City Briefs - January 2024

Lighting on river parkway
Park Board Commissioner Becky Alper announced that she is working to amend the park’s state legislative agenda to advocate for statewide solutions to the copper wire theft from the streetlights on West River Parkway, and elsewhere in Minneapolis. City staff reported that multiple miles of wire have been stolen and re-stolen making the lights inoperable and that they hope to make repairs before the ground freezes. 
NRP Policy Board ordinance
The city council has approved the ordinance amendments to the make-up and election of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) police board. This will add more neighborhood representatives to the board and require them to be elected at the community connections conference by delegates chosen by neighborhood organizations. Before the amendments were passed, the council added a provision to allow absentee voting within the election process. 
County advisors needed
The Hennepin County Board is recruiting people to fill 30 openings on 11 different advisory boards, commissions, councils, and special task forces. The deadline to apply is Dec. 29 for the appointments that will be made early next year for positions on the Adult Mental Health Local Advisory Council, Community Action Partnership, Capital Budgeting Task Force, County Extension U of M, Human Resources Board, Library Board, Mental Commitment Attorney Panel, Racial Equity Advisory Council, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Board, Lower MN River Watershed District Board and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board. To learn more and apply, visit 
City budget approved
The city council adopted a $1.8 billion 2024 budget on Dec. 5 after holding 3 public hearings and making nearly 50 amendments that reallocated over $30 million. Amendments included those that will increase domestic violence response resources, add funds for traffic calming projects, enhance services for immigrants, refugees, and seniors, fund open streets events, improve opioid recovery and harm reduction services, staff a new legislative department, provide renter relocation assistance,  coordinate social services for those with unstable housing, expand the developers technical assistance program, and pay for labor standards co-enforcement programs.  New programs created through the amendments include a Lake St. safety ambassador program, a sidewalk snow removal pilot, $4 million for new unarmed safety services at 2633 Minnehaha Ave., and $500,000 for a Lake St. community safety center. 
Cheatham apartments
The city has authorized a loan of up to $1,000,000 from its affordable housing trust fund for the Cheatham Apartments, to be built at 3716 Cheatham Ave. in the Howe neighborhood. The money will be used to construct a 98-unit apartment building with some commercial space. Of those, 32 units will be set aside for people using rental assistance and 20 units restricted for those who have been without housing. The project is in the early stages of securing financing. 
City Operations Officer
In December the council approved the mayor's nomination of Margaret Anderson Kelliher to the position of City Operations Officer (City Coordinator) for a term ending January 2026. She will be leaving her position as the director of the public works department. The operations officer/coordinator oversees several departments including finance, human resources, intergovernmental relations, communications, neighborhood and community engagement, community planning and economic development, regulatory services, health, civil rights, and public works. 
CPED Director
The city council has approved Erik Hansen as the director of the Community Planning & Economic Development department for a term ending January 2026. He had been serving as interim director since June and has worked for the city for over 15 years.  


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