The City of Wayzata has announced that the summer edition of the printed Wayzata Bay Window will be reduced in size due to the budget shortfall at City Hall. Expanded versions of newsletter articles will be available on the City of Wayzata website–www.wayzata.org. Additionally, the fall and winter editions of the newsletter will not be printed this year.
Mayor Ken Willcox issued a statement on the City of Wayzata’s website: “It is our long-term communications goal to make our website the City’s primary communication tool, so this cost-saving measure is also an opportunity for us to make progress toward that goal.”
Stay tuned to Wayzata.com for all the latest news and information on the City of Wayzata.
From the Wayzata Bay Window, the official newsletter of the City of Wayzata:
The City of Wayzata will hold its Annual Storm Water Informational Meeting at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb.19 at City Hall. A brief presentation will be given regarding the City’s Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP) and Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP). Staff will then answer questions from residents regarding Wayzata’s current programs and future plans for storm water.
Copies of the SWMP and SWPPP may be examined at Wayzata City Hall during regular business hours. Contact the Engineering Department at (952) 404-5316 for more information.
From the Wayzata Bay Window, the Officicial Newsletter of the City of Wayzata:
With the many improvements created by the Communications Task Force last ear, Wayzata residents now have a number of different information sources to fit their lifestyle and schedule. In the last year, the City improved the quality and variety of its methods of communications including improvements to the Bay Window and the City’s website. Residents now receive The Portal, a news sheet, with their monthly utility bill, and Wayzata Community Television (WCTV) continues to air City Council and Planning Commission meetings along with other community events.
The Bay Window is published four times a year. It is intended to be a source of information about many aspects of the City from its history to in-depth explanations of the planning process. The newsletter often includes a note from the mayor, upcoming events, and City notices.
The Portal was created to publish City notices, such as spring clean up and other upcoming City events.
The City’s website provides more information about specific topics and departments. Visitors to the site can find all the City notices found in The Portal and the Bay Window. Full copies of newsletters can be opened in PDF format on the site. Minutes from City Council and Planning Commission meetings, as well as documents and ordinances can also be found on the website. Recently, all the City’s ordinances, permit requirements and forms were added to the website.
While broadcasts of Council and Planning Commission meetings are very important aspects of WCTV, other community groups use the cable channel as well. “Welcome Wayzata” a show hosted by Chamber of Commerce President Peggy Douglas and school board member and former City Council-member Greg Rye, highlights events such as the Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners (IOCP) Sleep-out. The Wayzata Historical Society speakers meetings are aired on WCTV, as well. On a regular basis other community events are taped for airing on Wayzata TV.
Finally, the Wayzata News Alert is a new email service offered by the City to all Wayzata residents and business owners that keeps them informed about important events. When you sign up, you will get notices about meetings, workshops, reminders to vote or leaf pickup reminders. To join the program, provide your email address to Sandy by emailing email@example.com or by calling 952-404-5302 during regular business hours.
All of these resources make for better communication within the City. Many of these media require volunteer work such as for taping newsworthy events for TV or editing the newsletter and website. If you have questions that are not answered in any of our communi-cation sources or would like to become more involved in City communications, call 952-404-5300, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the oldest communication method on earth, visit.
From the Wayzata Bay Window, the Official Newsletter of the City of Wayzata:
In January, Wayzata streamlined its ordinance books and published them online. In the past when councils changed wording or parts of an ordinance, it was difficult to ensure that all the changes were made in the various City documents and code books.
In a process that took several years, City Clerk Sandy Langley oversaw the combining and updating of codes from many sources, such as police, planning and design, to create one book of current City ordinances.
Though the ordinances were online before the recodification, the search function will be much more comprehensive with the new system, says Langley. “It should be easier for people to look information up. Now if you want to know about dock ordinances, you can type ‘dock’ in, and every mention of the word dock will be pulled up.”
A hard copy will be kept at City Hall for residents to use. The council approved the recodification of the ordinances on Jan. 20.
From the Wayzata Bay Window, the Official Newsletter of the City of Wayzata:
There are many variables when it comes to establishing property assessments. Some of these variables will be highlighted when the Local Board of Appeal meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 7.
