City briefs - March 2023


Police 'Off Duty' work to be examined
In January, the Minneapolis City Council voted to review how the city’s police department allows its officers to do off-duty work. An audit the city conducted three years ago identified concerns about how the department assigned and tracked the extra hours worked. The department’s off-duty police work system allows businesses and organizations like nightclubs, stores or neighborhoods to hire officers while in full uniform and using a city squad car.

More MPD Workers Comp claims
In February, the City Council approved another group of legal settlements of workers' compensation claims of Minneapolis police officers including Dean Christiansen for $175,000, Keith Smith for $150,000, Jeremy Howard for $175,000, Thaya Wallace for $110,000 and Derrick Foster for $125,000. It is now estimated that over $25 million has been paid out in similar settlements to over 100 officers since the police killing of George Floyd in May of 2020.

City loan to 805 E. 38th Street
The City Council has approved giving a forgivable loan of $230,000 to the 805 E. 38th Street LLC to help them purchase and renovate their property located on the southeast corner of George Floyd Square. Dan Coleman, owner of 805 E. 38th Street LLC, intends to lease the ground floor commercial space to a catering business called Chopped & Served that plans to expand offerings to takeout meals. The total costs for the project are estimated to be $775,625.

Special Services District appointments
The City Council has approved a number of appointees to serve on the special services districts in the Longfellow/Nokomis area. Most will be serving two-year terms that end in December 2024. For the 48th & Chicago Special Service District Advisory Board, the appointees are Joyce Tesarek, Harvey McLain, and Bob Gustafson. For the Bloomington-Lake Special Service District, they are Stacey Geniz and Julie Ingebretsen. For the Chicago-Lake Special Service District Board, they are Sharrie Gronewold, Julian Ocampo, and Earlsworth Baba Letang. For the East Lake Street Special Service District, they are Nancy Ford, Alan Puder, Trentt Cramer and Daniel Kennedy.

City Great Street Grants awarded
The annual 2023 business district support grants have been awarded and 23 local business associations, community development corporations, neighborhood groups, and other not-for-profit organizations working on commercial district health will receive $671,275. Notable awardees for the Nokomis/Longfellow area include the Lake Street Council for $75,000 for a marketing campaign and promoting Lake Street art; the Midtown Greenway Coalition for $12,000 to support bike and walk ambassadors; Our Streets Minneapolis for $36,000 for open street events; Corcoran Neighborhood Organization for the Midtown Farmers Market for $31,000; the Latino Economic Development Center for $34,500 for a Taco Tour and marketing; the Longfellow Business Association for $17,900 for marketing and events; Pillsbury House and Theatre for $21,500 for a community event; and Seward Civic & Commerce Association for $10,500 for engagement and marketing.

New City Health Commissioner nominated
There was a public hearing on Feb. 15, 2023, to consider the mayor's nomination of Damon Chaplin to be the next Minneapolis Commissioner of Health. According to the mayor’s nomination letter to the council, “Mr. Chaplin brings decades of proven public health leadership and expertise to the table. As the current Director for the New Bedford, Mass. Health Department and a Board Member with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), Mr. Chaplin has driven positive change in community health and health equity in historically vulnerable populations.” The full council was expected to vote on the nomination on Feb. 23.

Solar energy on Lake St.
The Lake Street Council has been selected to join the U.S. Energy Department’s Solar Energy Innovation Network that is designed to bring resources to help businesses increase the use of solar energy, reduce inequities in solar adoption and make increase businesses more resilient. The council will be working with the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, as well as the Great Plains Institute, Neighborhood Development Center, Northside Energy Opportunity Network, Weber Consulting, and Xcel Energy. This is one of eight projects nationwide recently selected to join the network.

City tree sale lottery
People interested purchasing a tree through the 2023 Minneapolis Tree Sale need to enter the lottery by registering online between Feb. 1 and March 31. People will be notified on April 5 if they have been selected to participate in the tree sale. Landlords are asked to submit a new form for each property address.

~ Briefs compiled by Cam Gordon


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