Whether you and your family and friends enjoy Lake Minnetonka, fireworks, live music, food and beverage, dogs, llamas, history, carnivals, or parades, you are sure to find something for everyone.
If you are thinking about buying or selling in the area, please plan to stop at 126 Benton Ave. in Wayzata from 1-5 on Saturday and 11-3 on Sunday to visit with myself and Elisha.
This will be a fantastic opportunity for you to view our next (to be built) new construction project with Custom One Homes & David Charlez Design. We would also be interested to discuss any real estate plans you may have.
Look for our printed schedules and maps (images below) all over Wayzata all weekend!
The maximum property tax levy increase for 2023 could be more than residents are accustomed to.
The city council was presented the preliminary property tax levy during Tuesday’s meeting. Administrative services director Aurora Yager broke down the need for the increase, along with the preliminary general fund and enterprise fund budgets.
City staff starts the budgeting process during the summer months, preparing for a final budget at the end of the year.
The recommended preliminary property tax levy increase for next year is 10.59-percent. The levy must be approved by the council and certified to Hennepin County by Friday, Sept. 30.
“In my six years on the council and two years in this role — this is the largest increase I have seen, It’s not a number we have ever entertained.”
MAYOR JOHANNA MOUTON
The largest factor in the increase, according to Yager, is to pay for additional staffing. Public safety in particular will see an increased investment with the addition of two more police officers.
“Just paying for employees is about 60-percent of our budget. That’s what it takes to provide services.”
The city is working toward having two officers on duty at all times. With the number of officers currently with the police department this is not possible. Yager said it would really take three more officers to achieve that goal.
Currently, the police department is a more than $2.6 million expenditure for the city. The proposed budget increase would add another $46,812 to the department.
“I applaud how well the city has been run financially for as long as I’ve known. This has been a painful year to look at these things,” said councilor Alex Plechash. “It’s my view we do need what we’re asking for. I feel it’s one that’s warranted.”
Plechash said the largest complain he hears from residents is about evening activity on Lake Street.
“For the most part people love Panoway. It’s added vibrancy to the community,” he said. “With that comes the negative that we have some things we need to take care of.”
Following Plechash’s comments, councilor Cathy Iverson asked what the true cost of maintaining Panoway is. Public works director and city engineer Mike Kelly said the city has only just started tracking that data.
The property tax increase, if at the maximum rate proposed, would cost the median homeowner an additional $110.
While the increase took some of the council aback, Yager shared how it compares to neighboring cities. Even with an increase of more than 10-percent, Wayzata would have the second lowest tax levy rate among those cities. The city’s property tax rate makes up about 18-percent of a property owner’s property tax statement.
Councilors Iverson and Molly MacDonald voiced their hesitation to certify the rate increase. MacDonald said she believes it can be lowered. When the time came for roll call, Iverson was the only one to vote against certifying.
“A double digit increase is significantly high in my opinion,” she said. “I’m not very comfortable at this moment.”
Yager said she has heard of possibly larger rate increases from neighboring cities ranging from 5- to 22-percent.
“We’ll see what happens when those other communities release their levies,” she said. “I would not be surprised to see higher.”
With the preliminary property tax levy certified at an increase of 10.95-percent, the council can only increase the tax by that amount or less. It cannot increase by more than the rate it certified to the county.
The 2023 general fund assumes an increase of 5.37-percent in operating expenses. Cities across the country are losing one revenue source with the expiration of American Rescue Plan funds.
The total revenues for the city in 2022 are estimated at $7.5 million and projected to increase to about $7.9 million in 2023.
Yager said the proposal for the general fund is for a balanced budget. The council approved the preliminary budget. Iverson voted ‘nay.’
Text Amendment costs debated in fee schedule
When discussing the next agenda item, the adoption of the 2023 fee schedule, Iverson asked about zoning amendment fees. The fee schedule for 2023 has a text amendment fee of $2,195 with an escrow of $3,822. Both are increases of more than $100 over 2022.
