Neighbors get to voice NRP opinions tomorrow night

Public comment will be taken tomorrow night on the future of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP). Citizens are invited to speak at a 5 p.m. meeting of the city’s NRP Work Group.

The group recently unveiled its “Framework for the Future” proposal,” which calls for the creation of a new city department and citizen advisory board.

Some of the ideas currently used in NRP are included in future plans; however, the structure would change. For example, a Neighborhood Community Advisory Board would largely replace the 17-member NRP Policy Board. And the report called for the creation of a Neighborhood and Community Relations Department, which would effectively serve as a centralized office between neighborhoods and other city departments.

NRP is currently funded through 2009. Because of action taken this year by the state Legislature, tax districts that fund the current form of NRP have been tweaked, and millions in state and county taxes no longer will subsidize the program after 2009. However, the Legislature did OK the use of money collected annually from new tax districts to fund neighborhoods, along with paying down $100 million in debt remaining on the Target Center.

Mayor R.T. Rybak last week recommended dedicating $80 million over 10 years to neighborhoods.

The City Council adopted the Work Group’s proposal on Aug. 8, but it won’t act on many of the recommendations until it hears from the public tomorrow night. The meeting will be held in Council Chambers, Room 317 of City Hall.

People who can’t attend can e-mail comments by Sept. 11 to Committee Clerk Anissa Hollingshead, [email protected], or send a letter to Council Committee Clerk, 350 S. 5th St., Room 304, Minneapolis, MN 55415.