Civic Beat // Charter Commission approves new ward boundaries

 

 

The Minneapolis Charter Commission approved new district boundaries for the Minneapolis City Council and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on March 26. 

Here’s what it means for Southwest:

• Ward 13 will consist of the neighborhoods of West Calhoun, Linden Hills, Fulton, Armatage, Kenny, Lynnhurst and the southern half of East Harriet. 

• Ward 10 will consist of the north half of East Harriet, ECCO, CARAG, Lowry Hill East and Whittier. 

• Ward 7 is made up of Cedar-Isles-Dean, East Isles, Kenwood, Lowry Hill, Bryn-Mawr, Loring Park, half of Downtown West and half of Stevens Square. The other half of Stevens Square will fall into Ward 6, which consumes most of the neighborhoods just southeast of Downtown. 

• Kingfield and Lyndale will be included in Ward 8, which is made up of several neighborhoods to the east of 35W. 

• Tangletown and Windom wound up in Ward 11, which stretches east to Lake Nokomis. 

The new maps did not place any two City Council incumbents into the same district. 

To view the new maps, including new Park Board boundaries, visit 

www.minneapolismn.gov/redistricting2012/. 

Mild winter means 

fewer potholes 

Car suspensions and bike rims are having an easier go of it this spring, as motorists and cyclists are finding city streets to be in much better condition compared to last year. 

Last year, from Feb. 6 to March 12, the city’s 311 service received 917 reports of potholes, according to Matt Laible of the city’s Communications Department. This year, the city has taken only 80 calls of that nature during the same time period. 

Ethan Fawley has noticed. He’s the president of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition and bikes frequently south of Downtown. He’s noticed that, in particular, 26th and 28th streets, which have notoriously bad pavement, have been in better shape this year. 

The city attributes the better pavements to two factors: A mild winter with fewer freezes and thaws that cause potholes as well as added investments in street maintenance. Last year, the city had to double its pothole budget from $1 million to $2 million. 

“It’s encouraging that the city is making those investments, and we’ve had a lucky winter here,” Fawley said. 

Hornstein wins endorsement for 

House seat

After a state redistricting panel placed current state representatives Frank Hornstein and Marion Greene into the same district for the Minnesota House, local DFLers met on March 24 to decide which candidate to endorse. 

Frank Hornstein won the endorsement after the third ballot. His endorsement comes in what is now called House District 61A. 

Attendees also endorsed Scott Dibble for Senate District 61 and Paul Thissen for House District 61B. They did not have opponents. 

Stadium has city 

staff’s attention

As of mid-February, city of Minneapolis employees had spent nearly 1,400 hours working on a plan to build a new Minnesota Vikings stadium in the city. 

Those numbers were made public after the city’s Community Development Committee requested a breakdown of the hours each staff member is spending on stadium-related issues between Jan. 1, 2011 through Feb. 15, 2012. 

The stadium bill before the Minnesota Legislature, according to interim Community Planning and Economic Development Director Chuck Lutz, would reimburse the city $200,000 for staff time, if the bill passes.

Lutz has spent 700 hours on the project. The city’s chief financial officer, Kevin Carpenter, has spent 300 hours and Convention Center Executive Director Jeff Johnson has spent 200 hours. A few others have worked on the project for less than 100 hours each. 

Reach Nick Halter at nhalter@mnpubs.com.