LINO LAKES, Minn. – (Feb. 1, 2018) – Michael Grochala has enjoyed learning about development of cultures and communities since a young age.
“I think it started with National Geographic magazine years ago. When I went to school I ended up going into my studies in geography, geography led into urban development, and then ultimately I received a masters in planning. I’ve just been fascinated with helping shape the growth of cities,” said Grochala.
Now entering his 17th year working as the Community Development Director in Lino Lakes, Grochala comes to work each day knowing to expect the unexpected.
“I don’t have a typical normal day. Every day is something new and exciting and most likely unexpected,” said Grochala.
A lot of different city functions fall under the community development umbrella.
“I wear a lot of different hats,” explains Grochala. “”The community development department oversees engineering, natural resources, solid waste abetment so recycling, building inspections, planning and zoning as well as economic development.”
Since he came to Lino Lakes in 2001 Grochala has overseen many development projects for the growing community. And more development opportunities are on the horizon and Grochala is well aware of what area citizens are hoping for.
“I think the thing we hear loudest from residents are…restaurants and more retail opportunities. I think those things will come as we continue to add rooftops, new households,” said Grochala.
There are several residential developments in the works and Grochala and his staff are working to create a welcoming environment for developers.
“What we try to do is set the stage for development. We do a lot of outreach to developers,” said Grochala.
Grochala is excited for what the future holds for Lino Lakes and looks forward to being a part of it.
“The city is only about a third developed when you think about it. So there is a lot of opportunity to create things right here in town,” said Grochala.