$800M park funding plan passes Minneapolis City Council

The Minneapolis City Council on Friday passed a 20-year, $800 million funding plan that will focus on fixing parks and potholes.

With maintenance backlogs at 160 neighborhood parks, supporters of the measure say the injection of cash is necessary to save park equipment and buildings from falling into irreversible decline.

For example, a heavy roof beam on the building at Longfellow Park has been heavily damaged by decades of dripping icicles. An end of the beam appears flimsy.

Mayor Betsy Hodges immediately signed the plan, saying in a statement that the dollars will mean that future generations will be able to use city parks and roads.

"This is a generational moment for the City of Minneapolis," said Hodges. "This agreement addresses the critical infrastructure and operating gaps for both our streets and our neighborhood park system, and it invests in that infrastructure equitably."

Park Board superintendent Jayne Miller said in a statement that she wants to make sure all city residents benefit from the improvements to city parks.

"This will provide 20 years of maintenance, rehabilitation and capital funding for our neighborhood parks," said Miller. "This funding will benefit parks and park users throughout the city, and will be implemented using a criteria based system to ensure investments address racial and economic equity."

The plan will be funded in part by a one-time property tax increase, as well as smaller ongoing levy increases starting next year.

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