The Mayor of the City of Minnetonka Beach delivered the State of the City Address during the city council meeting on Monday, Jan. 11.
Mayor Jaci Lindstrom gave the address virtually and discussed the city’s experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, on-going activities at city hall, city parks, city infrastructure, finance and the city’s goals.
“As we begin our first council meeting of 2021, I’d like to take a few moments to reflect back on 2020 to celebrate all that we’ve accomplished in our community and to look forward to the goals and challenges ahead,” Lindstrom began the address.
Lindstrom was reelected during the 2020 election, as was city treasurer Chris Zinn who will serve a two year term. Council members Tracey Breazeale and Vibhu Sharma were also elected and will serve four year terms. Lindstrom said 96 percent of city residents voted in the election.
COVID-19 was at the forefront of 2020, Lindstrom stated as she reviewed how the city has dealt with the pandemic. A declaration of a local state of emergency was declared In March 2020 that remains in place today until it is rescinded by council.
“Nearly $24,000 in federal CARES Act funding allowed the city hall to spend money otherwise budgeted on technology, remote employee work stations and staff time enforcing pandemic restrictions,” she said.
While restrictions were in place, Linstrom said city hall still had a busy year. There were 21 council meetings held, which is 50 percent more than usual; the city adopted 62 resolutions; issued building permits for $7.4 million in valuation; improved efficiency; upgraded technology and hired City Administrator Pat Melvin.
Minnetonka Beach also entered a joint agreement with the City of Orono for plowing snow on the Dakota Trail; was awarded the Hennepin County Tree Canopy Grant, that will preserve woodlands; repaired and renovated the Dahl Library and Ray Peters Park Warming house; and added LED lighting at Ray Peters park skating Rink.
Goals for the parks in 2021 include the extension of shoreline Rip Rap at Swim Beach Park; executing of the Tree Canopy Grant; exploration of chemical-free park system and turf restoration options; installing new city hall park playground equipment and the possibility of installing new playground equipment at Half Moon park.
Lindstrom highlighted city infrastructure projects including completed projects and new projects. Construction began on the new watertower and is expected to be completed by Fall 2021. Utilities Commission goals include improvements to the city water treatment plan, replacement of the remaining four-inch and 85-year-old water mains, and finding Brooks Lane drainage proposal solution and performing street improvements.
When it comes to the city’s financial goals, Lindstrom stated there will be “a continued focus on fiscal responsibility, a balanced budget and strong reserves.”
Lindstrom ended the address by thanking staff, council, committee members and volunteers.
“I view Minnetonka Beach as being in a state of restoration and renewal,” she stated while adding she has seen changes in the city’s appearance and infrastructure and while she envisions a “well-groomed” and caring neighborhood, she would like to hear from the community.
“This is your community, your village and I’d like to hear what you’d like it to look like, what you would like it to be like. I welcome your comments and input,” Lindstrom stated.