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Hennepin County’s Zero Waste Challenge received the Green Project Award from the Recycling Association of Minnesota at its annual conference in October. The award recognizes an innovative project that has demonstrated environmental results.

In the first year of the Zero Waste Challenge, Hennepin County staff worked with 35 households — a total of 133 adults and children — to track the waste they generated and take actions to increase recycling.

Participating households decreased the amount of waste they produced by 20 percent, and on average recycled or composted 62 percent of their waste, significantly more than the countywide diversion rate of 45 percent.

David Chanen

County sponsoring Master Water Stewards

Hennepin County is sponsoring four Master Water Stewards who will be trained in water quality subjects such as stormwater management, landscape assessment and installation of clean water practices.

They will be paired with a water steward mentor to install a water protection practice in their community.

The program is being funded through a Green Partners environmental education grant from three watersheds that have never participated in a Master Water Stewards program before: Bassett Creek, Richfield/Bloomington and Shingle Creek.

Hennepin County has been an active partner in the Master Water Stewards program since it was started by the Freshwater Society in 2013. The program trains volunteers to become community leaders in improving water quality at the grass roots level.

Since 2013, 141 Water Stewards have volunteered more than 2,500 hours and prevented more than 1.2 million gallons of polluted stormwater runoff from entering lakes, rivers, and streams.


Prior Lake 

Casino to hire 250 workers for Super Bowl

Mystic Lake Casino Hotel last week held open casting calls for 250 temporary workers, a hiring push meant to staff a four-day pop-up concert venue on the grounds of the entertainment complex during Super Bowl weekend.

Club Nomadic, known for its high-buck parties, will host country-pop hitmakers Florida Georgia Line along with three other headliners in Prior Lake ahead of the Feb. 4 Super Bowl at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

The makeshift concert venue, expected to hold 9,500 people, remains under construction outside the casino. Tickets will start at $200 for general admission.

Mystic Lake officials held a three-day job fair for interested bartenders, servers, cooks, custodians and more. Qualified candidates were hired on site.

In recent years, Club Nomadic has hosted performers such as Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, the Dave Matthews Band, Pharrell Williams, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers to kick off its Super Bowl festivities.

The Club Nomadic gigs are organized by New York-based events company Nomadic Entertainment Group, which is owned by the NFL’s official hospitality partner. The same group will also stage concerts at the renovated Minneapolis Armory a few blocks from U.S. Bank Stadium.

Mystic Lake is 26 miles south of downtown Minneapolis.

Liz Sawyer


City to host town hall meeting for residents

Edina is hosting a town hall meeting Saturday, its second town hall of the year and the only one this fall, for residents to ask questions and comment on any topics regarding the city.

City Council members and City Manager Scott Neal are expected to attend the discussion but the meeting is fairly unstructured, communications director Jennifer Bennerotte said.

There will be no formal presentations or displays.

The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to noon in the Edina Senior Center, 5280 Grandview Square.



$4 million in work to City Hall under consideration

Brooklyn Park city leaders are mulling fixes of up to $4 million to the suburb’s 26-year-old City Hall, which may include sprucing up the facility’s interior and building a small addition.

Council members last week looked at the proposed rehabilitation project at a work session and will consider it again Monday as part of a first draft of the city’s capital improvement plan, with financing options still being ironed out.

The project would seek to remedy wear-and-tear and space issues, such as upgrading windows, bathrooms, furniture and boiler improvements, according to city staffers.

If an addition is built as part of the project, early estimates place the remodeling work at about $4 million, said Dan Ruiz, director of operations and management.

A 2012 study zeroed in on space needs at City Hall and resulted in fixes to the building’s customer service counter and a conference room. The study recommended other phases of work, which were not completed.

If the project is approved as part of the capital improvement plan, construction could begin as early as fall 2018.

“You have to keep reinvesting back into City Hall,” Mayor Jeff Lunde said. “There are things that need to be taken care of. You either take care of them now or you pay a bigger price later.”

Hannah Covington