Neighborhood Updates

Steve Fletcher, 3rd Ward Council Member The American Rescue Plan, Staying Cool, and more – June 12, 2021

Explore this Issue of the Heart of Minneapolis:

Friends –

The City Council has begun considering the Mayor’s proposal for the first round of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. We’re trying to balance the urgent need to get these funds working people with the need for deliberation, engagement and transparency, and as a result, none of us get as much time as we would normally like to examine and assess the Mayor’s proposal. Even on this shortened timeline, I want to encourage you to share your thoughts on how we should use ARP funds with me, and make your voice heard at the public hearing for these proposals on June 16th at 6:05pm.

This public hearing is the only opportunity the public has in making its voice heard all together on the first round of the American Rescue Plan Act funding.

We are now in our 9th day in a row of above 90° temperatures in our City, including spikes above 100°! With little relief in sight, I want to encourage everyone to stay cool the best they can. To assist in escaping the heat you can view and share the Hennepin County Air Conditioned Public Buildings (Cooling Centers) which shows cool options throughout Hennepin County including locations to Salvation Army buildings, libraries, recreation centers, movie theaters, and shopping malls.

En avant,


June 16th Public Hearing on Proposed First Round of American Rescue Plan Act Funding

American Rescue Plan

Image Courtesy of Rockefeller Institute

The City Council’s Committee of the Whole will hold an online public hearing at 6:05pm on Wednesday, June 16th on the first round of federal funding awarded to the City of Minneapolis through the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act.

This public hearing is the only opportunity the public has in making its voice heard on the first round of the American Rescue Plan Act funding.

The proposed schedule for approving funding is:

  • Committee of the Whole reviewed proposed spending plan on June 9th (Video Available)
  • Committee of the Whole Public Hearing to have public participation in the use of these funds on Wednesday, June 16th at 6:05pm 
  • Committee of the Whole scheduled to consider amendments to the spending plan based on Council inquiry and public feedback on Wednesday, June 23rd at 10am
  • City Council to take final action on the plan the morning of Friday, July 2nd

The Mayor has outlined his plan for the first round of federal funding. You should explore the $89 million proposal in it’s separate sections here:

Event: 6:05pm | Wednesday, June 16th at City Council’s Committee of the Whole 

Learn how to participate in a public hearing.

Review the Mayor’s spending proposal.

Help Plan & Design a New Riverfront Park Project at Hall’s Island in Northeast Minneapolis

Graco Park

An overhead view of the plan for Hall’s Island from the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board

This project includes new and improved park, new park building and connections to Hall’s Island and Boom Island Park 

A new and improved park on a parcel of riverfront land north of Plymouth Avenue Bridge that currently hosts a section of Mississippi East Bank Trail and a gravel beach facing Hall’s Island.

Design and construction of a building supporting the park on the former Parcel D site (now referred to as Lot 2) along Sibley Street NE. It will include improved trail connections to Boom Island Park and a pedestrian bridge connecting to Hall’s Island.

The project will be based on a site concept plan approved by Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Commissioners and a series of agreements reached with Graco Inc. in 2018.

The new park owned and operated building will be approximately 4,000 square feet composed of a combination of shared or independent office space, community meeting rooms, public restrooms, and an open programmable gallery-like hall. The design and configuration of the future commercial building may change as a result of the design process.

The Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board is Seeking Feedback:

  • Online Survey and Resources: Visit the project engagement page to find maps and images with information about the project and prompts to provide input. All submitted ideas and comments will be documented and considered as designs for the project are developed. This survey will be open through July 7, 2021.
  • In-Person Event: Share your thoughts in person at Hall’s Island on Saturday, June 12, 1-3 pm. Look for the MPRB tent and table!
  • Virtual Conversation: Join MPRB staff and community members for an online conversation about the project on Wednesday, June 23, 4:30-6 pm. Use the Zoom link below to join:

New Park Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 928 8232 1476

Passcode: 303288

Down the Road: The first phase of engagement wraps up in July. Project staff will use feedback collected to create multiple park and building design concepts and share them in August for another round of feedback with another survey and additional in-person events. Then, in the fall, a single, preferred concept will be shared for a third round of engagement.

Visit the New NE Park and Lot 2 project page and enter your email address into the box under “Subscribe to Email Updates” to stay informed about this project.

Upcoming Conversations with Council Member Fletcher

Coffee with CM Fletcher

We are excited to announce the return of in-person meetings for Ward 3 residents to drop in, ask questions, discuss any issues you see in the community, or just have a chat with your neighbors. We are also holding meetings on specific topics, with guest speakers, and a time for Q&A.

Topic To Be Determined

Thursday, June 24th — 5:00PM

LOCATION: WATER WORKS @ MILL RUINS PARK – 102 Portland Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55401

Our office is currently determining a topic and finalizing details, check back at next week’s newsletter for more information.

Plan your route: Bus, bike, drive, or walk.

