Mayor Hodges, Council Members Move Forward Long-Term Funding Package for Streets and Parks
Agreement follows weeks of negotiation
April 25, 2016 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Mayor Betsy Hodges and City Council Members have agreed on a long-term package of funding to equitably address long-standing capital and operating needs for City streets and neighborhood parks, following weeks of negotiation.
If approved by the City Council, the package would provide for $33 million in funding each year for up to 20 years to meet both urgent needs. It would be paid for through a combination of increases in the property-tax levy, clearly identified cash, and other non-tax revenue increases. Under the proposal, capital spending for streets would increase by $21.2 million annually, with an increase to funding for regular maintenance of $800,000 per year. The parks would receive an additional $8 million in annual capital funds for neighborhood parks, and a one-time $3-million increase to their operating levy.
“I’m gratified that this proposal meets both priorities responsibly,” Mayor Hodges said. “It commits us to addressing the well-known, critical infrastructure and operating gaps for both our streets and our neighborhood park system. It clarifies the City’s commitment to investing in our streets and neighborhood parks infrastructure equitably. It transparently identifies the sources to meet the need now and over time, even as I have reservations about some of them. And it clearly acknowledges the tough choices that we have to make now, and that mayors and Councils will have to make in the future, in order to make this commitment real in the long term."
“I am grateful for the time, effort, and good faith of the Council Members and all parties involved in crafting this proposal,” said Mayor Hodges.
Mayor Hodges has repeatedly expressed her long-standing support for meeting the long-term capital needs of both Minneapolis’ neighborhood parks and city streets and bridges. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board had previously identified a $15-million annual capital gap for neighborhood parks. 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 city 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 does not meet the whole need for either our neighborhood parks or our streets, but it is a big, generational step forward for both,” Mayor Hodges continued.
The proposal was heard extensively in the Council’s Ways and Means/Budget Committee today, and was forwarded to the full City Council for action this Friday.
Published Apr 26, 2016