Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Announces Next Steps Following City Approval of Park & Street Funding Ordinance
Posted on April 28, 2016
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) today praised Minneapolis Council Members and Mayor Hodges for their work on and approval of an Ordinance and 20 year financial plan to provide funding for neighborhood parks. The MPRB also recognized the ongoing efforts by others and announced its next steps to bring forward a concurrent park funding Ordinance in May, followed by an Ordinance in June to ensure equitable investing in neighborhood parks.
“We are deeply grateful for everyone’s work on this, Council Members, Mayor Hodges, the Save Our Minneapolis Parks group led by Mark Andrew and Carol Becker, Park Board commissioners and staff, and especially the city residents who have been voicing their support for increased neighborhood park funding,” said Liz Wielinski, MPRB Board President. “This is a historic time. I am excited to cast my vote for our Board’s approval of a concurrent ordinance in May.”
A concurrent Ordinance specific to neighborhood park funding will come before MPRB Commissioners at their May 4 and May 18 Board meetings, and will include a public hearing at the May 18 meeting. Both meetings begin at 5 pm, with the public hearing scheduled at 5:45 pm on May 18. Board meetings are held at MPRB Headquarters, 2117 West River Road, Minneapolis.
“These ordinances are a game changer for the Park Board, the City and residents of Minneapolis,” said Jayne Miller, MPRB Superintendent. “This will provide 20 years of maintenance, rehabilitation and capital funding for our neighborhood parks. 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.”
On April 20 Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) staff presented criteria and a proposed rehabilitation and capital investment implementation plan for the first five years to ensure, if additional funding becomes available for neighborhood parks, investments will be made equitably within the neighborhood park system. In June, Superintendent Miller will present Commissioners with a proposed Ordinance for implementing racial and economic equity criteria for MPRB capital and rehabilitation projects.
The April 20 presentation materials, which are available at www.minneapolisparks.org/closingthegap, included the following key documents:
- Criteria Based System for MPRB Capital and Rehabilitation Project Scheduling
- Criteria Matrix for MPRB Capital and Rehabilitation for Neighborhood Park Projects
- Proposed Expanded MPRB CIP for Neighborhood Parks
The “Criteria Based System for MPRB Capital and Rehabilitation Project Scheduling” explains how specific, quantifiable criteria will be used to determine where future rehabilitation and capital project funding is allocated throughout Minneapolis’ neighborhood park system. The criteria fall in two categories: community characteristics and park characteristics. Community characteristics include neighborhood demographic data such as identified racially concentrated areas of poverty, population density, youth population and crime statistics. Park characteristics include park asset data like asset condition, asset lifespan and proportionality of investment since 2000 relative to the total value of park assets. The criteria were developed with feedback from representatives of local organizations whose work is focused on racial equity.
The “Criteria Matrix” shows how each neighborhood park was rated based on the racial and economic equity criteria. The “Proposed Expanded MPRB CIP for Neighborhood Parks” spreadsheet outlined staff’s recommended rehabilitation and capital projects for the first five years, if the 20 Year Neighborhood Park Plan is approved. Staff stressed that proposed funding is specific to each park and would remain allocated to that park, not disappear, if the community determines a different site improvement other than the improvement staff recommends on the spreadsheet. As with all of its current park projects, community engagement and input will be critical when making future park improvements.
In addition to the capital improvements, the 20 Year Neighborhood Park Plan includes annual funding for increased rehabilitation and maintenance of neighborhood parks throughout the city. System-wide rehabilitation will focus on ADA improvements, building repairs, roof and sidewalks, park lighting, HVAC systems, below-grade infrastructure and maintenance facilities, with repairs at multiple sites throughout the city every season. System-wide maintenance focuses on improving the service levels of mowing, tree pruning, roof inspections, seasonal plumbing start up and shut down, and maintenance of playgrounds, buildings, sidewalks, parking lots, gardens and natural areas.
The MPRB believes addressing the need for dedicated, increased neighborhood parks funding is critical to addressing racial equity across Minneapolis.
Visit www.minneapolisparks.org/closingthegap for fact sheets, park profiles, board actions, news releases and community engagement efforts related to the MPRB’s efforts over the past two years to address the neighborhood park funding gap. To stay informed, enter your email address into the box under “Subscribe to Email Updates.”