Minneapolis Council approves $800M funding plan for roads and parks - Bring Me The News

Minneapolis Council approves $800M funding plan for roads and parks

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Minneapolis City Council members have unanimously approved an $800 million plan to fix the city's streets and parks.

The money is to be used over the next 20 years to repave city streets and maintain neighborhood parks, according to the council.

Under the plan, the city will get at least $21.2 million more for roadways and $10.5 million for play areas.

Mayor Betsey Hodges, who immediately signed the measure, says the approval of the package marks a "generational moment for Minneapolis."

This proposal didn't face much criticism in City Hall, either. The entire funding package was announced and approved in just one week, the Star Tribune reports.

The street funding comes after the Department of Public Works released a report stating the city needs $30 million a year to repair roads.

To help with that goal, Minneapolis will also be seeings its base budget for street maintenance increase by $800,000. That starts next year.

As far as the parks, KSTP says about 160 neighborhood parks will be seeing some improvements.

"This ordinance is a game changer for the Park Board, the City and residents of Minneapolis," Jayne Miller, the Parks and Recreation Board superintendent, says.

The city's Parks and Recreation Board will determine which areas to serve first by looking at the park and its community's need. Demographics, poverty rates, and park conditions will be taken into consideration. Click here to see how different neighborhood parks rank.

And according to MPR, city recreation centers will also benefit from this funding plan. Some buildings may be able to get repairs they've been needing for awhile.

Where is the city getting money for these projects? Leaders say 82 percent of the funding will be paid through property tax increases.

Miller tells KARE 11 that the tax increases will be "significantly less" than if they had gone through a referendum, though.

The $3 million base levy will be a one-time deal. It will raise taxes by about 1 percent, MPR notes.

Related

Minneapolis police pension fund approves merger

City officials say merging the two funds will save Minneapolis property tax payers tens-of-millions of dollars a year. Mayor R.T. Rybak says the savings from the merger will help support no increases in the city's property tax levy.

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