From the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board:
Superintendent Al Bangoura’s Recommended 2022 Budget for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) addresses the ongoing challenges caused by COVID-19, protects park assets, including physical infrastructure and park amenities, and includes a historic investment in the MPRB’s most important priority: the youth of the city.
The Board of Commissioners provided clear direction that closing the gap for youth investment with on-going sustainable funding through the property tax levy was its foremost priority for 2022. This is the fourth year the MPRB has been working toward increasing funding for youth in Minneapolis. This year, through ongoing conversations with Commissioners, Mayor Frey, City council members, and Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET) members, Superintendent Al Bangoura reached a historic agreement to increase youth investments by $2.6 million through a combination of gradual increases in property taxes and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding allocations. In 2022, this investment in youth is provided through a $1.3 million increase in the MPRB property tax levy and a commitment from the Mayor to allocate $1.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to the MPRB in 2022. The Mayor also provided for an ongoing commitment of gradual annual increases ($260,000) to the MPRB property tax levy from 2023 through 2027 to meet the full $2.6 million in youth investment requested by the Board as well as an ongoing commitment of ARPA funding for 2023 and 2024 ($1,092,000 and $875,400, respectively).
“There has been an unprecedented uptick in youth violence. Our youth are in crisis and the time to act is now,” said Superintendent Bangoura. “Since beginning my work as Superintendent in 2019, this has been my priority and I have ensured that we have responded to every request asked of us. We completed the research, identified the need, demonstrated our commitment, collaborated with partners, streamlined and restructured to reduce overhead, and piloted programs to show what was possible. I am grateful that we are able to advance this work forward and thank all staff and elected officials who were integral in making this happen.”
According to Bangoura, the need for youth investments is outlined in the MPRB’s 2019 Closing the Gap: Investing in Youth report.
Bangoura also noted that parks are vital to the community and that both 2020 and 2021 required responsiveness and testing of new ways of serving the public. His proposed 2022 budget builds on this work, supports innovation, and addresses new pressures.
Public comment opportunities are scheduled Nov. 3, 17 and Dec. 1, 8.
The proposed budget and related documents are available for viewing at www.minneapolisparks.org/budget. The public may comment on the proposed budget during the times listed below. To minimize the risk of exposure to or potential spread of COVID-19, the MPRB has added options for comments to be submitted for its public meetings and hearings. See www.minneapolisparks.org/board_meetings for details.
Nov. 3, Public Comment Session – Administration and Finance Committee meeting, held virtually. The Committee meeting will follow the Board’s regular meeting, which begins at 5 pm. Comments may be made during the Budget Comment period scheduled for 6 pm.
Nov. 17, Public Comment Session – Regular Board meeting, MPRB Headquarters, 2117 West River Road, Minneapolis, which starts at 5 pm. Comments may be made virtually during the Budget Comment period scheduled for 6 pm.
Dec. 1, Administration & Finance Committee Approval of 2020 Budget – MPRB Headquarters, 2117 West River Road, Minneapolis. Comments may be made virtually during 5:30 pm regularly scheduled Open Time session.
Dec. 8, Public Hearing and Board Approval of 2020 Budget – City of Minneapolis public hearing on 2022 tax levy and 2022 Budget, City Hall, Council Chambers Room 317, 350 South 5th Street, Minneapolis. Comments may be made virtually during the 6:05 pm public hearing.