Mayor Hodges, Council Member Quincy Propose Investment in Parks and Streets

Proposal includes $300 million for Infrastructure over Next Decade

 

March 25, 2016 (MINNEAPOLIS) —Mayor Betsy Hodges and City Council Member John Quincy today announced a proposal that would fund a $300 million capital investment program for parks and city street infrastructure. This plan would help fill the infrastructure gap for both city streets and parks over the next ten years. “Earlier generations of City leaders built this great city on a vision that included great parks and safe streets,” said Mayor Hodges. “It is our duty to not allow their investments to crumble. We must reinvest in the Minneapolis we love.”

 

The package unveiled today includes a commitment to annual funding of an additional $10 million for neighborhood parks and an additional $20 million for city streets. The proposal would result in roughly a 1.4% additional increase to the City’s property tax levy each year over the next ten years above the current forecasted average of 3.5%.

 

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has identified a $15 million capital gap. The City’s Public Works Department recently presented the City Council with a report estimating that $30 million in capital is needed each year for the next 10 years to maintain streets.  The report also showed that continued inaction on street investment would significantly increase the cost of repairing city streets in the future. This proposal reflects that difficult choices must be made and funds two-thirds of that need.

 

“The challenges we face in Minneapolis are not unique,” said Mayor Hodges, “Quite the opposite; failure to invest in infrastructure is a nationwide problem. What is unique in Minneapolis is our passion for finding real, practical solutions. I’m committed to working with our partners at the Park Board and excited to work toward an agreement with the City Council. I want to thank Council President Johnson and Council Member Goodman for helping move the conversation forward.”

 

While this proposed reinvestment plan would be for ten years, it could be renewed at the end of that period.

 

“I am confident that these investments can make a big difference for both parks and streets over the next decade, which are essential to both our economic vitality and our quality of life,” said Ways & Means Budget Chair John Quincy. “I also believe that ten years is ample time for the Park Board and the City to prove to the public that these investments are worthwhile and should be continued.

 

 “Fixing both park and street systems’ capital gap is a critical priority, and I’m happy to offer a solution,” Quincy said. “In order to make sure we are making these commitments with our eyes wide open I expect we will have a full, transparent discussion about the long-term impacts during the budget process.

 

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Published Mar 25, 2016

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