Sunday Liquor Sales Have Begun

I have previously written about our city liquor operations and the possibility of Sunday sales. That possibility is now here, as the first Sunday liquor sale in Minnesota in over 150 years occurred this past Sunday, July 2.

All three of our city stores were open at 11 am.  This video captures the first few sales of the day.

The video certainly speaks to the modern day convenience of being open on Sundays.  Sunday is definitely a day when many of us complete our various errands and shopping trips.

However, from a business standpoint many operators feel that being open on Sundays will simply spread 6 days of business over 7 days.  Therefore, the cost of doing business on the 7th day will exceed the revenue gained from being open that extra day. A report from the Minnesota Department of Revenue estimates that retail sales would only increase 0.5 percent if Sunday purchases were allowed. However, another study says that by allowing Sunday sales, it is estimated that Minnesota sales volume would increase by 5 to 7 percent annually.  And another study even mentions double-digit growth.

Now I can say we will find out the true number, as Sunday sales are now legal and we (along with other municipal liquor stores) will be tracking and reporting on all of these sales.

Finally, to promote Sunday sales we are offering an “I Love EP” T-shirt with any $60 purchase on Sunday (while supplies last) at any of our three Eden Prairie Liquor stores.

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.