“There has been someone that has reached out to the city asking why it’s so much higher than our other cities,” Iverson said. “Plymouth’s is $300 with no escrow. Excelsior is $700 with no escrow. Why such a high cost? It seems extremely elevated.”
Yager said she would not dispute those numbers, but she said cities such as Minnetonka have fees which are similar to Wayzata’s.
City attorney David Schelzel clarified what escrow is used for. He said it helps the city ensure legal processing fees and professional service fees are covered by the applicant. What is not used is then refunded to the applicant. On larger projects, staff may request a larger escrow.
Schelzel went on to say the escrow fee is important to the city because of the amount of “sophisticated development” that happens in Wayzata.
“Your single-family homeowner who is doing a small project, those fees are not going to be all used like that,” Schelzel said.
“For these big development applications when we have a PUD and we’re talking tens of millions of dollars, I’m not too concerned if they can make $3,800 work,” Mouton said. “I think they can scrape that together.”
Trojans celebrate junior tight end Jack Simon as he receives word his cancer is in remission
Head Coach Lambert Brown was all smiles after the game on Thursday evening for two reasons.
First, the Trojans had just cruised to a season opening victory against Roseville. Second, and more importantly, junior tight end Jack Simon had received word earlier in the day that his cancer is in remission. “The best part of the night, and the biggest was the reality that Jack Simon found out that he was cancer free tonight.”
Brown continued, “Football is awesome, but for Jack to have all these amazing people in his life and for him to have such influence on all those people, that’s what it’s really all about–all those people cheering at the end and the excitement for Jack and Jack’s fight. That is 100% the most important thing tonight.”
The stirring tribute from coach to player capped a strong night for the Trojans as Wayzata scored early and often against the Raiders.
Junior Carter Olson rushed for a 1 yard touchdown to put the Trojans on the board early in the first quarter.
Senior Noah Rychlick and the Trojan defense sacked William DeVries and made Roseville punt their first possession from deep in their own territory.
Moments later junior quarterback Cole Heilbrun would toss a 38 yard touchdown completion to Eli Lenort to make it 14-0 with 5 minutes remaining in the first.
Trojan senior place kicker Nate Stueve added a 32 yard field goal to make it 17-0 early in the contest.
Cole Heilbrun hit Eli Lenort on a slant from midfield and Lenort raced past the Raider defense for a 50 yard touch down pass completion as it was all Wayzata early.
Roseville would answer with a 40 yard touchdown completion from QB William DeVries to junior wide receiver Collin Lutz to make it Wayzata 24, Roseville 13.
The Trojans responded as junior wide receiver Tyler Milkes would take the kickoff to the house for a 90 yard touchdown return behind the blocking of the kickoff team to make it Wayzata 31, Roseville 13 in the 3rd.
From there it was all Wayzata as the Trojans would add 3 more rushing touchdowns from Carter Olson, Omar Madkour, and Deyon Loveless.
Commenting on the game, Coach Brown was largely pleased with the performance, “Our line played well. Cole Heilbrun threw the ball well and our receivers did a good job. Our running backs, we had a bunch of guys running the ball hard. Our defense really did a good job of stepping up, responding, and finding ways to get off the field against some really good football players. It was a fun night and we are going to enjoy it.”
Wayzata is back in action at the home opener hosting Champlin Park on September 9th at Wayzata Stadium. CP lost to Woodbury 21-7 in their opening contest.
All Aboard! Lake Minnetonka’s Largest 3-day Festival Moving Full Steam Ahead!
The whistle’s blowing and the 47th Annual James J. Hill Days is just around the bend, coming September 9, 10 & 11 to the shores of Lake Minnetonka in Wayzata.
The proud residents, businesses and community of this small town will roll out the welcome mat for 75,000 guests over three jam-packed days of exciting events.
From Engine to Caboose, There’s Something For Everyone!
