City Talk

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This project has been rolled into a new project page called "Fact or Fiction".

We are excited to launch the Better Together Edina website and open more avenues for engagement between the City and the community. We are listening and ready to answer your questions! Topics we enjoy talking to residents about are development projects, neighborhoods, capital improvement projects, boards and commissions, affordable housing, budgets and work plans -- just to name a few!

We hope to use this platform to inform the community and share responses publicly so all can access the same information. Wherever you are, you can keep up to date with news, ask questions and provide your feedback.

We hope you find this website informational, engaging and fun!


We are excited to launch the Better Together Edina website and open more avenues for engagement between the City and the community. We are listening and ready to answer your questions! Topics we enjoy talking to residents about are development projects, neighborhoods, capital improvement projects, boards and commissions, affordable housing, budgets and work plans -- just to name a few!

We hope to use this platform to inform the community and share responses publicly so all can access the same information. Wherever you are, you can keep up to date with news, ask questions and provide your feedback.

We hope you find this website informational, engaging and fun!


CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

City staff experts are ready to answer your questions! 

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    First of all I would like to thank for the installation of Children's play area in Parklawn Avenue. I would like to bring one thing to your notice that in the park swing the safety guard has not been installed in the chair swing and it seems missing. It would be great if it is installed as small kids can fall from the swing.

    sd asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for the question. The playground manufacturer does not recommend a harness for the swing if it is used in a public play setting. 

    Tiffany Bushland, Recreation Supervisor 

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    Thank you for the information shared at the September 26th Open house regarding 2021 and 2022 neighborhood Roadway reconstruction. It was very useful and the presentation was well done. I would suggest you add the slide deck to a place where others can view it. Unfortunately, 6pm mtgs can be difficult for families with children and work schedules. You might even consider a webcast opportunity in the future to increase attendance. One action item reqyest: Please add Creek Knoll on the registration page in the required neighborhood selection section for the Better Together Edina website. Thank you!

    Skovbroten asked about 1 year ago

    Hello! We have completed two action items based on your feedback. 

    1. There is a 2021 / 2022 Road Reconstruction page here which also has the presentation

    2. Creek Knoll has been added to the registration page. 

    Thanks again for your input! 

    -MJ Lamon, Community Engagement Coordinator

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    You said on the flyer that this was a place to give suggestions. Here is mine: I think the City should hold a Recycling & Sustainability Day. My hunch is that many people are not sure what to recycle and what not to recycle. Examples: plastic overwraps that come with some food products, a peanut butter jar where one can’t easily get all the peanut butter out, a small plastic tray that held dog food, a clear plastic box that is clean and held cookies. I think very few people know and understand about sustainability. It picks up where recycling leaves off. Examples are: instead of recycling the paper bags that one gets at the supermarket, bringing the bags back to be used again; or having a more permanent sack where a paper or plastic bag might be used; using cloth napkins instead of paper ones; keeping a car as long as possible; saving left over food that one has at a restaurant in a reusing metal product [a tiffin] instead of Styrofoam boxes or cardboard boxes or throwing it out. Sustainability also makes the point that 40% of food in this country is wasted. If such a Recycling & Sustainability Day were held, I would be happy to help. I think that someone from Republic would do the recycling piece and I know someone who I’m nearly certain would do the sustainability piece without charging. Stan Brown 6908 Antrim Rd. 952-943-0718 stan@stanbrown.us

    SBrown6908 asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for engaging, Stan!  

    What to and not to recycle is important to keep costs low, recycling the most amount of materials, and support community members in feeling good about managing their waste. The Energy & Environment Commission has put recycling education on their workplan in 2020.  They plan to educate at city events where folks will be meeting.  If you’re interested in volunteering with Energy and Environment Commission, feel free to connect with their staff liaison, Tara Brown, tbrown@edinamn.gov

    -MJ Lamon, Community Engagement Coordinator


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    I received a post card asking for feedback by taking a survey. I was unable to find it on the website. This is emblematic of the poor use of IT thruout the project. The residents had to organize and ask the council to intervene with staff to be heard. If you don't use the feedback to modify, don't ask for it in the first place.

    pete398 asked about 1 year ago

    Thanks for your comments. I apologize that you did not find the link to the survey. A new post has been added on the BetterTogetherEdin.org West 58th Street Reconstruction page to make the survey link more visible. If you still can’t find it there, you can take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/West58thresident.

