The following article by Eric Roper was published in the April 26, 2016 issue of the Star Tribune.
Minneapolis Finds Deal to Pay for Road, Park Repairs
Minneapolis City Council is likely to approve the 20-year plan.
Cars driving on E. Minnehaha Parkway along Lake Nokomis tried to dodge potholes in the roadway in Minneapolis in 2013.
After weeks of trading proposals, Minneapolis leaders on Monday reached an $800 million agreement, unprecedented in recent history, to breathe new life into the city’s crumbling roads and neighborhood parks over the next 20 years.
The deal, which appears to have enough support to pass, relies heavily on property tax hikes — though not as much as an earlier proposal by Mayor Betsy Hodges. It would set what one council member described as a “new level of service” for maintaining the city’s streets, in addition to overhauling myriad deteriorating park facilities scattered across the city.
The compromise proposal was unveiled at the City Council’s financial committee meeting, with the expectation the full council would vote on it later this week. It mixes components of a parks financing plan authored by two council members, Barb Johnson and Lisa Goodman, with another by Hodges addressing both roads and parks. Hodges, who vetoed a version of the parks-only plan, worked on the compromise.
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