DFL48 | Restoring Common Sense Minnesota Values

TAG | Minnetonka



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

· · ·



Minimum wage impact by city

Joe Sheeran, Communications Director at MN/2020, posted an article on February 6, talking about the impact of a minimum wage increase in cities here in Minnesota. The article included a breakdown by city of the impact of a $9.50 per hour minimum wage. Even the Cities of Eden Prairie and Minnetonka are favorably impacted.  The report shows:

  • 2,563 Minnetonka residents and
  • 2,831 Eden Prairie residents

would be impacted by the wage increase.

You can read the report here:  950_benefits_by_city.

The report also notes that 77% of the people impacted by such a wage increase are over 19. Those opposed to such an increase have tended to point to a myth that the majority of those impacted would be teenagers.

You can read the full post here.

· · · ·



Minnetonka Boards and Commissions

If you live in Minnetonka, and are interested in participating in local government, consider serving on one of the City’s Boards or Commissions. The City currently has openings on the Economic Development Advisory Commission and the Planning Commission.  Please submit your applications as soon as possible, but not later than January 3, 2014.

Here’s a link to information.

· · ·

Older posts >>

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