Here is the thoughtful Open Time presentation given on September 17, 2014 by Minneapolis resident Sarai Brenner in support of the Park Board’s engaging outside legal counsel to explore options regarding the Kenilworth Corridor.
PROTECTING THE CHANNEL
I am here to support your 4(f) claim for our historic canal along the Kenilworth channel, and to encourage you to pursue out side legal counsel to explore options. There is so much at stake, so much to lose! According to federal transportation laws, these laws require that transportation projects using federal money not take or adversely affect parks or historic sites. As this project is currently designed, I believe that this project would be detrimental to our lakes, channel and trail that crosses the Kenilworth Channel. Under the regulations, only if a route is the only “feasible or prudent” pathway for the project can the federal government approve it. Yet it is clear that alternate routes are also viable.
I want you all to know that the people of Minneapolis appreciate your strong advocacy for our parks. Your independence from other bodies of government has ensured our protection from other overarching governmental bodies, like the Met Council, that would sacrifice our lakes and parkland for some separate and I believe, self-serving goals. Our urban parks are not a suburban utility to be exploited for easy right of way. The Met Council, unlike you, are an unelected body. You, as elected members of our park board speak for us. We the people will support you, if you choose to go forward.
To date, SWLRT mitigation to protect the channel has been sadly lacking. There isn’t even a DEIS which accounts for the tunnel. Only after steps are taken to reduce and mitigate the ill effects on our chain of lakes, parks and historic sites, should you ever come to any agreements. It is my belief that only a deep tunnel under the channel will protect its beauty and historic significance and even then, only after completion of a thorough DEIS, that will ensure no damage to the chain of lakes!
We are the City of Lakes, not swamps. We have elected you to protect those lakes, and we commend you for your strong advocacy and protection of our parks. We stand with you in this advocacy! Today, you make our city founders proud and protect the legacy they bequeathed to us for future generations!