Friday, September 9th, 2022
We kick off the weekend with LIVE MUSIC & STREET DANCE featuring Viva Knievel from 6 – 10 pm. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes, grab a beverage from the Beer + Wine Tent and tell your friends to meet you at the Sandvold Stage off of Minnetonka/Lake St.! Our live music line-up is one to celebrate.
For the BEER LOVERS, get your tickets to RAILS & ALES CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL. This year’s line-up is stacked! Enjoy unlimited samples from 20 breweries, live music by the Billboard-charting Avey Grouws Band, and some casual games to wind down from the week (5-9 PM).
Step Right Up! The Lake Minnetonka CARNIVAL (5-10 pm) will be in full force with ride after ride offering fun for all ages. Purchase presale discounted tickets at Lunds & Byerlys Wayzata. Also available at the gate.
You can test out your LOGROLLING skills throughout the weekend starting Friday (5 – 9 pm) and into Saturday (10 – 7 pm), and Sunday (10 – 4 pm). Experienced rollers will provide instruction and encouragement to any interested participant. Check it out!
Be sure to check out the full line-up of activities added to the weekend including the outdoor NIGHT MARKET. Shop local vendors (5-9 PM), enjoy food trucks along Lake Street under the twinkling lights. A perfect end to summer.
Saturday, September 10th, 2022
Find that special something as you SHOP 150+ VENDORS (10 am–7 pm) at the open air street market. Sip and stroll from 20 food trucks, beer + wine tents, or grab a fresh lemonade as the CARNIVAL continues all day Saturday (10 am–10 pm).
Attention dog lovers, this one’s for you! Grab a hot dog and watch wiener dogs race, jump hurdles and dress up in costume at the ever-popular DACHSHUND RACES (12 pm). BYOD (Bring Your Own Dog) and get ready for your close-up as you pose for pictures with your pup in the DOGGY KISSING BOOTH (10 am).
New puppy or want to brush up your dog’s training? Drop-in to an ONSITE OBEDIENCE CLASS (9:30 am). Enjoy pupperific treats and register to win pup-tastic prizes from our sponsors (10 am – 2 pm). If cute animals are your thing, make sure to stop by our Lovin’ Llama Experience to take selfies and share hugs with the Llama Squad (12 pm – 4 pm).
SHOCKWAVES WATER SKI SHOW team will bring the fun on Saturday (3 pm – 4 pm) on Wayzata Bay. The Shockwaves’ performers do pyramids, ballet, barefooting, jumping, and more. You won’t want to miss their show!
Take a break from all the activities and enjoy incredible FREE LIVE MUSIC, dancing and fireworks! The Sandvold Stage will feature local band favorites including – Stereo Kitchen, Pandora’s Other Box, Powertap, Sam Graber, and Wayzata Symphony Orchestra (10 am-10 pm).
Bring the kids to the Great Lawn to catch a MOVIE ON THE LAWN (7:30 pm) hosted by Wayzata Sailing. Enjoy the sweet story of Disney Pixar’s ‘Luca’ and stick around for the WAYZATA BAY FIREWORKS (8:45 pm) bursting over Wayzata Bay in celebration of all the fun.
Sunday, September 11th, 2022
If you haven’t noticed, it’s all about the dogs in Wayzata. So, you and your pup are challenged to join the DOGGY OLYMPICS! Bring your pup and participate in a series of engaging games that will show off your pup’s skills and earn the winners pup-tastic prizes (12 pm – 2 pm). Is your doggo the adventurous type? Try PADDLEBOARDING WITH YOUR DOG (11 am – 1 pm). Get some quality time at the MEET & GREET WITH WAYZATA K9 OFFICER LOKI (11:30 am – 12 pm).
September 11, 2022 marks the 21st Anniversary of 9/11. We invite you to spend time at the 9.11 MEMORIAL on the Panoway throughout the day. The space offers community members a place to remember and reflect. The 9/11 memorial honors our community members lost and the lives of all victims of the Sept. 11th attacks.