    I hear you believe there may have been a disconnect between what staff was trying to accomplish and the potential need for council to intervene. I would be interested in discussing this in more detail, so that we can improve the process for the next project. Please reach out to me at mlamon@edinamn.gov or 952-826-0360. 

    - MJ Lamon, Community Engagement Coordinator

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    I've been reading some of the rules about special assessments. I understand an assessment is lawful only if: • The land receives a special benefit from the improvement. • The assessment does not exceed the special benefit measured by the increase in market value due to the improvement. • The assessment is uniform as applied to the same class of property, in the assessed area. If a property is assessed $18,000 for road reconstruction, should the owner expect the market value to increase by $18,000 on the next property tax statement and thus face an increased property tax? Can the assessor's office explain the relationship? Also it's hard to believe a home that currently has a paved street with curbing will increase because the street and gutter have been replaced. Does the city have to prove this increase occurs? How so and what if it can't justify the assessment? Finally, do all homes on the same street, regardless of property value, receive an equal portion of benefit, assuming there is any documented benefit? Thanks.

    TomLaForce asked about 1 year ago

    Thanks for the questions about special assessments related to road reconstruction. Questions regarding assessments and tax value should be directed to the Assessing Department. The City has completed studies that indicate a benefit when infrastructure is replaced when it is in need of replacement. In 15 plus years of completing street reconstruction with special assessments, we’ve been able to justify the amount of the special assessments. If you would like to discuss our street reconstruction program or special assessments in more detail, please give me a call to discuss. Thank you!

    – Chad Millner, City Engineer, 952-826-0318

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    Hi, On Monday 9.9.19 I was walking on West 50th St and noticed a few locations where utility contractors had been working and new sidewalk had been placed during the restoration process. Although the concrete forms had been removed no topsoil had been placed yet creating a real danger for walkers etc using the sidewalk. I sent an email/photos to the city council that afternoon indicating my concern. About ten minutes later the city manager Scott Neal replied back and noted that he would forward my concerns to the engineering and street departments. The following afternoon while driving on West 50th I noticed all of these boulevard areas had been appropriately filled, seeded and erosion blankets placed where needed. Wednesday I received a follow up email from Chad Miller letting me know that my concerns had been addressed and the work had been completed. I think the city missed an opportunity to showcase Scott filming another episode of “ON THE JOB” where he good naturedly tries to perform physical tasks of “normal” city employees. So in addition to schools, safety and sidewalk plowing please add ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for service. Mike Guimond

    Motomag asked about 1 year ago

    Mike,

    Thanks for your positive comments. Although Scott and I would like to take credit for getting the work completed, and in many cases we are able to provide some pressure, in this case the restoration work was scheduled and completed by the permittee as emails were being exchanged. This was an example of a permittee following thru on their commitment to restore boulevards areas in a timely manner. If I may, Scott and I could take some credit for meeting the City’s goal of responding to residents requests and follow up.  

    Thanks – Chad Millner, City Engineer


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    Is there a "green committee" for the city of Edina? More specifically I am wondering what the city is doing in terms of it's effort to promote and incentivize tree planting. Many countries are now "planting millions of trees" etc. and tree planting is staring to be viewed as a very effective way to offset carbon. Who knows anything about this? Edina needs a "million trees" pledge and program.

    Mommacinco asked about 1 year ago

    The energy and environment committee is the green committee here in Edina.  They would be the ones to get in contact with about planting a million trees.  Edina is a Tree City USA city which is an accreditation from the Arbor Day foundation for our commitment to trees here in Edina.  There is also a tree donation program where residents can donate a tree to be planted in any park in the city.  This has been going on for the past 4 years and is getting more and more popular each year.  Thanks,

    Luther Overholt

    City Forester  

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    This is an add on to the "million trees" question. When new development projects are being considered and undertaken is there a massive effort to replace trees and or greenery in areas that are being built up with concrete buildings?

