Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association (MHNA)

May 15 meeting

NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION PROGRAM (NRP) FUNDING UPDATE: According to the most recent revenue projections from the City of Minneapolis, the total NRP budget through 2009 is $66 million. NRP anticipated a shortfall and agreed to a 30 percent hold-back of Phase II money. Even with the adjustment, the new projections will translate to a roughly $6.5 million shortfall. NRP Director Bob Miller thinks there are three solutions to the under-funding: stop funding new plans submitted by neighborhoods; recalculate allocations to neighborhoods based on the reduced budget; or look for funding from another source.

Miller said he refuses to consider the first option. “I don’t think that this is the time to back away from supporting neighborhoods,” he told the board. He believes there is money in the city that would fully fund NRP without the need for new taxes.

Marcy-Holmes was to have received $683,000 for Phase II of its NRP plan. At 70 percent funding, it would get $460,000. Under the latest projections, Marcy-Holmes would only receive $260,000. Miller urged the board to use its remaining funds for home purchase and improvement loans because they are the only way a neighborhood can generate substantial revenue. A new city ordinance allows a neighborhood to keep any funds it generates with NRP activities.

“Residents have the power to decide the fate of NRP,” said Miller. He told the board to call their City Council members and tell them what MHNA has accomplished with NRP funds. “Remind them that this is an investment program, not an entitlement program,” he said. “Tell the city that you have done what was expected of you, created detailed plans, worked within your budget, and never asked for more money. Now you expect the city to live up to the commitment it made to the neighborhoods in the 1990s.”

In light of Miller?s information, the board tabled discussion on four proposed NRP allocations totaling $30,175.

BLARNEY’S PUB: The board sent a letter to Blarney’s Pub supporting the bar’s efforts to move forward after its censure for under-aged drinking last year.

T MOBILE ANTENNAS CHALLENGED: The May 15 meeting of the Heritage Preservation Committee (HPC) addressed residents’ concerns about the T Mobile antennas on the roof of 414 Seventh Ave. SE. The building is located in the Fifth Street Historic District, and T Mobile installed the equipment without neighborhood notice or HPC approval. HPC ruled that the antennas must be moved to the lower of the two buildings and that the equipment must be surrounded by brick to make it less obtrusive. Both T Mobile and the neighborhood can appeal the decision.

LAND USE COMMITTEE ACTIONS: The board approved the University Avenue Streetscape Improvement Plan from the University of Minnesota with the following conditions: no assessments would be made on non-University properties; the University plan would be consistent with Marcy-Holmes’s long range plan; and the University would use mature trees when planting.

The board agreed to send a letter to Steve Minn of Lupe Development thanking him for his recent presentation to the Land Use Committee on the proposed Phase II development of the Flour Sack Flats at 520 Second St. SE. The letter will also ask him to return with more information since the project has changed so dramatically since his firm originally presented their plans.

The owners of the Star Machinery building at 201 Sixth Street SE are seeking a parking variance to reduce their required spaces from 41 to 27. The businesses in the building use fewer than the requested 27 spaces, but the owners are asking for 27 to meet minimum city requirements. The board agreed to support the variance with a vote of four to three. Those board members in favor supported the owner’s reuse of a historic building and agreed that the variance would cause no hardship to the neighborhood’s current parking situation.

NEXT: Board meeting, June 19, 2007
MEETINGS: 3rd Tuesday monthly, 6 p.m. at University Lutheran Church of Hope, 601 13th Avenue SE
CONTACT: 623-7633,
BORDERS: Central Ave. to 15th Ave. SE, 9th St. SE to Main St. SE

last revised: May 18, 2007