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TAG | Eden Prairie



Local SWLRT hearing coming

On May 20, the city of Eden Prairie will hold an informational open house and a hearing to gather additional public opinion on preliminary plans for the Eden Prairie stretch of the Southwest Light Rail Project (SWLRT) before requesting further changes or issuing its consent for the project to move forward to more advanced stages of planning.

Our town is slated to having 5 of the 16 stations of the 16-mile long southwest extension of what is now branded “The Green Line.” When it begins passenger service in 2019, it will run from a station and parking ramp complex on Technology Drive about 350 yards west of Mitchell Road to Target Field in Minneapolis. The east half of the Green Line from Target Field to Union Depot in downtown St. Paul, begins service June 14.

I began attending SWLRT Project informational meetings in Minnetonka and Eden Prairie when Hennepin County began overseeing transit corridor studies in 2001. The project is now managed by the Net Council. Over the past year, I have monitored two of a number of ongoing, SWLRT panels — the citizens advisory and corridor management committees — as well as attended community oriented housing and planning initiatives and city of Eden Prairie workshops.

SWLRT design engineers and the public works, community development staffs and elected officials and non-government community and business leaders of Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Minneapolis have been engaged in the protean process of planning what is now a $1.7 billion dollar project. The project has been a collaborative, if sometimes controversial, initiative with many opportunities for citizens to be heard.

Freight and light-rail alignment issues in Minneapolis and St. Louis Park and rising projected costs that were prompted by plans to run light-rail trains in two shallow tunnels through the Kenilworth Corridor in Minneapolis, have dominated media coverage and distorted public perception of the project; one that polls show has widespread support.

For example, the Eden Prairie, TwinWest and Minneapolis chambers of commerce support the preliminary plan now being considered for official consent by Hennepin County and the five cities. A North Minneapolis transit forum hosted by Congressman Keith Ellison in early April revealed strong support for the project from community, political and business leaders as well as public transit users. They see light rail as a necessary and urgent spark for investment, redevelopment, job creation and connectivity for those who prefer transit to cars or cannot drive — increasing numbers of Beatles-loving, Baby Boom elders and social media smart Gen Xers as well as employers, employees and college and tech school students.

And so, t00, in Eden Prairie. United Health Group chose Eden Prairie for a new campus largely because the site will be served by light rail. SouthWest Transit commuter bus service looks forward to reworking its SouthWest Station hub to accommodate light rail. Car commuters and transit-dependent Eden Prairians look forward to more effectively connecting to the region as a whole.

Jeff Strate
Eden Prairie
Eden Prairie News, May 15, 2014

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Eden Prairie Commissions

There will be openings posted next moth for the City of Eden Prairie’s Commissions. If you’re interested in serving your city, this is a great way to do it.  To find out more about the commissions and their charters, visit this site.




How to Vote Absentee this November

check-mark110x110Where the election Tuesday, November 5 will contain school board candidates and votes on the school district’s referendum items, we checked with the district on how absentee voting will be done. Here’s what we were told:

To have an absentee ballot sent to you, you have three ways to make your request:

Complete the application (download the pdf here) and return it to the following address:

Ms. Laurie Hemstock
Executive Assistant/Elections Clerk
Eden Prairie Schools #272
8100 School Rd
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

The ballot material will be mailed to you.

Or, visit the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website and complete the online application. That application will be forwarded to the school district. The district will then send you the ballot material.

And, finally, you can make an in-person application at Ms. Hemstock’s office at the address above.

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©2014 DFL SD 48. Prepared and paid for by Senate District 48 DFL, Sharon Borine, Chair, 18285 Croixwood Ln, Eden Prairie, MN 55347