Dan Distel has worked as the assessor for Wayzata for 20 years. He also works for Deephaven and Woodland. A lot of people know him in Wayzata due to his philosophy, his fairness, and his willingness to talk about property values with the property owners.
“First of all, I work for the people of Wayzata,” he says. “When people ask me how I can do such an unpopular job, I say it is my mission to help people understand how the valuation process works. The state requires that all properties have estimated property values established, and that they are equalized. I try to be as fair as possible and provide as much information as I can.”
Distel wants to get the word out that when people question his assessment, he wants to hear from them and talk to them about it. In explaining the process, he reminds people that he is audited by both the state and county, who compare his valuations to all assessors in the state and Hennepin County. Most importantly, he does not set the tax. He sets a value on residential and commercial properties. The local entities, the county and the state set the taxes.
Many people believe that assessors set taxes in Minnesota. That is a misconception. Property taxes in Minnesota are calculated from the property’s assessed market value, its classification rate, and the local tax rate. The tax rate is determined by dividing the total dollars to be raised with property taxes (tax levy) as set by city councils, school boards and county boards.
The accompanying graph shows that only 18% of each property tax dollar goes to the City. The City’s share of taxes in the graph is the combined total of slice one and two. One slice is a tax capacity levy and the other is a total market value levy. A $500,000 home pays about $5,000 in property tax. Eight hundred and fifty dollars ($850) of that $5,000 goes to the City, which amounts to just over $16 a week.
City taxes pay for 24-hour police and fire protection; prompt snowplowing of city streets; city parks, including the skating rink with warming house and attendants; street repair and maintenance; street lights; park maintenance; public flower gardens; public beach with lifeguards; public tree maintenance; building, zoning and property code enforcement; municipal, state and national elections.
Property owners receive the proposed new values for their property in the mail in early spring every year. The valuation is used by the city, school, county and state to determine taxes for the next year.
Distel recommends reading the valuation notice very carefully. It will include the process to contest a property’s value and the dates for the Local Board of Appeal and the County’s Board of Equalization.
Anyone unhappy with their assessment should first contact Distel. Only if you are still at odds with the assessment, tell Distel you will be attending the Local Board of Appeal. Before going to the Local Board of Appeal, let Distel know you will be attending, so he can have the paperwork ready. The Board of Appeal comprises the City Council. Do not expect to talk about taxes at the Board. The board only determines if your property has been fairly assessed.
Allowing an assessor into your home is necessary for him to make a fair valuation. If a homeowner wants to contest his assessment before the Board of Appeal, the board will want the assessor to see the home and have full access to the property.
The higher values of many of the homes and commercial properties make Wayzata unusual. However,Wayzata is also fortunate in having an assessor who works with property owners to reach a fair and equitable value. Distel says it best, “My goal is to do a good job, to be fair and equal to all properties, to communicate well, and let people know and understand the process.”
Images and article courtesy of the City of Wayzata.
In my first Bay Window message I would like to extend a special tribute to Mayor Andrew Humphrey for his many years of distinguished leadership in Wayzata. We will miss his wise and steady hand.
We also congratulate and greet Andrew Mullin, the newest member of the City Council. We will benefit from his intellect, organizational skills and energy. Mary Bader was elected to her first full term on the Council, and we welcome her back with her tremendous analytical abilities and strong commitment.
Not surprisingly, economics will absorb much of our attention in the coming months. We are fortunate, in a way, that Wayzata does not receive Local Government Aid (LGA) funds. As a result the state’s budget cutting will have less effect on us. Nonetheless, we will be doing everything we can to reduce the tax burden on our citizens. The Council and staff worked very hard to keep the 2009 levy increase below the rate of anticipated inflation. That represents the lowest increase in years. The City of Wayzata’s share of your property tax is about 18 cents on the dollar. Almost double that amount goes to both Hennepin County and the school district.
The largest factor impacting your property tax is the valuation of your home. If you have any disagreement with your valuation, you should contact the tax assessor. If you are still not satisfied, the Spring Truth in Taxation hearing, 7 p.m. April 7, at City Hall is the forum for you to challenge that figure.
