A recent Hennepin County waste study found that 13 percent of everything discarded by apartment and condo residents is being diverted for recycling, a rate significantly lower that the countywide recycling rate of 41 percent.

The study also showed that about 24 percent of what was put in recycling was actually trash, and that 70 percent of materials thrown away as trash were things that could be recycled or composted.

The number and size of recycling dumpsters or carts typically provided may not be adequate for the amount of recycling generated at apartment and condo buildings, according to the study.

On average, multifamily properties provided half the amount of service capacity for recycling than they did for trash.

To improve recycling at apartments, condos and townhouses, Hennepin County is offering an apartment recycling program that provides free educational materials and on-site assistance to property owners and managers.

For more information, contact Carolyn Collopy at or 612-596-0993.


Funds available for housing, development

Hennepin County is offering more than $6 million in funding for affordable housing and transit-oriented development.

The funding breaks down into three categories:

• The $2.7 million Affordable Housing Incentive Fund will provide capital financing to create or preserve long-term affordable housing units throughout the county for low-income households.

• The $1.2 million HOME Investment Partnerships program is a flexible federal grant program administered by the county to fund a variety of affordable housing activities for low-income families or individuals, homeless families and people with special needs.

• The $2.2 million Transit Oriented Development program offers grants and loans for development projects that enhance transit use along county transit corridors and routes.

For information on community and economic development projects, contact Patricia Fitzgerald at, and for information on affordable housing development projects, contact Margo Geffen at



Black history exhibit featured at gallery

A display focusing on the lives of African-American pioneers in Minnesota has opened at the Hennepin County Government Center, in time for the monthlong celebration of black history in February.

The exhibit, “Minnesota Black History 101: A Celebration of Black Life, History and Culture in Minnesota,” will be on display at the Hennepin Gallery, on the Government Center’s A-level, through March 28.

The exhibit covers subjects from George Bonga, a 19th-century fur trader, to the civil rights movement. To mark the Super Bowl, the exhibit also has Minnesota Vikings photographs by team photographer Andy Kenutis and Vikings team artifacts from the 1960s and ’70s.

The exhibit’s curator is Hawona Sullivan Janzen, who curated the 2016 Roots of Rondo exhibit at the St. Paul Springboard for the Arts. Roxanne Givens, founder of the Minnesota African-American Museum, also was heavily involved with the exhibit and deciding which stories to tell. Givens said she hopes to hold more black history exhibits in the future.

“If we can educate a few individuals,” Givens said, “that’s the name of the game.”

The Hennepin Gallery is free and open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.



Kautz speaks on mayor’s conference panel

Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz spoke on a panel focused on the #MeToo movement at the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, held Jan. 24-26 in Washington, D.C.

A four-woman panel, which included mayors from Tacoma, Wash., Salt Lake City and Oakland, Calif., discussed how “mayors can work together with community leaders and others to improve gender equality and end sexual assault and harassment,” according to the program.

Kautz discussed her efforts to obtain a loan without her husband when she first started her business in the 1980s. She said women shouldn’t give up now that their “voices have been unleashed,” and that government leaders must listen to them.

Kautz, who has led Burnsville since 1994, was president of the Conference of Mayors from 2009 to 2011.

Erin Adler