City Council Passes $800M Funding Plan for Parks, Streets

The following article by Eric Best and Sarah McKenzie was published in the April 29, 2016 online edition of the Southwest Journal.

City Council Passes $800M Funding Plan for Parks, Streets

Bottineau Park. File photo

The City Council voted unanimously Friday to approve a new $800 million long-term funding plan for the city’s neighborhood parks and streets — heralded as a historic agreement among city and park leaders addressing significant infrastructure needs in Minneapolis.

The plan dedicates $22 million in new money for street projects annually along with $11 million for neighborhood parks — a compromise proposal crafted by Mayor Betsy Hodges, City Council and Park Board officials. Park leaders had previously been considering moving ahead with a referendum for voters this fall.

City and park leaders embraced after the vote and City Council chambers erupted in applause.

“This is a generational moment for the City of Minneapolis,” Hodges said. “This agreement addresses the critical infrastructure and operating gaps for both our streets and our neighborhood park system, and it invests in infrastructure equitably. It provides clear, transparent sources of funding and acknowledges that we’re making real, tough choices.”

Streets and Parks Signing

The plan addresses a projected $15 million annual funding gap for capital needs in neighborhood parks and an estimated $30 million annual funding gap for street repairs and reconstruction projects.

To continue reading, click on the link to the Southwest Journal
The Southwest Journal’s Eric Best and Sarah McKenzie report: