City offers free tax preparation aid

The city’s Human Services Division is partnering with AARP Tax-Aide and Prepare + Prosper (formerly AccountAbility Minnesota) to provide free tax-preparation assistance. The service is offered on a first-come, first-served basis to those who meet income qualifications. Taxpayers with complex tax returns are advised to seek paid tax assistance.

Prepare + Prosper’s income guidelines: Individuals making $30,000 or less per year and families making $53,000 or less per year. AARP Tax-Aide’s income guideline: Middle- to low-income individuals and families. For specific dates and times, go to or call 952-563-4944, TTY 952-563-4933.


Volunteers sought for watershed board

The Hennepin County Board is accepting applications for two vacancies on the Lower Minnesota River Watershed District Board.

This board coordinates the management of water and related land resources in the watershed that drains into the Minnesota River. The board has five members. Carver, Scott and Dakota counties each appoint one member and Hennepin County appoints two. The district includes portions of Bloomington and Eden Prairie in Hennepin County.

It is helpful for members to have a background in water conservation, development, law, engineering, environment or public administration.

The deadline for applications is March 26, with interviews to be held at the following board committee meeting.

A watershed district board member may not be a public officer of the county, state or federal government and must be a resident of the district. Board members serve three-year terms. Meetings are held the third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Scott County Government Center in Shakopee.

For more information, go to


Boy Scout merit badge class created

The Minnetonka Fire Department will start offering the first aid merit badge for Boy Scouts this spring.

The class, which will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. March 14 at the Minnetonka Community Center, is free but has a limited size. Register by calling 952-939-8203 or go to and look up course No. 36061.

Watershed District seeks input on plan

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District is seeking input on its 10-year plan.

The district is hold two meetings Wednesday, Feb. 18, and another March 3 on the Comprehensive Water Resources Management Plan, which guides the activities and programs of the watershed district. The 10-year plan is required of all watershed districts in the state and is due in 2017.

The meetings are scheduled for 1-2 p.m. Feb. 18 and 6-7 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Minnetonka Community Center and 8:30-9:30 a.m. March 3 at the Ridgedale Library in Minnetonka.

For more information, go to


City looking at adding ‘street seats’

Hopkins is studying the feasibility of allowing businesses to create “street seats.” The term describes a sort of outdoor platform or patio that typically extends from the sidewalk and occupies what would normally be a curbside parking space.

The idea is to offer businesses, especially bars and restaurants, a way to enliven downtown street life. The concept has been successful in other cities, notably Portland, Ore.

City staff presented the idea at a recent City Council work session. No decision is imminent, but the city plans to collect input on the idea from local residents and businesses.


Boater safety classes held next month

The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District will host free boater safety education classes to 12- to 17-year-olds next month.

The three sessions, in partnership with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol, start March 14. Participants can bring a guardian and can get their state Department of Natural Resources Youth Watercraft Operator’s Permit.

The first session will be held March 14 at the Westonka Public Schools’ Educational Service Center, with the second and third session in June. It’s limited to 30 participants. Register by 4:30 p.m. March 6. For more information, go to


Entries open for art show competition

The city of Plymouth and the Plymouth Arts Council are seeking art entries for the annual Primavera juried show.

Applications are due 4 p.m. Feb. 26 at Plymouth City Hall. The art show, a free annual art exhibition, will be held April 17-20 at the Plymouth Creek Center. Artists may enter up to three pieces of original art and winning artists will receive monetary awards. Artists can submit photographs or a CD of artwork; cost to enter the first piece is $25 and $10 for the second and third pieces.

The city is also holding its annual streetlamp banner competition, with applications also due 4 p.m. Feb. 26. Entries will be judged by the Plymouth Arts Council jury and selected artists will be asked to paint 2-by- 4-foot versions of their original designs. Cost to enter up to two designs in the adult division is $20; cost to enter two designs in the teen division is $15, payable to the Plymouth Arts Council. Three winning designs from each category will be displayed at Primavera and on lamp posts in City Center. First place will be awarded a $75 prize, second place will get $50 and third place will get $25.

For more information, call 763-509-5200 or go to


City seeks applicants to serve on council

The Lake Minnetonka city of Spring Park is looking for interested residents to fill a vacancy on the City Council for a two-year term that will expire in January 2017.

Applicants must be at least 21 and live in Spring Park.

The deadline to apply is 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 10. For more information, call Spring Park City Hall at 952-471-9051.


New City Hall gets a warm welcome

The city of Victoria celebrated the grand opening of its City Hall on Feb. 9 with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting.

Stahl Construction of St. Louis Park recently completed construction of the new City Hall and public works facilities. The facilities were built simultaneously over seven months.

The 12,000-square-foot, wood-framed City Hall is located on Stieger Lake Lane. The exterior features a blend of masonry, stone, siding and other materials. The City Council chambers and offices are on the second floor, with a Carver County library extension on the first.

The new public works facility on Bavaria Road is a 16,380-square-foot pre-engineered metal building with office space, shop areas and equipment storage.

A grand opening for the Carver County library extension is set for March 7.