BY SUE WEBBER
Effective use of Legacy funds has earned Maple Grove a Legacy Destination City award.
The award was presented at the Oct. 7 Maple Grove City Council meeting by representatives from Conservation Minnesota and Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.
In 2008, Minnesota voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment which added three-eighths of 1 percent to the state’s sales tax, and dedicated the revenue to projects that would help preserve the state’s arts and outdoors legacy.
In the five years since then, Conservation Minnesota and Minnesota Citizens for the Arts have gone throughout the state highlighting places where the funds are best being put to use to serve the intent of the amendment. A total of 19 Minnesota cities have received awards since 2008.
Maple Grove is among nine cities being recognized in 2013 for their roles in utilizing Legacy funding to make their communities better for residents and visitors. Others being honored this year include Apple Valley, Coon Rapids, Hastings, Nisswa, Plymouth, Rushford, Stillwater and Two Harbors.
“By looking at the cross-section of arts and indoor projects that have been helped by the amendment in the previous year, it is clear that this year, Maple Grove deserved recognition,” said Paul Austin, executive director of Conservation Minnesota.
Sheila Smith, executive director of the Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, said, “Be it the public art at the Maple Grove Arts Center or completion of the trail between French River and Fish Lake Parks, Maple Grove is really benefitting from the passage of this amendment.”
Among other projects completed or underway in the city, a $15,000 grant was used by the Maple Grove Arts Center in 2013 to fund a public art installation project and a seven-week series of classes and events at The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes.
In 2010, Three Rivers Park District grant projects were granted a total of $750,000 for completion of the final three miles of regional trail providing an off-road connection from French Regional Park to Fish Lake Regional Park, and also for replacement of floating boardwalks on interpretive trails at Lowry Nature Center in Carver Park Reserve and at Eastman Nature Center in Elm Creek Park Reserve.
Items approved on the council’s consent agenda include:
• A Planned Unit Development (PUD) concept amendment and development stage plan for Twin Cities Dental, for construction of a 4,860-square-foot building for a dental clinic and future restaurant at 11301 Fountains Drive, a freestanding outlot between Costco and Lowe’s.
“Adding a dental clinic to the mix of uses at this site does not result in any unfavorable situations and will add another non-retail element that will create a benefit to other stores in the area by making spur of the moment shopping or eating decisions,” Community Development Director Dick Edwards said, in a memo to the council.
• A final plat for Silver Creek on Main, a senior community proposing to develop 360 luxury apartments at Main Street and Weaver Lake Road. The first phase of 195 luxury apartment will be comprised of 106 independent living units, 41 assisted-living apartments and 48 memory care apartments.
• Authorization for staff to submit a grant application to the Hennepin County Youth Sports program to assist in funding the construction of three community gymnasiums at Maple Grove Junior High School. The total cost of the project is estimated at $8.5 million. The city is requesting $325,000 from the Hennepin Youth Sports Program and will assume responsibility for a matching funds requirement of $8.175 million.