Minneapolis Park Board and City discuss new plan to close funding gap for neighborhood parks

On Wednesday, March 16, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and City of Minneapolis discussed a new strategy, in addition to the referendum and Charter Amendment discussions underway, to address the funding gap for neighborhood parks maintenance, repair and capital investments.

At their March 16 Board meeting, MPRB Commissioners voted unanimously for a resolution approving a 20 Year Neighborhood Park Plan between the MPRB and the City and directing the Superintendent and MPRB Legal Counsel to prepare an ordinance to implement the 20 Year Neighborhood Park Plan for consideration on April 6, 2016 and final adoption on April 20, 2016. The Minneapolis City Council also discussed the proposed plan at their March 16 Committee of the Whole.

In January the MPRB approved proposed ballot language for a November 2016 referendum for neighborhood park funding; however there are several benefits of the 20 Year Neighborhood Park Plan to the MPRB, the City and residents, including:

  • Reduces property tax impact on Minneapolis residents
  • Guarantees protection of current level of Local Government Aid and other funding  to MPRB
  • Provides neighborhood park funds sooner to MPRB

Efforts already underway will continue towards a November 2016 referendum or Charter Amendment to address neighborhood park funding. If both the MPRB and City approve concurrent 20 Year Neighborhood Park Plan ordinances this spring, efforts towards a November 2016 referendum will cease. If concurrent Ordinances are not approved this spring, efforts for a referendum or Charter Amendment will continue. 

For details about the state of Minneapolis’ neighborhood parks or the proposed ballot language, visit www.minneapolisparks.org/closingthegap.