KFNA Board meeting this Wed. Dec 10 7 PM, MLK Park
Topic: I-35W noise walls, specifically between 36th & 38th Street

Speakers: The people who will be attending to make a presentation are Jim Grube, Hennepin County, and Jeni Hager, City of Minneapolis. Possibly also Scott Pedersen, MnDOT.

Background: The reason this meeting is needed is that a new noise is being proposed between 36th and 38th Streets. MnDOT has a new voting process for noise walls and has to go through this process again with the neighborhood [last process for this same issue was August 2009]. The presenters have requested to come out and explain the new process to the neighborhood association first.

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

KFNALogoGive to the Max Day has become a veritable annual holiday of giving to the causes and organizations that Minnesotans care about. Last year the day was so successful at generating donations that the computers crashed. This year, just like shopping for the holidays, you can order now and schedule your gift to be given on the big day! We at KFNA ask, as you weigh who to share your hard-earned dollars with, to consider sharing it with your neighborhood association, the Kingfield Neighborhood Association (KFNA).

Kingfield neighborhood is special for a lot of reasons, but a lot of those reasons come back to your neighborhood association. KFNA has worked really hard for the last 20 years to engage amazing neighbors in their very own neighborhood. The goal in doing this work is to assist residents in developing and sharing their own special talents and skills to solve both smaller, neighborhood-level concerns but also to pilot programs and projects that can be duplicated across the City.

KFNA has helped develop programs and leaders in the areas of urban agriculture including farmers markets and community gardens, alternative energy including solar and geo-thermal education and installation, public art including tried and true methods to deter graffiti and build identity using exterior business murals and wrapped utility boxes, and much more including programs and projects focused on store-front development, street usage and traffic calming, recycling, race-based discussions and building connections to other neighborhoods and communities, and affordable housing. KFNA uses your donations to support these programs and more.

Some of you might ask, why should I give money to my nonprofit neighborhood organization? Neighborhood groups receive financial support from the City of Minneapolis to do their work, don’t they?

 

Although KFNA is fortunate to receive some support from the City of Minneapolis for the outreach and long-range planning we do in the neighborhood, the City only provides about $50,000 annually, which is about 50% of KFNA’s annual operating budget. Let’s be frank. $50,000 is not enough money to employ two part-time staff, maintain an office and communication channels via websites, e-mail (like this one!), and social media, pay for insurance, accounting services, and plan and implement numerous projects and events annually.

 

To continue to do all the work we do in Kingfield Neighborhood, we need your financial support as well. Donations can be made via Give MN page, or visit the Kingfield Neighborhood Association page at http://kingfield.org to learn more about the work we do first, and make a donation from there.

Gifts in of any size are greatly appreciated and put to work in your neighborhood!

Construction of the Seward Coop Friendship store is well underway at 3rd Avenue South and E 38th Street.  Seward recently provided a project update, including an update on project hiring and construction, which is available here.

Seward Open House and Project Office hosted at Sabathani.  Seward will host an open house at Sabathani Community Center, room 103 on Tuesday, Nov. 11, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Several co-op managers and staff will be available to answer questions and discuss the project. This display will be open in room 103 until November 28th. After that point the display will move to the “project office” on the second floor of Sabathani. The office will be open to the public during business hours for the duration of the construction schedule.

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.glidden@minneapolismn.gov.

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.

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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.

Minneapolis’ journey towards Community Power took a big step forward on Monday as the Minneapolis City Council Health, Environment, and Community Engagement Committee voted to authorize a shorter franchise agreement and form the Clean Energy Partnership. The partnership will give the City shared decision-making power over the city’s energy future. The City-Utility Partnership is expected to pass the full City Council vote on October 17th.

Attend a potluck dinner at 6:00 PM and a community discussion at 6:30 PM on either:

Monday October 20th at 4200 Cedar Ave S Minneapolis or

Tuesday October 21st at 3519 23rd Ave S Minneapolis

Minneapolis community members have been organizing for the last two years for greater local control and benefit over our energy system. These events will be a great opportunity to learn about what has been accomplished and the opportunities ahead as the city of Minneapolis begins an innovative, first in the nation city-utility partnership.

Please RSVP at this website: http://www.communitypowermn.org/events_calendar

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