To the editor:
Edina is not immune to the effects of climate change. In the past year, residents experienced a historic stretch of sub-zero weather, a historic drought and wildfire smoke.
Extreme weather events may seem more frequent now, but as our understanding of climate change has advanced, we can see effects in our not-so-distant past. Between 1940-1969, the Twin Cities had less than the average amount of precipitation, but from 1970 on, there has been a trend toward more rainfall. From 2010-2019, Minnesota experienced the wettest decade in its recorded history.
The City cannot control the weather or remove all standing water after a storm, but endeavors to respond as best as possible by pumping stormwater off private property when homes are threatened.
Not all residents have been satisfied with the City’s decision to place community members’ safety and security above all else, but we have to make difficult decisions when allocating limited taxpayer-funded resources.
Recently, a dissatisfied resident attempted to malign the City in the newspaper. We admire his passion and we share in his love for Edina, but his allegations are inaccurate. The area he referred to is not a park – it’s a naturally occurring wetland. The City has not changed any of the drainage patterns to this wetland since its stormwater system was completed in the 1960s, or drained more water into the wetland than it would have received due to its location and the surrounding topography. The water table has simply risen over time.
Sixty-one years ago, the resident had the right to fill in a portion of this now-protected wetland and build a tennis court on top of it because his property extends more than 100 feet into the wetland. It is unfortunate a portion of this natural resource was lost at the time, and it is unfortunate the resident can no longer enjoy his property now that the remaining portions of the wetland have returned to their natural state.
The City will continue to strive to afford our residents the highest quality of life by focusing on the health, safety and welfare of all community members.
Scott H. Neal
Edina City Manager