March 30, 2021 Meeting Preview

Tim Conners, EPAM Rotarian

Rotary International's Seventh Focus: Protecting the Environment

Member pictureOn Tuesday, March 30th, EPAM Rotarian Tim Conners will speak about our club and the Rotary International's Seventh Focus: Protecting the Environment.
Duty Roster 07/13/21 - 07/27/21
 July 13thJuly 20thJuly 27th
GREETERCarol BombenCraig BlixrudGary Bergren
INSPIRATIONAaron CasperSteve CwodzinskiPatrick Donohue
VOCATIONALKelly SalweiBill BloombergAdam Seidel
March 23rd Meeting Notes

Rick Getschow, City Manager of City of Eden Prairie

City Updates

Rick Getschow started off by giving an update on COVID-19. A year ago, emergency operations centers were set up for COVID-19. All of the city departments had to step up to the challenge of dealing with COVID-19. The fire department started to respond to medical calls. The police department had to alter their shifts, and several departments had to separate the employees into groups to keep everyone safe. On March 17th, 2020, there were only 60 positive cases and 2,336 tests given in Minnesota when the state was starting to shut down. Now, we have more than half a million cases in Minnesota, and more than 30 million cases in the United States. 

There were multiple ways that the city responded to COVID-19. One of those ways was holding a mask drive where the community gave out thousandths of masks. Another way was to waive regulations for businesses in order for restaurants to do what they needed with outdoor spaces. Additionally, they waived fees for utility bills for businesses, and businesses were directed to use as much of the state and city resources.  

When COVID-19 started, there were many things that were cancelled, but there were also multiple things individuals wanted to do. Therefore, many things were adjusted. For example, each year the Eden Prairie mall has an event to hand out candy on Halloween, but instead, individuals received candy through a drive-through event. In 2020, the city had a balanced budget to put together a balanced budget for 2021 all with a very low or moderate tax increase. We were also able to receive some money with the Cares Act Funding as did every city. 

If we were to put every single property in Eden Prairie for sale, the property would be just short of 12 billion dollars in value. We have also seen an overall increase in our tax base for 2021 by 4%. In 2020, the sales of homes in Eden Prairie to establish a value for homes in 2021 saw an increase of 3.6%, and condos as well as apartments have been up by 4%. Additionally, industrial property has been up by about 5%, and commercial property has not had an increase. 

Throughout the year of 2020, there has been a decrease in the traffic by 20%-30%. This was good for constructing one of the largest public works projects in the state’s history, which is the Southwest LRT. The city council got an update on the project, and they are 30%-35% complete with the project in Eden Prairie, which is right on schedule. It is estimated that the first rider will be able to take the light rail in 2024. Additionally, there has been new construction in plan, including residential areas, and also many redevelopment plans as well. 

One of the priorities of the city council is the Housing Task Force, which includes Inclusionary Housing Policies, Life-Cycle Housing, Housing Trust Fund, and Tenant Protections. Another priority is sustainability in Eden Prairie, including solar panels on city buildings, recycling organics, yard waste sites, and city fleet electrification. A third priority is the race equity initiative, which includes the areas of city operations and providing a welcoming and inclusive community. Other priorities include small business support, coordination with city non-profits, light rail opening day communication/planning, and post-COVID community engagement. 



Kevin Kraemer was able to buy a property in St. Boni. In the middle of the pandemic, he was able to meet his neighbors, and they absolutely love it out there. Kevin also loves to spend time with his horses. Additionally, the exchange program in the Rotary is what Kevin loves the most in the Rotary, and he was able to host two exchange students. Kevin did his undergrad at Wayne State College in Nebraska. He has been a financial advisor at Edward Jones for 12 years, and before that, he was a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch.  

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  • The Flying Cloud Field Clean Up is 8:00-11:00 am on April 24. Information and sign up is under Upcoming Events on the Club Runner home page!

Happy Fives:

  • Mark Weber encourages everyone to sign up for the clean up day on April 24th

  • Josh Swanson was happy to say that his kid and all children are back to in person schooling, and he was happy to see the students’ and staffs’ excitement to return back to school

  • Prafulla Vegunta was excited to hear that Rick Getschow has been city manager for 10 years. 

  • Dan O’Brien was proud of his grandson Jackson for learning to ride a bike by himself and for his high emotional intelligence.

  • Irene Kelly was happy to announce that her children as well as grandchildren had a lot of fun at the Great Minnetonka Leprechaun Hunt. 

  • Frank Sherwood is happy to say that he has lived and worked in Eden Prairie for 45 years

  • Jenifer Loon finished her president-elect training for the Rotary, and was happy to say that it was a great experience.

Please support these 2020-2021 Rotary Sponsors
Their generous support helps sponsor all that our club does in our community and around the world! This includes the Above and Beyond Awards Dinner, the Golden Eagle Awards, the Ethics Lunch and STRIVE scholarships and much more. Interested in becoming a Rotary Sponsor? Click here
Gold Sponsors ($1500 - 2499)
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Bronze Sponsors: ($500 - 999)