Author: Mark Weber

Mark joined the Eden Prairie News as a reporter in 1979, just five years after its start, and spent the next 34 years in various roles including editor and publisher, as well as general manager of the parent company, Southwest Newspapers. He also published Edible Twin Cities magazine. His encore career is serving the nonprofit Eden Prairie Community Foundation as executive director. Mark and his wife, Roma, have two grown sons and a daughter-in-law, and have lived in Eden Prairie since 1984.

Rose and Jim Bitter of Eden Prairie think their next vehicle might be a fuel-efficient, plug-in hybrid, and it’s not just about saving money on gas. “I want to do it for our children, our grandchildren,” said Rose, alluding to the global push to reduce fossil-fuel emissions to avoid climate changes that could be disastrous. “This is the right thing to do,” she added. The Bitters were among people attending Monday evening’s Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive Event, organized by the City of Eden Prairie’s Sustainability Commission to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). People attending the event at…

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A preliminary 2023 budget and tax levy that would increase the city portion of property taxes on a $513,200 home by $106 were set Tuesday, Sept. 6, by the Eden Prairie City Council. The council expects to hold a public meeting on the final tax levy and budget Dec. 6, and make final decisions at that meeting or by Dec. 28. The city is only one portion of the property tax bill received annually by homeowners; the schools and Hennepin County are also major parts. Approved unanimously Tuesday was a preliminary 2023 city tax levy of $44.9 million and a…

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It’s a tale of two Eden Prairie Burger Kings: The long-vacant Burger King on Flying Cloud Drive has now been demolished, possibly making way for redevelopment, while construction of a new Burger King at Highway 5 and County Road 4 remains on hold. No plan to redevelop the site at Flying Cloud Drive and Prairie Center Drive, southwest of Eden Prairie Shopping Center, has been submitted to the City of Eden Prairie for review, said Julie Klima, director of community development. The demolition simply cleans up an eyesore and makes way for something new. Klima said the city is assuming…

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The Eden Prairie City Council, at its Tuesday, Sept. 6 meeting, will consider setting a preliminary 2023 tax levy of approximately $42.4 million and a total 2023 budget of about $57.4 million, with the final numbers to be determined in December. The proposed tax levy is up 4.5% over the 2022 number, and the total budget number is up 3.2%. The proposal before the city council on Tuesday indicates the city portion of 2023 property taxes would be $1,530 – up $106 or 7.4% – on a $513,200 home in Eden Prairie, if the preliminary budget and tax-levy numbers are…

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Candidates for Eden Prairie City Council and mayor have begun putting their campaign strategies into play and differentiating themselves from competitors. The Wednesday, Aug. 31, candidate forum held by the League of Women Voters was an important step in that process. The two-hour forum, held by LWV members from Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, and Hopkins, allowed the six candidates to share their visions and show their knowledge of Eden Prairie city government and the issues on which it deliberates. The six are: two candidates for mayor, incumbent Ron Case and challenger Tracey Schowalter; and four candidates for two city council member…

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As expected, the Eden Prairie City Council on Tuesday, Aug. 16, unanimously approved a new ordinance regulating the local sale of “THC edibles,” or products with small amounts of THC derived from hemp that were approved for sale by the 2022 Minnesota Legislature. The ordinance looks a lot like the one used in Eden Prairie for regulating tobacco sales in that it prohibits sales to customers younger than age 21 and requires a city license, background check, site visit, compliance checks, and more. “Almost every city around us is taking the position, at the minimum, to license the sale of…

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The latest in a series of local apartment projects was rejected on a preliminary 4-0 vote Tuesday, Aug. 16, by the Eden Prairie City Council. The council said a Ryan Companies plan for a five-story, 211-unit apartment project on seven acres along Valley View Road, near its intersection with Topview Road/Plaza Drive, had too many issues. It instructed staff to prepare findings for a formal rejection of the plan, likely to come in September. It’s the third apartment project reviewed by the City of Eden Prairie in nine months. The 425-unit Blue Stem North, near an under-construction light-rail-transit station in…

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Eden Prairie plans to regulate “THC edibles” similar to how it regulates tobacco: require an annual city license and conduct compliance checks to ensure that local sales comply with state law and are made only to those age 21 and older. The restrictions are part of a new city ordinance expected to be approved Tuesday, Aug. 16, by the Eden Prairie City Council. The proposed regulations parallel the city’s tobacco licensing ordinance in that they prohibit edible THC products from being sold in vending machines, at kiosks, or other movable places of business; require that products be sold behind a…

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An embedded social worker is changing the make-up of the Eden Prairie Police Department and how it responds to mental health calls. The program, a partnership between the City of Eden Prairie and Hennepin County, has put full-time senior social worker Molly Mitley on the staff of Eden Prairie Police, following up on many mental health and substance abuse emergencies in an effort to get people the help they need and reduce repeat calls to 911. The city and county share the costs of the trial program, and while Eden Prairie’s participation has only been seven months, there are some…

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Eden Prairie’s largest social-services provider is among those shouldering higher food costs due to inflation. PROP purchases much of the food it provides to local families in need, and a variety of factors, including inflation, caused its food costs to be 45% over budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year that ended June 30, said Executive Director Jenifer Loon. Other factors responsible for the higher-than-expected food costs were fewer in-kind donations via food drives held by churches and by companies, many of which still have employees working at home in this COVID recovery period. In-kind food donations for the year were…

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