Waconia will be a destination for three rides in this year’s Tour de Tonka cycling event coming up Aug. 7.

Tour director Tim Litfin shared that information with the Waconia City Council at a presentation Monday, July 12.

The annual bike ride to benefit the ICA Food shelf serving the Minnetonka area passes through several communities in the region and Waconia is typically one of them. There are seven scenic routes on the 2021 tour, ranging from 16 to 100 miles, beginning and ending at Minnetonka High School.

The tour expects some 3,000-3,500 riders this year after the event was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, according to Litfin. Over the 16-year history, riders have come from almost every county in the state and 43 states in the nation, he said.

For more information and registration, go to TourdeTonka.com.

Among other presentations last Monday, Allison Streich, deputy director of the Carver County Community Development Agency, shared an update on Trail’s Edge apartment, an affordable housing project proposed near Target. The 60-unit apartment project is slated to break ground in mid-August, she said, and be complete next August, with leasing starting in September 2022.

The council also heard a report from Julie Karnes, Safari Island general manager. With the lifting of state COVID-19 restrictions two months ago, membership is up by 48 percent – a total of 126 memberships in the past two months.

“More members and guests are coming back,” she said.

Safari Island’s annual maintenance shutdown is scheduled during the Carver County Fair in early August, according to Karnes. Work will include the installation of two new chlorinators and the restoration of two water features: the mushroom and water slide.

Council members also heard from a Provence Lane resident about Waconia Parkway South traffic concerns – speed and vehicle noise. Some of those concerns should be addressed through an improvement project planned for the parkway later this summer, according to Mayor Kent Bloudek.

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