Steve Fletcher, 3rd Ward Council Member The American Rescue Plan, Staying Cool, and more – June 12, 2021
June 1, 2021
Explore this Issue of the Heart of Minneapolis:
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.
June 16th Public Hearing on Proposed First Round of American Rescue Plan Act Funding
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:
Help Plan & Design a New Riverfront Park Project at Hall’s Island in Northeast Minneapolis
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 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:
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.
Upcoming Conversations with Council Member 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.
Shifting Theft Report- & Property Damage-Only Calls to 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.
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:
Leave a voicemail for a callback within 3 business days
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
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!
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
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.
The Zero Balance Project Seeks to Launches to Assist Renters with Emergency Rental Assistance
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.
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:
(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.
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.
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.
To find the site closest to you, visit gov, text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX); or call 1-800-232-0233.
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 St. 2-3 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.