Open Session

Thursday, July 1st — 5:00PM


Bring your comments, concerns, and questions to this meet-up conversation with Council Member Steve Fletcher.

Questions? Having difficulties joining the meeting? Email

Shifting Theft Report- & Property Damage-Only Calls to 311

Minneapolis 311

The City of Minneapolis is changing the way residents report non-violent, non-emergency theft and property damage not in progress. This is a service change aligned with the City’s work around seeking alternatives to police response. The goal is to reduce administrative capacity for police and improve service experiences. Results of the program will be assessed throughout the year. Visit the City website for more information about alternatives to police response.

Starting June 14, non-police City employees at 311 will take these reports from Minneapolis residents instead of 911 dispatching Minneapolis Police officers.

You can report theft or property damage by submitting an online report or calling 311.

Minneapolis 311 takes calls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday – Friday but you will need to call between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. to make a theft or property damage report. If you need to make a report outside these hours or on holidays, you can:

You will receive an incident case number when you file a report whether you submit your report online or by calling 311. The quickest way to generate an incident case number for your report is to file it online.

If the theft or property damage is occurring at the time of call, call 911.

Free COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics: Eastside Neighborhood Services June 12th

Roll Up Your Sleeves MN

East Side Neighborhood Services

ESNS is partnering with Hy-Vee and neighborhood organizations to put on two free vaccine clinics for individuals 12+. No insurance required. Plus, receive a $10 Hy-Vee gift card when you complete your vaccination!

LOCATION: East Side Neighborhood Services 1700 Second St., N.E., Minneapolis, MN 55413

ESNS is looking for volunteers to help with registration and help monitor the waiting area for a 2 hour shift for one of the clinics. Sign up to volunteer here.

Downtown Construction: 4th Street Updates

4th Street, June 2021

The City of Minneapolis is reconstructing 4th St. between 2nd Ave. N and 4th Ave. S in downtown Minneapolis. The reconstruction will include wider sidewalks, improved crossings, a new bi-directional off-street bike path on the north side of the street, lighting, trees and planting beds. Utility work and roadway construction are underway and are expected to be complete by the end of 2022.

If you’re walking around downtown you probably noticed that new pavement has been installed on the south side of 4th Street between Hennepin and Marquette, which is an exciting progress point in this project.

View the 4th St. Reconstruction Newsletter and the interactive map for weekly construction updates.

Stay Connected

There are multiple ways to get information including email updates and ongoing stakeholder meetings. Visit the project website and sign-up for updates:

Provide questions, comments or concerns on the interactive map:

Email the project team:

Contact the project hotline: 612-412-9774

The Zero Balance Project Seeks to Launches to Assist Renters with Emergency Rental Assistance

Zero Balance Project

Minneapolis and four other metropolitan entitlement jurisdictions (Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, and the City of St. Paul) will launch a new collaborative program called The Zero Balance Project.

The Zero Balance Project invites rental property owners and managers to lead the application process on behalf of their renters who may be unlikely or unable to start applications on their own.

The City is excited to offer this complementary approach to ensure all renters in Minneapolis have an opportunity to bring their rent balances to zero. This City is working closely with Minnesota Housing and the jurisdictional partners to coordinate messaging and navigation between The Zero Balance Project and RentHelpMN.

  • Application Opens: June 7 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Application Closes: June 20 at 11:59 p.m.

More information and to apply


1-394 Project_ 06.2021

I-394/Washington Avenue Project Map

MnDOT has a new project map for the rebuilding of the intersection of I-394 and Washington Avenue which will include rebuilding the ramp and adding a left turn lane to Washington Avenue from 394.

Construction is scheduled to begin in May of 2023. If you’re interested in learning more and following project updates, sign up on MnDOT’s website.


Take Precautions to Keep You & Your Family Safe During Extreme Heat

Heat-related illness happens when the body isn’t able to cool itself. Seniors, small children and people with physical disabilities and pets are the most vulnerable to heat-related illness, but everyone should take steps to stay safe in extreme heat.

Tips for preventing heat-related illness during extreme heat:

  • Drink more fluids
  • Never leave any person/animal in a vehicle
  • Wear lightweight, loose clothing
  • Check on neighbors at risk
  • Take an air conditioning break

For a list of public, air-conditioned buildings for those who don’t have air conditioning in their homes, go to the City of Minneapolis Health Department’s extreme heat preparedness web page.

Excessive Heat



Register for Transforming Community Safety Learning Lab, June 17th

(Photo courtesy of the Minneapolis Office of Violence Prevention Facebook page)

The Minneapolis Office of Violence Prevention has their next learning lab on transforming community safety at Noon, Thursday June 17th. This learning lab features David Kennedy, the executive director of the National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay College, a national organization focused on supporting cities implementing strategic interventions to reduce violence, minimize arrest and incarceration, enhance police legitimacy, and strengthen relationships between law enforcement and communities.

