Kim Eslinger

David Tinjum

Rachel Kahn

Mill City Times is a not-for-profit community service.  We do not sell advertising on this site.

Cultural Cornerstones
Search Mill City
Recent News

Minneapolis Riverfront News

Covering life, work, and play in the Historic Mill District and Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront neighborhoods. Have local news or events to share?  Contact us.

Gold Medal Park to Be Preserved for 50 Years

Letter to the Editor - Together We Can Stop Crown Hydro

Opinion: Water Works Design Threatens Historic Riverfront

Crown Hydro Action Alert: Submit Your Comments to the Feds


Mayor Hodges on Her Proposed 2015 Budget

Minneapolis City of Lakes

Via an August 19, 2014, e-newsletter from Mayor Betsy Hodges:

Dear Friend,

As Joe Biden once said, "Don't tell me what you value; show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value."

I laid out my values – and my proposed 2015 budget – last Thursday at City Hall in my first budget address.

In coming weeks, I’ll be sharing more details about my proposed budget, what’s in it for residents, and how you can share your feedback. But today, I wanted to give you just a quick overview.

I offer a budget that has been deliberately crafted with intention, focusing on the three themes of the work that you elected me to do: Running the city well. Growth. Equity.


Last fall, more than anything, we voted for a city focused on eliminating the gaps that divide us by race. A study this year shows that unless we eliminate these gaps, we in this region will short ourselves $32 billion in personal income by 2040. There is something in it for each and every one of us when each and every one of us has unfettered opportunities to thrive.

While we are entering a period of growth, people of color are not sharing equally in it. For Minneapolis to maximize our growth potential, both short-term and long-term, we must make certain everyone can benefit from and contribute to our growth.

For these reasons, I have proposed a number of new investments in equity in my budget, including:
   • More City dollars for affordable housing, and a new initiative to promote home ownership in communities of color, in order to rebuild wealth in our neighborhoods that were hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis.
   • Additional support for helping entrepreneurs and small-business owners of color in growing jobs and wealth.
   • Support for youth-violence prevention, and extending the effective work of downtown youth-outreach workers.
   • For the first time ever, adding resources to develop the City's own equity work, in order to ensure the most equitable outcomes for residents and our employees.


When we voted last fall, we voted to make crucial steps forward like these for the health and vitality of our entire city. We voted for equity, knowing that growth is required to meet those goals and for all our city’s goals.

As a result, when we voted, we voted for growth.

Growth in cities is quickly becoming the status quo rather than a new trend, and Minneapolis is leading this trend. When we are intentional and deliberate, our investments in growth can both help accelerate our pace of growth and help increase our quality of life that more people are sharing in.

Some of the ways that my budget helps grow Minneapolis are:
   • Fully funding the investment in the redesign of Nicollet Mall. Governor Dayton, the Legislature, and the downtown business community have already invested, and now we are adding our share to this long-term investment in our economic vitality.
   • The first investments in a network of protected bike lanes, many of which will be in diverse and low-income neighborhoods in Minneapolis.
   • A new transportation-planning division that will allow us to keep ahead of future projects.

Finally, my budget invests in the redevelopment of the Upper Harbor Terminal in North Minneapolis. Now that the lock and dam will soon be closed for good, we have an opportunity to map out a future where North Minneapolis finally has its own valuable riverfront amenities.

Running the city well

Unless we do the basics well - plow the streets, keep them safe, and care for our environment - we will not reach our vision for growth or equity. In this budget, I propose we continue to invest deply in these essential functions. My proposed budget supports:
   • Ten more police officers, for an authorized strength of 860 sworn officers. It also supports more classes of community service officers, which boost the diversity of our police force, and an additional police cadet class for 2015.
   • The implementation of body cameras for officers, which protects officers from frivolous claims and provide more transparency for residents in their interactions with officers. A pilot program is ready to being this fall, with full implementation next year.
   • Two recruit classes in the Fire Department, and the department's Explorer program, which recruits Minneapolis high school students into careers in firefighting and emergency response.
   • More 911 operators.
   • A comprehensive pedestrian-safety initiative.

Finally, in my budget, I propose implementing curbside organics recycling in every Minneapolis neighborhood in 2015. It's been a popular and successful pilot project in a few neighborhoods, and it's time for the whole city to reap the benefit.


We are grateful to be coming out of the recession, but we are still dealing with the aftermath of the economic crisis, not to mention a decade of State cuts to Minneapolis that were stabilized only last year by Governor Dayton and the majorities in the Legislature.

For a decade, in order to make up for cuts, recessions, and other issues like debt and pensions, we had to raise property taxes above inflation, while making significant cuts to key services. For years, residents paid more and more, and received less.

More recently, we were able to cut the property-tax levy last year, and hold it at zero or below inflation for the two years before that. It was the right thing to do. But when we don’t account for inflation, holding the levy flat means a cut to public safety and the services that our residents count on.

And while Minneapolis is growing, growth in the property-tax base does not automatically mean growth in the City's coffers.

We must catch up with inflation if we wish to keep our basic services – already cut to the bone – functioning. To do that requires increasing the amount of money that we raise in property taxes in order to meet this year’s inflation factor – and do some catching up to years past, to make the investments that the voters asked us to make. For these reasons, I am proposing a 2.4% levy increase for 2015.