Other activities special to Sunday, include the T-6 THUNDER AIRSHOW a fascinating display of WWII planes swiftly flying over Lake Street and Wayzata Bay (2:45 pm).
The same afternoon features the hometown PARADE (3 pm). Special thanks to all the sponsors who keep this event on the tracks. We will see you at James J. Hill Days!
MAJOR SPONSORS: Sandvold Financial Group, RE/MAX Results, BNSF Railway, Lunds & Byerlys Wayzata, Youngstedts, River Valley Power & Sport, 6Smith, Polaris Adventures, Icon Aircraft, THN Enterprises
SUPPORTING SPONSORS: Guaranteed Rate – Chris Carr Team, Ulrich Real Estate/Regency Homes, Colonial Square/Regency Centers, Maison Realty Group, JomsVikings, Northwestern Mutual, The International School of Minnesota, The Brost Clinic, Renewal by Andersen, Mediacom, Wings Financial Credit Union, New Spaces Design-Build-Remodel, Coldwell Banker Realty, Maveriiick Lead Generation, Trails of Orono.
Visit JamesJHillDays.com for details, tickets, and more information. All activities located on/near Lake Street, Downtown Wayzata.
Wayzata residents and visitors were treated to heavy rains, gusting winds and lightning on Saturday evening around 9pm. Other parts of the metro such as Lakeville were under Tornado Warnings for a short period of time.
Watch the video below for our man (and daughter) on the street impressions of the storm. Stay tuned to Wayzata.com for more news, weather and sports!
From CCX Media: “The two-time defending state champion Wayzata volleyball team opened its 2022 season Thursday with a three-set sweep of Minnetonka, extending the Trojans’ winning streak to 55 matches. The Trojans fell behind 10-6 in the first set but outscored the Skippers 19-8 to close out the set and then won sets 2 and 3 by scores of 25-11 and 25-15. Wayzata won Class AAAA last season, finishing the year with a 34-0 record. Their next match is Monday against Rogers, a team they beat in the state tournament a year ago.”
CCX Media: “The Wayzata football team expects to be in the mix as one of the state’s top Class 6A teams again this fall. The Trojans finished 8-3 a year ago, losing a close game to St. Michael-Albertville in the state quarterfinals. The team returns ten starters from 2021, seven of them on defense. Among the key players returning for Wayzata are linebackers Chase Ullom and Noah Rychlick, defensive backs Alex Hart, Andrew Westermeyer and Zach Boutwell, and wide receivers Eli Lenort and Ford Griffith. Wayzata opens the season at Roseville September 1st.”
The signing, or lack of signing, of the city’s new code of conduct policy for elected officials, boards and the public sparked the continuation of tensions on the city council dais Tuesday.
At the beginning of Tuesday’s regular meeting, the city council and Mayor Johanna Mouton were asked to hand in the newly adopted code of conduct documents with their signatures to city manager Jeff Dahl. After a short recess more than 2 hours later, Mouton and Dahl brought to the attention of the room that one document was returned without a signature. This document was returned by councilor Cathy Iverson.
The code of conduct was unanimously passed by the council during its Aug. 3 meeting.
“I voted in favor knowing I would not sign it,” Iverson answered. “It’s a personal decision and I would not like to discuss it on public TV.”
Councilor Alex Plechash asked that the code be shared with the public.
“I have grave concerns if I have a colleague that does not want to abide in a code of conduct we passed,” he said. “I want the public that has elected that council member to actually see what she has decided not to agree to.
Iverson noted that while she did not sign the document, she has carried herself according to the code at meetings. While Iverson was speaking, Plechash voiced his disagreement.
“I feel like I’m being bullied right now, and that’s part of the reason I am not signing it,” Iverson responded.
Iverson is not legally obligated to sign such a document, which she mentioned and Mouton agreed.