This meeting will be recorded.

Invite your friends and community using the Facebook event.

Register to get the Zoom link emailed before the meeting.


St. Paul Farmer's Market

More Minneapolitans Now Eligible for E-SNAP Benefits

With a recent change in federal guidance, more people are now eligible for Emergency SNAP. Previously, individuals and families were only eligible for E-SNAP if they were not already receiving the maximum food benefit amount for their household size. Now households that get the maximum food benefit will also get a monthly $95 E-SNAP benefit. In addition, $95 is now the minimum E-SNAP benefit. E-SNAP is a temporary benefit in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Beaches, Pools, & Other Water Activities Open for Season!

Dozens of wading pools are open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. daily through Monday, Sept. 6. On Saturday, June 12 additional “school-site” locations open. All locations are free to use with no lifeguards on duty.

Beaches: Twelve beaches are open 6 a.m.-to 10 p.m. daily through Sept6.

Water Activities: From swimming to sailing lessons and watercraft rentals, MPRB offers many summer water recreation opportunities for all ages.

Dickman Wading Pool

Get Vaccinated Now – Ages 12 and Up

COVID-19 Vaccine

Minnesotans ages 12 to 17 can now get vaccinated at the state sites that have Pfizer vaccines. Appointments are not necessary. These sites take walk-ins, with a parent or guardian present.

Vaccinating kids will get them back to the summer activities they love. Getting vaccinated will give them a significant level of protection to keep them, their families and their communities safe.

Everyone is welcome at Minneapolis vaccination clinics.

Walk-ins are welcome. You don’t need an appointment. You don’t need health insurance or an ID. Bring your family to get vaccinated together – right now, Minneapolis is vaccinating people 18 and older.

Get a free COVID-19 vaccine at a Minneapolis Health Department clinic. You can get a single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and be fully vaccinated in three weeks.

If you choose to get a Moderna vaccine, you would require a second dose four weeks later. You will be fully vaccinated two weeks after you second dose. You must be 18 and older.

Upcoming clinics — 

Find more information on the Health Department’s website.

Other ways to get a vaccine

Vaccines work. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, get a free vaccine as soon as you can. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have plummeted as more Minnesotans receive their vaccine. About nine out of 10 Americans live within 5 miles of a COVID-19 vaccination site. Lyft and Uber are offering free rides to vaccination appointments until July 4.

Free COVID-19 Tests Detect COVID Variants

COVID-19 Tests

Testing is still an important way to help stop the spread of COVID-19 along with vaccinations, wearing masks correctly, keeping 6 feet from anyone you don’t live with and washing hands.

The State is urging athletes, coaches, referees, volunteers and other sports participants to get tested for COVID-19 weekly. Students not participating in sports or other group activities are still strongly encouraged to test every two weeks.

Free COVID-19 tests

Do not eat, drink or use tobacco products for 30 minutes before taking a COVID-19 saliva test.

  • African Immigrant Community Services (inside Masjid Omar Islamic Center), 912 E. 24th St., second floor 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 12, June 26, July 10
  • African Immigrant Community Services, 1433 East Franklin Ave, Suite 13B Noon-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday the week of June 14
  • Sanctuary Covenant Church, 710 W. Broadway AveNoon-3 p.m. Friday, June 11, 18 and 25
  • Phyllis Wheatley Community Center, 1301 10th Ave. N. 5:30-9 p.m. Friday, June 11, July 2, July 16
  • Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 Second Ave. S10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends Visit the State’s COVID-19 testing webpage to register.
  • Native American Community Clinic, 1213 E. Franklin Ave. 2 p.m. Tuesdays Appointments required: Call 612-872-8086 to schedule an appointment.
  • Southside Community Health Services, 324 E. 35th St2-3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays Appointments required: Call 612-821-3548 to schedule an appointment. You can expect to get your test results in about two-three business days. Same day testing can be done for health care workers, first responders and essential workers.
  • Brooklyn Park Starlight Center 11 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends. Visit the State’s COVID-19 testing webpage to register.
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport 7 a.m.-7 p.m. seven days a week. Visit the State’s COVID-19 testing webpage to register.

Find a current list of free COVID-19 tests on the City website.

If you can’t attend one of these testing events, you can use this directory to find a testing location near you.

Free at-home saliva tests

The State is also offering free at-home saliva tests. Any person in Minnesota can order a saliva test kit from the COVID-19 Test at Home program.


The COVID-19 test is free, and you do not need insurance for the test. If you need medical care but don’t have health insurance, the Minnesota Department of Health offers resources to find low-cost health care or health insurance.

Why get tested? Videos in Spanish, Somali and Hmong

Whether you feel sick or not, get tested. This will protect your loved ones and help us all return safely back to school, work and other activities.

Watch and share these short videos in SpanishSomali and Hmong.

RentHelpMN Details

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please contact (add your information here including: department, contact person, phone and email).

People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.

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