Aspire Eden Prairie 2040

Comprehensive planning is a process that determines community goals and aspirations in terms of community development. Cities across the country use comprehensive plans to dictate public policy in terms of transportation, utilities, land use, recreation, and housing.

The City of Eden Prairie has kicked off a multiyear planning process to update its Comprehensive Plan — Aspire Eden Prairie 2040 — which will serve as a guide for the next 10 to 20 years.

You have opportunities to participate in the planning process, both in person and online, before the final City Council-approved plan is submitted to the Metropolitan Council late in 2018.

Currently, we are asking members of the community to share input about specific locations, amenities and transportation within the City, with the use of two interactive maps.

Community Map
The community mapping tool is a way you can provide input on community assets and gathering spots, as well as identify potential public art locations, areas with a positive appearance, areas in need of improvement and more.

Transportation Map
The transportation mapping tool is a way you can provide input on traffic flow and congestion issues, as well as identify trail and sidewalk needs, safety concerns, transit destinations and more.

We will be collecting data on these maps through June 30, so take a look and share your thoughts, or provide feedback on what others have to say. Note, this is best done on a desktop or laptop computer, or larger mobile device.

To learn more about the Comprehensive Plan process, visit edenprairie.org/AspireEP2040.

2017 EPy Awards

Here at the City of Eden Prairie we conduct citywide employee recognition events in the spring and fall of each year. A few weeks back we held our spring recognition event where we also presented our annual employee awards, known as the “EPys,” for those who went above and beyond in providing exceptional service in 2016.

Prior to awarding the EPys, Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens started the event with a welcome and a few words of appreciation for our employees. We then welcomed some new employees before honoring many of our current employees who have reached milestones in their years of service with the City.

The award ceremony then followed — congratulations to these 2017 award recipients:

(l-r) Rick Getschow, City Manager; Mike Schmidt, Streets; Chris Fietek, Police; Lori King, Support Services; Lisa Morrill, Building Inspections; Marisa Bayer, Community Development; Randy Newton, Engineering

  • Lisa Morrill, Building Inspections: Carl J. Jullie Award for Excellence in Customer Service
  • Lori King, Support Services: James G. Clark Award for Excellence in Teamwork
  • Mike Schmidt, Streets: Scott H. Neal Award for Excellence in Leadership.
  • Chris Fietek, Police; Jess Irmiter, Police; Marisa Bayer, Community Development; Randy Newton, Engineering; James Goldenstein, Information Technology: City Manager Quality Awards

A New and Improved City Newsletter

A couple months ago, Eden Prairie residents received the first issue of the new and improved Life in the Prairie city newsletter. The new features introduced in this issue include the design, format and delivery method.

Because we think it’s important for the newsletter to be visually appealing and easy-to-understand, we’ve updated the design to a magazine-style format, and we’re producing the content using plain language – providing what you need to know and where you can find more information.

And now, all residents receive this high-quality publication, delivered directly to mailboxes, four times each year.

Feedback so far has been very positive, one resident wrote:

Congratulations on a very easy to read, at a glance-overview publication. I loved it.

Another resident asked:

Wouldn’t it be better to offer an option of receiving the newsletter as an online publication? Save on printing, mailing and other costs.

All of the information in the printed newsletter is also communicated through our online news and email distribution systems. We reach more than 25,000 subscribers through our online channels, plus social media, which is why we recently transitioned from a monthly printed newsletter to a quarterly publication.

However, we still see value in a printed publication and our research indicates many residents prefer this format as well.

The next issue hits mailboxes in June, we hope you’ll take a look and let us know what you think!

LED Streetlight Conversion

We’ve been hearing several positive comments from residents lately, regarding the Xcel Energy conversion to light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs in all of the cobra head style streetlights in Eden Prairie.

Here’s what a couple residents had to say:

  • I would just like to thank the city leaders, city utility and public works personnel for the street lamp upgrades in my area of the city. I was laid up for a while medically and hadn’t been out at night in some time.  I was really impressed with the new street lamps.  Much brighter and better coverage.
  • Hi Rick – just wanted to thank you (and all of your staff) for the recent updates to the street lighting. Brighter bulbs make for much more visibility when it comes to both walking (which I do twice daily, typically early morning and late evening, when it is dark) and for driving. A great improvement!

Xcel Energy received approval from the Public Utilities Commission in January, and began to replace high pressure sodium (HPS) bulbs on cobra head style streetlights in March. The project is now complete, and we’re happy with the results as well!

LED streetlights are more durable, longer-lasting and cost effective than traditional lights. They can also enhance public safety by delivering superior visible light while providing the environmental advantage of using less energy.

There is no up-front cost to the City for this conversion, and we expect a 4 to 5-percent savings in monthly utility billing at locations where LED lights are installed. 

We also had one resident ask this:

  • I see you are changing a lot of the street lights to LED light are there any plans to do residential neighborhoods and side streets in the near future so they do not look all orange anymore?

And while this LED conversion is for cobra head style street lights only, Eden Prairie has been diligently requesting that Xcel Energy pursue a similar LED retrofit program for these decorative street lights, which make up the remaining 80 percent of street lights in our community.

The Mailbag

The City Council and city staff regularly receive feedback on any number of issues. We welcome all comments- positive, negative or anything in between.

Here is a sampling of recent comments (without names and addresses) on a variety of topics:

  • I would just like to thank the city leaders, city utility and public works personnel for the street lamp upgrades in my area of the city. I was laid up for a while medically and hadn’t been out at night in some time.  I was really impressed with the new street lamps.  Much brighter and better coverage.
  • Hi Rick – just wanted to thank you (and all of your staff) for the recent updates to the street lighting. Brighter bulbs make for much more visibility when it comes to both walking (which I do twice daily, typically early morning and late evening, when it is dark) and for driving. A great improvement!
  • I have been a resident of Eden Prairie for over 30 years – having attended Eden Prairie schools from Kindergarten through 12th grade, and have been a homeowner with my own family in EP for the past several years. I am proud to live in Eden Prairie because of the great schools and the abundant access to parks and beautiful trails. I am writing today, however, to kindly request that the city consider offering city-wide organics recycling and/or compost disposal. Many large cities and suburban areas have started offering these services, and I would love to see Eden Prairie follow suit.  We are a city of well-informed, educated, and civic-minded residents, and I believe that many other families in Eden Prairie would also like to see this service offered.  Eden Prairie has always been a family-friendly city, and I strongly believe that we must take the necessary steps now to preserve our city’s environment and landscape for our young residents and future families.
  • Just look at all the cities that offer a farmers market. Why does Eden Prairie not offer one?
  • Century Link has promised to roll-out fiber allowing for 1-Gig speeds throughout the Twin Cities. My sister lives in Medicine Lake and has had that available for over a year now.  Is there anything the city can do to speed up installation within Eden Prairie?  We live in Western EP (west of Dell and north of Hwy 5) and our internet options stink.
  • Life On the Prairie- Congratulations on a very easy to read, at a glance-overview publication. I loved it. I am especially impressed with the EP see click fix mobile app. Amazing what technology can support!
  • I want to THANK YOU for keeping porta potties in some of the Eden Prairie parks throughout most of the winter. It is nice for runners, walkers and bikers who need to use them year round!!

Over the next few weeks, I plan to cover a few of these topics in my blog posts – so watch for more information, coming soon!