    Mommacinco asked about 1 year ago

    Five years ago the city adopted a tree preservation ordinance.  This is a part of the building permit process now.  All commercial building in the city is now required to have a certain amount of trees planted along the boulevard based on how many feet of boulevard they have.  For residential builds it is based on how many trees outside of the building footprint come down and their species.  These trees are replaced on a one to one basis.  Please let me know if you have any other questions.  Thanks,

    Luther Overholt

    City Forester

    952-826-0308

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    What's the justification for assessing residents for street reconstruction? We all own the streets, not just the one in front of our homes. By luck (or bad luck), some could own a home in Edina for a long time and never pay for streets (I'm up to 30 years) or they could move into the city to a neighborhood that's about to be reconstructed, pay, decide to move to a bigger home and have to pay again. Assuming people can come up with or are willing to finance an assessment of nearly $20K seems like an assumption based on Edina's relative wealth. I suspect this is a real hardship for many families. If the answer is that we believe it might not be a best method, but we are stuck because we've already paid for lots of reconstruction this way, past practice shouldn't influence what's best for our future. I'm sure we can come up with an equitable transition plan that fairly treats people who have already paid a full assessment in the past. Personally, I'd prefer to pay my fair share of all street reconstruction that happens each year as part of my property taxes.

    TomLaForce asked about 1 year ago

    Thanks for the interesting and timely question. The City Council has been having a discussion on that topic this year (Work Sessions on March 15 and September 4). Approximately 20-years ago the City Council reviewed how street reconstruction was funded and decided to use the mechanism embodied in MN State Statute Chapter 429. That statue allows cities to assess adjacent properties for improvements that will benefit their properties. The amount of the special assessments vary greatly based on the size of the lot in relation to the amount of street being reconstructed. The smaller and denser the lots, the more properties that share the cost of that particular street reconstruction. The larger and less dense lots, the less properties there are to share the cost and the cost per property will be higher. The council has made some changes over the years to assist owners with the assessment. It included paying for the concrete curb and gutter from the storm water fund, extending the payback period from 10-years to 15-years, and lowering the interest rate. Studies have been completed to justify the assessments that have occurred to date. In fact, approximately 60% of the levied assessments are paid in full before they are filed with Hennepin County. If the council chooses to change street reconstruction funding, the options are special assessments, general tax levy dollars, franchise fees and / or local option sales tax.

    - Chad Millner, City Engineer

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    This is with reference to a proposal presented by Stephanie Hawkinson at the July 25 HRA meeting. The goal of the plan that she was seeking money and approval for would be preservation of affordable housing...an important goal. As I listened to it it made no sense in so many ways. She did indicate early on in the presentation that she has been working with city attorneys on the legal details of a contract that would be used in such a transaction. I really have to wonder why is she or any city employee is racking up attorney fees on this until at least the concept was approved? This holds true for many projects...I get that some initial legal advice to make sure it is possible may be required, but not the level of detail she was describing. Can City Manager maybe get some tighter control on when legal advice is sought and billable hours accrued? In the end on July 25 that idea was not accepted by council and so money wasted working on legal details. Thanks for any input. Kathleen

    Kathy asked over 1 year ago

    Hello Kathleen,

    I understand the question to be:

    Can City Manager maybe get some tighter control on when legal advice is sought and billable hours accrued?

    Here is my response:

    It is a normal part of City staff’s public policy due diligence to evaluate the legal feasibility of proposals we present to the City Council.  Presenting a proposal to the Council without legal evaluation stunts the Council’s ability to have thoughtful discussion on the proposal.  If elected officials aren’t able to have thoughtful discussions, they cannot make wise decisions.  Wise decisions benefit Edina.  Staff will continue to work prudently with the City Attorney to help our City Council make wise decisions.  

    -Scott Neal, City Manager