The next months and years will be busy ones in Wayzata. Construction projects will dominate. They will be disruptive and probably annoying. These include 1) the buildout of the Bay Center and surrounding intersections, 2) the high pressure sewer main to be installed by the Met Council along Lake Street, and 3) Hennepin County’s planned expansion of Bushaway Road. These don’t even include city infrastructure projects such as the completion of the Ferndale Road rebuild and the construction of the new water storage facility. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, enjoy the remainder of winter. Spring’s not far off.
As we prepare for winter, we would like to remind everyone of the following regulations. If the snowfall is two inches deep or more by 8 p.m., the snow ban goes into effect at 2 a.m. the next morning, when complete snow plowing will begin, and any vehicles parking on unplowed streets will be tagged and towed. If an accumulation of two inches or more occurs after 8 p.m., the snow ban begins at 2 a.m. 24 hours from 12 a.m. of the evening it snows.
The snow ban regulates parking to accommodate plowing. It does not limit snowplowing operations. In other words, if there is an accumulation of snow after 8 p.m., plowing may occur. Cars parked on the street will not be tagged, but they may be plowed in. For any questions regarding this notice, call Wayzata Public Works at 952-404-5360, ask for Jim or Dave.
From the Wayzata Bay Window, Winter 2008 Edition. Written by Irene Stemmer, Chairwoman of the Heritage Preservation Board.
Bushaway Road is celebrating its Sesquicentennial in the month of October. Officially it is County Road 101, but to the folks in Wayzata, it is “Bushaway Road.” In 1858, Hennepin County passed a resolution for a road from Shakopee on the Minnesota River to Dayton at the junction of the Crow and Mississippi Rivers. Surveyors were told to make it as “developmentally straight as possible,” but it was a winding road nonetheless that may have followed the trail of the Dakota people as they moved from Shakopee to Wayzata each year to winter camp.
The “Shakopee/Dayton” road intersected with the Old Mill Road (McGinty) to Minnetonka Mills and Fort Ridgley, the St Anthony trail from Wayzata to Minneapolis, and roads running north to Fort Ripley and south to Fort Snelling. It gave Wayzata residents a direct route to Excelsior and a link with the roads that circled Lake Minnetonka.
The name Bushaway came from Frenchman John Bourgeois who wintered on Wayzata Bay in 1853. The English translation of his name somehow became “Bushaway” and it stayed with the area long after Bourgeois moved on. In 1916, the property was subdivided and prominent Minneapolis businessmen built beautiful summer homes and country estates along the road. In 1956, Bushaway and Holdridge were annexed to Wayzata from Minnetonka Township. It was Councilman Ned Dodge who thought the Bushaway designation was more historically accurate and “neighborhood like” for the section of the road from the bridge to Wayzata Boulevard. Addresses were changed from County Road 101 to Bushaway Road.
Bushaway road has history – from the soft step of the moccasin on the Indian trail, the muddy ruts of horse and wagon cart ways, early motor cars kicking up dust and gravel, to the many classic cars of today rolling over its bituminous roadway. The ivy-covered stone walls and iron gates that mark the driveways along Bushaway Road have been there since the mid 1900s, as well as several of the original historic houses. Oaks, maples and weeping willows line the roadway and lend their natural beauty to this scenic drive as it winds its way through the Bushaway neighborhood.
“Hat’s Off ” to a 150-year old Road that has served us well and for many years to come! The neighbor-hood held a birthday party on Oct. 23 to celebrate this Sesquicentennial event.
From the Wayzata Bay Window, the Official Website of the City of Wayzata:
Klapprich Park is open for hockey and skating during the following hours:
3 p.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays when Wayzata Public Schools are not in session
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
An attendant is on duty during all open hours. The rink may be closed due to bad weather. Closings are determined on a day to day basis and are posted on the message board at the entrance to the Field on Wayzata Blvd. Go to http://www.wayzata.org/ for closings and the opening date. Please stay off the rink when any equipment is resurfacing the ice.