Students on Commissions

In Eden Prairie we have a Students on Commissions program that gives high school students an opportunity to learn about local government by serving on one of our five City commissions:

The students apply to serve on one of the above Commissions and are subsequently appointed by the City Council. They will be expected to attend the regular monthly meetings of the commissions. They will also receive the same meeting packet materials that we provide to our regular commission members. Aside from attending the meetings and receiving the materials, we strongly encourage them to participate in the discussions at the meetings. We want them to provide their feedback and actively participate in the meetings as a regular Commission members would.

Students on CommissionsWe conduct this program each year because we feel it is important to help educate Eden Prairie students about local government.  This is basically our small part in teaching citizenship to the youth of Eden Prairie — in a live setting.

Yesterday we conducted an orientation session for our new student Commissioners. We provided an overview of the City governance structure and City operations. The orientation concluded with small group discussions the students had with their respective staff liaisons. The students begin their service to the City starting with their Commission meetings in September.

We are looking forward to their involvement and input.

Water Tower Paint Job

Back in 19Eden Prairie Market Center Water Tower97, the City of Eden Prairie constructed the 2-million-gallon Market Center Water Tower which soars high above our commercial center near Eden Prairie Center mall. Since its initial construction, this water tower has been a cornerstone of our water system and has allowed our community to mature into the City that exists today.

Most modern-day above-ground water towers are essentially the composition of a massive steel basin on top of a concrete stem. Because the steel basin is exposed to the elements, it is highly susceptible to the negative effects of oxidation (or corrosion). Protecting this steel and concrete structure is a thin coating of a specialized paint material. This coating is applied to both the interior and exterior of the water tower and allows the City to extend the useful life of the structure thereby maximizing our initial investment.

Eden Prairie Water Tower RenderingLike your home, water towers must be recoated with a fresh layer of paint every 15 to 20 years. Because the tower is now 18 years old it is in need of a fresh coat of paint. We intend to apply this new coat of paint in 2016. This project also provides us with the opportunity to refresh the visuals and the lettering on the structure. The rendering to the left provides an idea of what residents and travelers in the area could expect to see as they pass near this south metro landmark toward the end of 2016.

Best of …

People love creating and reading lists.  There are “best of” or top ten lists for almost everything – best burger, best bakery, best place to watch a sunset, best local album of the year thus far, etc., etc.

top10

There are also many “best city” lists out there as well.  We recently appeared on two lists that were compiled by Movoto – an online real estate company.  We were named the #1 overall Minneapolis suburb and also the #5 Minneapolis suburb for young couples.

I understand that many of us take these “best of” lists with a grain of salt, but I would rather be on the top of these lists than not mentioned at all.

Here’s what Movoto had to say about each ranking on their website:

Best Minneapolis Suburb

With more than 170 miles of multi-purpose trails and over 2,200 local businesses, Eden Prairie is the perfect place to look for a new home if you’re trying to find a Minneapolis suburb that’s truly got it all.

Eden Prairie is home to the headquarters of several huge companies like the Minnesota Vikings and C.H. Robinson Worldwide, helping to solidify the future of this town.

Not only is Eden Prairie influential when it comes to the local economy, it also has one of the highest graduation rates in the area and one of the lowest unemployment rates.

Overall, Eden Prairie delivers that city feel without losing the laid-back characteristics of small town life that so many love.

An Introduction

Best Minneapolis Suburb for Young Couples

Eden Prairie earns the fifth place spot on our list of the best places to live near Minneapolis for young couples, and with a low number of total crimes per 100,000 people, it’s also one of the safest. Affordable condos, townhouses, and cottage style homes are great picks for young couples.

Active young couples will love hiking through Staring Lake Park and enjoying waterfront activities. Residents also enjoy convenient shopping from big name retailers and a number of dining options at Eden Prairie Center.

Little Free Libraries Coming to Eden Prairie Parks

Thanks to a donation from Girl Scout Troop 14286, Eden Prairie residents will soon notice little free libraries popping up in four of our neighborhood parks.

After learning that there are children in our community who do not have regular access to books in their homes, the troop decided to build and donate the libraries to the City for use in our neighborhood parks which are farthest from the public library – Homeward Hills, Crestwood, Prairie View and Edenvale. The girls collected books and building materials, designed the libraries and worked alongside seniors in the community woodshop at the Senior Center to build them.

Little free libraries work on an honor system – people are invited to take and leave books at their leisure. Since the goal of building these libraries is to inspire the love of reading in more children, the libraries will initially be stocked with children’s books.

Check out this video from the June 16 City Council Meeting to see what the girls had to say about their project.

 

Thanks Ella, Brianna, Ashley, Rosie, Josie, Piper, Taylor, Lauren and Elena, for pursuing your vision to help children in our community. We are thrilled with the donation!

2015 Star Tribune Best Workplace

The City of Eden Prairie was once again named a top workplace by the StarTribune this past TWP150-2015-4C[1]Sunday. We are very proud to receive this honor of being a 2015 Top 150 Workplace in the State of Minnesota for the second consecutive year.

The following is the communication I provided to our City employees earlier this week about the recognition:

Good Morning,

Yesterday the Star Tribune published “Top Workplaces 2015”— a list of the best places to work in Minnesota. I am excited to let you know that the City of Eden Prairie has received the special recognition of being named a Top 150 Workplace for the second year in a row, ranking 22 in the mid-sized company category!

More than 2,100 organizations participated in the survey this year, with more than 69,100 employees sharing their views. We are honored to, once again, be included in the Top 150 alongside many prominent public and private sector businesses.

Our ranking as a Top 150 Workplace is based upon feedback from an employee survey that many of you completed a few months ago — of our 282 full-time employees, 209 completed the survey. The fact that the rankings were compiled solely on the basis of your responses makes this designation especially meaningful to me, as it serves as an example of the great culture each of you strive to maintain each day you come to work.

I would also like to point out that once again, we are the only City in Minnesota to receive this recognition, further demonstrating how exceptional it is that Eden Prairie obtained this ranking.

I couldn’t be prouder to work alongside each of you every day who work to make the City such a great place to be. Congratulations, everyone, and keep up the great work! — Rick