What inspired the code of conduct?
The code of conduct will be given to all members of the city government’s boards and commissions for signatures moving forward. Dahl noted it will also be included in the orientation process for new board and commission members, as well as a reference point for evaluations.
The code also carries expectations for members of the public who attend these meetings.
In an interview with Dahl, he said it was an incident last fall which inspired the drafting of the code. He did not elaborate on what that incident was.
“It is to keep everyone safe and have a well functioning meeting,” he said. “It’s just nice to have clear expectations for rules and responsibilities of elected officials, staff and members of the public.”
Prior to the vote approving the code of conduct on Aug. 3, Iverson and Mouton engaged in a debate related to conduct. At that meeting, Dahl reiterated the conversation was not a catalyst for the drafting of the code.
“This is just best practice for local government to have an effective and efficient governing body,” he said. “It is not a result of any one thing with the councilors.”
Iverson maintains stance
Mouton referred to Iverson not signing the code of conduct as “another disappointing example.” Iverson quickly answered the comment.
“Do we want to talk about censurship and the repercussions of you guys censuring me?” she asked. “Because that was a question that was asked. What happens if we feel somebody is not following the code of conduct? We will censure them.”
In government, censuring is a formal acknowledgement of disapproval from a body towards one of its representatives. It does not carry any direct punishment such as removal of position, but it can be damaging to public trust in an elected official or among that official and their colleagues.
Mouton answered Iverson’s question by stating censurship is an option anytime a colleague ‘falls outside the norms of behavior,’ or breaks the law.
“It’s a violation of my First Amendment,” Iverson said.
Wayzata Gateway ignites disagreement
The conversation over Iverson’s conduct at council dates back to a meeting on July 19. During that meeting the council approved a redevelopment proposal for 900 Wayzata Blvd E., known as the site of the Wells Fargo building.
The project, referred to as the Wayzata Gateway, will include the construction of an office building, apartments and 5,500 square foot bank.
Iverson was the only council member to vote against the proposal, citing concerns about the design, height and overall massing of the buildings. After the vote, Iverson exited the meeting. There was another new business agenda item remaining, the approval of excessive fund transfers. She was marked on record for leaving at 10:39 p.m.
On Aug. 3, Iverson expressed her disappointment about the approval of the project before the council entered the consent agenda portion of the meeting. She said the approval of the project was not consistent with the 2040 Comprehensive Plan, or with other projects which had been denied by the council.
“In my 11 years involved with the city I have never seen a project of this size approved without any changes to the design, scaling or massing of the building,” she said. “I don’t even know how to react to it. I am just completely baffled.”
Mouton took exception to the comments and the setting in which they were shared.
“It’s an unfair statement to make that this council — were not willing to entertain discussion about many of those items, because we were,” Mouton continued. “We discussed many of those. I am disappointed in that at this juncture you choose to make a statement that you feel we have not done our job.”
Iverson disagreed, stating she did not feel she was given the chance to have an open discussion about her concerns.
“I tried and it did not happen,” she said. “The decision for me to put something on paper did not come lightly.”
Mouton added that she was also disappointed in Iverson’s actions after the item was approved, referring to her leaving the meeting while it was in session.
“You not only disappointed this council but you stormed out and you neglected your duties as a council member,” Mouton said. “You failed your duties as a councilor.”
“My decision to walk out may not have been a professional decision,” Iverson responded. “It was my reflection of the view of the council, of the decision of the council to continue to disregard my design expertise.”
Mouton said no members of the council have tried to limit another’s point of view.
Iverson denied a request for comment. Mouton did not respond before the publishing deadline.
The city council will next meet for a regular meeting on Aug. 30.
The weather the last couple of days has been difficult to get a handle on. This morning it was sunny and poured rain while I drove east on 394. Friday evening it was a mix of sun and pouring rain as well. I loved the blue color in the clouds over Lake Minnetonka in this shot.