The NRP's future got brighter on August 22 when the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor R.T. Rybak revised the city's NRP ordinance
in a way that secures a base funding source for Phase II (2001-2009) of the internationally recognized program.
Created in 1990 by city officials and community leaders as a response to growing concerns about the declining condition of Minneapolis neighborhoods, the NRP was originally a 20-year, $20 million per year investment program to revitalize the neighborhoods of the city. Legislative reform of the tax system in 2001, however, dramatically reduced the funding source that has historically supported the NRP. This year's reductions in the state's Local Government Aid (LGA) to Minneapolis further strained the city's financial situation and placed even greater doubt on the NRP's future.
Efforts to revise the NRP ordinance
began in March 2003 when 13th Ward Council Member Barret Lane began seeking ways to resolve the issue of NRP Phase II funding. Council Member Lane was one of the chief authors of the revised NRP ordinance that was ultimately adopted by the City Council and signed by Mayor R.T. Rybak.
Five NRP-sponsored community meetings, a joint public hearing held by the Minneapolis City Council's Community Development and Ways & Means/Budget Committees as well as ongoing Council discussions were all instrumental in crafting the final version of the NRP ordinance
Key components of the revised ordinance include:
- Establishing the Common Project as a source of funding for the NRP. In June, City Finance Officer Patrick Born projected that $58 million in Common Project revenues would be available to the NRP through 2009.
- Maintaining historical uses of NRP funds so that expenditures can continue to be directed by the priorities established in Neighborhood Action Plans.
- Requiring that housing expenditures made through the NRP are measured annually to assure that the program will comply with the state mandated 52.5 percent expenditure for housing programs and housing-related purposes.
- Limiting annual expenditures for combined central administration and neighborhood-level administration at 20 percent of program expenditures.
The revised NRP ordinance
will dramatically impact Minneapolis neighborhood organizations in that the amount of money available to neighborhoods is significantly less than the $180 million originally anticipated for Phase II. Of the $89 million for Phase II ($31 million provided in 2001 and 2002 and $58 million projected for 2003-2009), $21 million are already committed to the Affordable Housing Reserve Fund ($16 million)
, the Commercial Corridor Reserve Fund ($4 million)
and the NRP Community Policing Initiative ($1 million)
In addition, a higher percentage of neighborhood Phase II allocations will be required to be invested in housing programs and housing-related purposes. The NRP is currently re-examining the already calculated Phase II allocations and will notify neighborhood organizations about the proposed revised Phase II allocations in the coming months. Neighborhood organizations should continue working on their Phase I reviews and on developing their Phase II plans, and should pay special attention to housing expenditures.
If you would like more information on the process that was used to achieve this modified ordinance including key documents, you may want to visit Council Member Lane's Ward 13 Web page
Download the Revised NRP ordinance
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