Printed via the Minneapolis 8th Ward Council Newsletter.
The new Clean Energy Partnership Board will hold its first meeting in February. This first-of-its-kind City-utility partnership will have the City of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy collaborating in new ways to help Minneapolis achieve its clean energy goals, including making energy more affordable and reliable for everyone while increasing energy efficiency, increasing renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gases.
The first board meeting will be 2-4 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 4. The board members are Mayor Betsy Hodges, City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, City Council Member Kevin Reich and City Coordinator Spencer Cronk for the City of Minneapolis; Laura McCarten, Regional Vice President, and Lee Gabler, Director of Demand-side Management and Renewable Operations for Xcel Energy; and Joe Vortherms, Vice President of Gas Operations, and Jeff Daugherty, Director of Regulatory Affairs, for CenterPoint Energy. City Council Member Cam Gordon is an alternate for the City of Minneapolis.
At this first quarterly meeting, along with setting its schedule and adopting bylaws, the board will also establish an Energy Vision Advisory Committee. The board will begin accepting applications from the public for the committee in the weeks following this first board meeting, so look for more information on this opportunity. The Energy Vision Advisory Committee will provide feedback on the board’s work plan and performance reports, and provide expertise or represent their Minneapolis communities.
You can find more information about the Clean Energy Board, and follow its progress, here.
Welcoming newly appointed Chair of the Met Council Adam Duininck and Senator Scott Dibble
Friday, January 30, 7:30 – 9:00 am
Turtle Bread, 4762 Chicago Ave S (in Café Lavain)
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In 2015, transportation is a top issue at the State Legislature. At the same time, the Metropolitan Council has been at the center of heated regional discussion about how to fund and prioritize transit and transportation investment, among other issues.
We are so excited this month to welcome Met Council Chair Adam Duininck, newly appointed by Governor Dayton in January 2015 to lead this regional organization that conducts regional planning and operates Metro Transit, as well as Minneapolis State Senator and Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee Scott Dibble.
Today (12/1/14), at our “budget markup” meeting, the council approved on a close 7-6 vote a .18% property tax decrease (for a $180,000 home, we were told the savings would be approximately two dollars and fifty cents). I argued against this motion (and voted against it) for the simple reason that the small property tax savings were not worth the harm to critical investments, as well as creating a “budget hole” that will create challenges in future years.
What was cut to achieve this average savings of about $2.50? Our commitment to our Nation’s first clean energy partnership (a commitment leveraging significant staff and resource contributions from our partner utilities), diverse homeownership support and foreclosure prevention for communities of color, depleting the One Minneapolis Fund targeted to support leadership development in communities of color, and cutting in half our support for the disparities study that forms the legal basis for setting race-based goals for business inclusion in worker inclusion goals.
Barely saved, on another 7-6 motion, was one of the new equity positions within the city coordinator’s office. We have similar enterprise support positions in other key goal areas of the city, such as sustainability and the arts, and they have been highly effective in driving city-wide results and leveraging outside partnerships.
I am most concernedt that 7 of my colleagues voted to reduce our commitment to the Clean Energy Partnership – especially since this was one-time funding that will have no impact on the property tax levy. This investment would primarily be for designing and implementing programs to serve residents in Minneapolis. One of the highest on the list, in my mind, is how we address energy issues (and costs) at multi-unit residential buildings. I am hoping we can look for a solution on this item before the final budget approval of December 10.
More details are here: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/meetings/budgetsub/WCMS1P-130547
Co-hosted by Council Members Glidden, Quincy and Palmisano to eceive community feedback
Mayor Hodges is hosting a community meeting an opportunity for you to learn more about her recommended budget, to provide feedback, and to ask questions you may have.
2015 Budget Community Meeting
Wednesday, November 12, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Mayflower Church, 106 E. Diamond Lake Road
For background on the 2015 budget, you can review Council Member Glidden’s budget overview in her October 31 newsletter, or you can go to the City website here. The 2015 proposed budget includes the addition of a city-wide composting program that would be implemented in 2015.
There are two public comment hearings that you can attend to share your thoughts about the proposed budget:
- Nov. 18 at 6:05 p.m. Room 317 of City Hall
- Dec. 10 at 6:05 p.m. Room 317 of City Hall (under state law, this is also the date that the city council will adopt the budget, a process that will occur immediately following the public hearing).
Please contact Elizabeth with your thoughts on the budget at (612) 673-2208 or Elizabeth.email@example.com.
The City’s current franchise agreements with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy, both signed in the early 1990s, expire at the end of this year. The new franchise agreements would begin in January 2015 and have a term with a minimum of five years and a maximum of 10 with the potential to renew for up to 20. They would maintain the current formula for establishing the fees utilities collect from customers to pay the City.
More information is available about the tentative Clean Energy Partnership and franchise agreements here.
Mayor Betsy Hodges and the City Council have approved agreements with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy that, among other things, establish a first-of-its-kind City-utility Clean Energy Partnership which will have the City and the utility companies collaborating in new ways to help Minneapolis achieve its clean energy goals. These goals include making energy affordable and reliable for everyone while increasing energy efficiency, increasing renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gases.
The Clean Energy Partnership came about following discussions over renewing the City’s franchise agreements with the two utilities. Many communities in Minnesota negotiate franchise agreements with utility companies to identify the conditions under which the companies are allowed to use public property to provide service to local residents and businesses. A fee for that use is negotiated through franchise agreements, and utilities collect that fee from their customers.
Under the Clean Energy Partnership agreements, a board will be created that includes the mayor, two council members, the city coordinator and two senior officials from each of the two utilities. An Energy Vision Advisory Committee will also be established to provide feedback on the board’s work plan and gather feedback from critical Minneapolis communities. The board’s work plan will be shaped by Minneapolis’ adopted Climate Action Plan and may include ideas such as:
- Giving customers additional choices about the way their energy is generated.
- Increasing residential and business use of new and existing energy-efficiency and renewable-energy programs to help consumers control energy costs and reduce greenhouse gases.
- Supporting the development of renewable energy in the city and in Minnesota.
- Exploring and implementing ways for the City to reduce its own energy use and increase its use of clean and renewable energy.
|Story from the Ward 8, e-newsletter of City Councilmember Elizabeth Glidden.
The Minneapolis City Council has approved new rules for some restaurants that sell alcohol outside of the Downtown area. Until now the city’s rules were antiquated and made it difficult for well-run businesses to meet required alcohol-to-food sales ratios, which the current economy does not support.
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