The ripples of Japan’s tsunami have reached Minnesota. The news of their impact was
outlined in MPRB Superintendent Jayne Miller’s recent letter to the Commissioners which was
included with the April 20, 2011 meeting materials.

Here’s the story leading up to the letter:

The MPRB’s three year contract with Toyota expired on March 31, 2011. The original agreement provided the Park Board with $100,000 in cash and ten vehicles annually in return for the presenting sponsor role for the Minneapolis Bike Tour and several vehicle display opportunities. The agreement was a joint venture with the City of St. Paul Park and Recreation department. Intemark, a marketing firm, negotiated the original contract.

In November of last year, Enterprise staff brought the subject of the Toyota contract to the Board. The Board authorized Enterprise staff to enter into an agreement with Intemark to negotiate the renewal contract. Nothing more came to the Board from Enterprise about the status of the negotiations until the April 20 meeting when Superintendent Miller provided an update. She reported that the initial offer from Toyota had been ten vehicles and no cash.

She went on to explain that before negotiations were concluded, the earthquake hit Japan and Toyota made a decision to suspend all agreements that were in process. As a result, the Toyota agreement has ended and the Park Board was directed to turn in all vehicles on Friday, April 22.

The MPRB fleet management staff is reviewing options to replace some of the vehicles and will go back to mileage reimbursements in some cases.

Arlene Fried