Over half of this proposed increase is simply to account for inflation and natural rises in the cost of maintaining just our current services. And much of the rest of it helps pay for our increased investments in public safety and running the city well.

Even with this modest, largely inflationary increase in the property-tax levy, half of Minneapolis’ residential properties will see no increase, or will even see a decrease, in the City portion of their property taxes.
 When we voted last fall we knew it would take all of us putting our shoulder to the wheel to get where we want to go together. We knew that all of us do better when we all do better. That’s what this budget does – intentionally and deliberately moves us forward together to our best future through investment in ourselves. When we voted last fall we knew it would take investment in our people, our infrastructure, and our future to get where we choose to go together.

It starts now.

Mayor Betsy Hodges
City of Minneapolis

P.S.: To learn more about how I’m working to address the issues affecting our city, sign up for my e-mail update, or check out my website.


Registration is Open for the September 14 Minneapolis Bike Tour

The 2014 Minneapolis Bike Tour will start and finish on Boom Island on Sunday, September 14.

The recreational bike tour for all ages and abilities spans the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway System. Proceeds from the Minneapolis Bike Tour will benefit bike safety and education events for Minneapolis youth as well as bike trail improvement projects throughout the system.

There will be three routes to participate in, 16-mile, 25-mile and 32-mile, and they are closed to motorized traffic. All routes include stops with refreshments and bike mechanics. Stick around after the ride to enjoy LIVE music, beer available to participants 21+ (must show ID), food from local vendors, exhibitor booths and Bike Tour merchandise for sale!


Saturday, September 13, 2014
◾Time: 8:30am - noon

Sunday, September 14, 2014
◾Time: 6:30 - 8am

Registration Fee
◾Adult (Ages 18+): $40.00
◾Youth (Ages 6-17): $15.00
◾Child (Ages 0-5): $0.00

*All riders must be on the course by 8 a.m.

Bike Tour Volunteers!

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the Minneapolis Bike Tour. With your help, participants will have a safe, fun and beautiful ride through Minneapolis.

More than 150 volunteers are needed to make the Bike Tour safe and successful. Volunteers of all ages are welcome and opportunities are available for individuals or groups.

Choose from water stop support, participant registration, bike marshaling and much more.

Learn More About Bike Tour Volunteer Opportunities:

Email: Scott Krueger,
Phone: 612-230-6497


Mississippi River Critical Area Rulemaking Comment Deadline Extended to September 30

On June 2, the DNR issued a request for comments (RFC) on the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA) working draft rules. The RFC stated that the DNR would accept comments through August 15, 2014. The RFC marks the start of an informal comment period, prior to the formal rulemaking process. Due to requests for additional time to comment, the DNR will continue to accept comments through September 30, 2014. Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments by August 15 or as soon as possible. DNR staff will begin revising the draft rules in mid-August. Comments received earlier will be more helpful in developing revisions and in identifying affected parties for additional advice or consultation. The comment period is intended to gather feedback on the draft rules before they are revised and proposed for formal rule adoption, anticipated this fall/winter. More information is available on the DNR’s project website at Comments may be e-mailed to, or mailed to Daniel Petrik, MRCCA Rulemaking Project, Minnesota DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4025.


Wednesday Night - MPRB to hold Public Hearing on MP Schmidt Operations Center

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) will hold a public hearing regarding the proposed renovation of the Michael P. Schmidt Operations Center, located at 1720 Marshall St. NE. The hearing will take place at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, August 20, in the Board Room at MPRB Headquarters at 2117 West River Road North. Those interested in providing comment at the hearing must sign up to speak by 6:25 pm the day of the hearing.  If you require language translation or other accommodations, please contact 612-230-6472 at least 2 business days in advance of the public hearing.


The operations center, acquired in 2012, includes an existing industrial building which is planned for park operations use. In addition, public pedestrian river access with a path and overlook are planned. The entire site is planned for future inclusion in the larger Above the Falls Regional Park Master Plan. If the improvement plan is approved during the Aug. 20th, 2014 hearing, it will go before the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board for final approval on Sept. 3rd.


Further information regarding the project may be found on the project page on MPRB’s website. The project manager is Dana Murdoch, who may be reached at or (612) 230-6446



Superior Plating Site Public Meeting August 26

The Nicollet Island-East Bank Neighborhood Association (NIEBNA) is pleased to announce a Superior Plating Site Public Information Meeting. It will be spearheaded by City Council Member Jacob Frey and NIEBNA.
Participating and facilitating will be CM Jacob Frey, NIEBNA President Victor Grambsch, along with Gerald Stahnke from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Senator Kari Dzeidzic,  Representative Phyllis Kahn, and an official from the Minnesota Department of Health. Representatives of the surrounding Neighborhood Associations will also be present.
The meeting will be in the Lourdes Church Great Room on Tuesday August 26, at 5:30 P.M.


Tickets Now on Sale for The Soap Factory's Unhinged in the Haunted Basement

Unhinged, this years Haunted Basement in The Soap Factory, is an all-new adventure in terror.  It runs September 27 – November 2, and tickets are on sale now.

Directed by Noah Bremer, Unhinged takes The Haunted Basement to a new level by blending the physical performance style of Live Action Set with vivid blood effects by RawRedMeat Productions. Unhinged presents a terrifying world where each patron chooses his or her own fate. Explore sprawling, surreal environments and find surprises lurking behind each turn.