River Dam review
The Army Corps of Engineers is considering future options, including removal, for the dams at Lower St. Anthony Falls and Lock and Dam 1 (the “Ford Dam”). They have released a study, hosted meetings and are taking comments until Nov 25. More information https://www.mvp.usace.army.mil/MplsLocksDisposition/. Comments can be sent to: District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, ATTN: Regional Planning and Environment Division North, 332 Minnesota St., Suite E1500, St. Paul, MN 55101 or MplsLocksDisposition@usace.army.mil. You can also comment online and sign up for updates from the Friends of the Mississippi on their website or by contacting Maddie Miller at email@example.com.
County tax levy
After Hennepin County staff recommended a 3.5% property tax levy increase for 2023, the county board is considering adding 1%, or $9 million more. This follows a 0% property tax levy increase for 2022. Commissioner Irene Fernando said that the county needs a larger reserve as the federal funding from pandemic relief is spent. In October, the board supported Fernando's proposed 4.5% increase by a 5-2 vote, though it must still vote on final approval on Dec. 15.
Park board budget
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) Superintendent Al Bangoura presented his recommended 2023 budget to the Park Board on Oct. 12. The Park Board had requested a tax levy increase of 6.16%, but the Board of Estimate and Taxation only approved a 5.4% increase, setting the maximum at $78,456,285. The increase will be used primarily to support the board’s commitment to increase youth investment and to offset the State of Minnesota Local Government Aid (LGA) funding decrease. Find the proposed budget at http://www.minneapolisparks.org/budget. Public comment opportunities scheduled Oct. 26, Nov. 2, 15, 30 and Dec. 6.
Tree care at Lake Nokomis
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has announced plans to remove dead trees near Lake Nokomis this fall and winter. Trees identified for removal were specifically identified by Forestry staff as unsafe. Some of the felled logs will be placed along the shoreline to improve wildlife habitat and reduce erosion. To learn more about this project and others, visit www.minneapolisparks.org/planning
Xcel’s proposed rate increase
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has set public hearings on Xcel Energy’s request to increase electricity costs for all its Minnesota customers. On average, the proposed rate change would increase the electricity bill for a typical residential electric customer by $18.56 per month. The increase must first be approved by the commission who has set hearings for 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31 online and 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2. People can also submit written comments without attending public hearings through Jan. 6, 2023. Contact Jorge Alonso at 651-201-2258 or Jorge.firstname.lastname@example.org or Ben Gustafson at 651- 201-2247 or email@example.com for more information.
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