Meeting of February 8, 2017

The State of the City Meeting at Minnetonka City Hall is where the Minnetonka Rotary convened for their February 8th meeting. Here are the notes from Terry Schneider's Presentation.

- State of the City - February 8, 2017

- Departments were present and I had an opportunity to talk to forestry about Ash Borer, Fire Chief John Vance, Police Department, Engineering and Hwy 169 and potential for Ridgedale Target entrance / exit off of 394 & Plymouth Road.

- Intro: Gerilyn Barone
- Introduction of City Council, City Department Heads, School Board Members, etc all

- Minnetonka Rotary: Alexa Rundquist
- Rotary Gear Wheel / 1905 start
- Rotary Focuses on: Peace, disease, clean water, saving families, education, local economy
- In these Areas: Club Service, Vocattional Service, Community Service, International Service, and Youth Service
- You can see Alexas thoughts in their entirety at this link….
http://www.minnetonkarotary.org/FTP%20pages/Alexa_State_of_the_City_0208...

- Twin West Chamber: Deb McMillian
- 35 years / $1M in scholarships

- Mayor: Terry Schneider
- Mayor Since 2009 ….Will not run for mayor in 2017
- Todays theme: Overcoming Challenges …
-The history of Minnetonka ..... “We love Minnetonka, don’t change a thing”

--> Minnetonka is a result of the last Ice Age <--
- First Glacier from the North East
- Forming St Croix Marine / hills
- Glacier stopped at Minnetonka forming wetlands, ponds and lakes
- Some of these marshes run deep …. Pete Bog exploration found 70 feet down to bedrock
- Second Glacier from north west
- Minnetonka Rolling hills, lakes wetlands are a result of these changes.

--> 1822 to 1940 Early Stages <--
- people lived around the Mississippi River …. finally discovered Lake Minnetonka
- 1851 Indians signed agreement allowing settlement.
- Minnetonka Mills arrived with water power and resulted in trading / business center
- 1906 Lake Minnetonka was used as a recreational lake with small cabins
- Glen Lake was a destination for the street car on the way to Lake Minnetonka
- 1940 —> 6500 residents in the area.

--> 1950 to 1970 Growth, Annexation and Incorporation <--
- local townships were being annexed by cities without approval
- Minnetonka decided that it wanted to have its own identity
- Aug 22, 1956 vote to be a village of Minnetonka ( not 2 villages of Minnetonka and Burwell )
- Baby Boomers flight to the suburbs —> going to Minnetonka
- No City Sewer / Water …. Standard lot size of 1/2 acre lots is acceptable for Wells / Septic and why there is a 1/2 acre lot size in Minnetonka.
- City Streets not a grid work …. hill topography …. 250 cultisacs …. special situations on streets
- 1965 to 1969 decided to build Hwy 494 and shaping the hills and cutting all the trees was very disruptive and was not accepted as the right thing to do at the time ...if you look around as you drive it you can see the hills that were leveled ..... but can you image life without Hwy 494 ?
- The hiways didn’t allow for a downtown ….. Ridgedale may evolve to be the Minnetonka Downtown ?
- 1969 —> population is 35,000 people
- 1969 Township was then incorporated into the City of Minnetonka ( Charter )

--> 1970 to 2000 Growth, Maturity, Infrastructure Expansion <--
- Buying up all small sewer system —> to allow for city sewer system to be implemented.
- 1971 city meetings for Sewer / Water …. assessment discussion had 400 people at meetings … another challenge resiednts saw.
- But with the approval and implementation, local residents hooked fairly rapidly within 2 years that were required …. result Lake Minnetonka became much cleaner very rapidly
- Hiways built to us, but were stopped when the they ran into hills ….examples Hwy 169, Hwy 62 just ended,
- 2000 —> population was 45,000
- Hwy expansion was the trigger that lead to Rigdale, Carlson Towers, … Business Expansion in general.

--> 2000 to 2017 Continued Growth, Redevelopment, Aging Infrastructure <--
- Replacement was discussed for Streets / Water / Sewer .... all aging.
- Taxes were raised to allow for the influx of money to replace the aging infrastructure
- Aging population of Baby Boomers …. retirement Senior Housing for residents were developed.
- As time goes on there is Always going to be changes and challenges as we address them,

--> 2017 and Beyond…. Future challenges <--
- There is always ….. “We love Minnetonka, don’t change a thing”
- We are a result of the changes that took place starting at the ice age through the most recent times that I told you about.
- Always controversy along the way …. the next one is the Light Rail System … it will be here and evetually city wide and to Lake Minnetonka.
- Ash Boarer …. Tree planning and forward thinking to minimize the impact of large tree loss as our trees are found to be fragile and susceptible. We must be proactive or our “Tree City USA” will be no more.

--> Courting younger people to keep our schools strong
- Vibrancy in Minnetonka as Millennials look to move to the suburbs
- diversity and challenges always come
- Affordability is harder for the next group because of larger lot sizes
- the digital age is different than the town meetings of the past

Final Thoughts:
Terry has been guiding The City of Minnetonka to be proactive, and yet as things change, to not let this change get out of control. Change is difficult to formulate, and always has some resistance, but it is very important that we shape our city so it is staged for the next phase of … “We love Minnetonka, don’t change a thing” .... which will be for those people who come after us.

Thank you Terry Schneider for guiding us the past eight years.

--> The video presentation of this meeting can be found on the Minnetonka City Webpage
.... but the link is here for your convenience.

http://eminnetonka.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=1610

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