Metro Cities News 09/17/21


In This Issue: 


September Policy Committees Meet Next Week

Next week marks the third and final round of Metro Cities’ 2021 legislative policy committees. Please note, if you serve on the Municipal Revenues Committee, that this committee completed its work in August and will not meet in September. Please see Metro Cities’ website for committee schedules. The Transportation & General Government, Metropolitan Agencies and Housing and Economic Development Committees will all host speakers next week. We welcome and appreciate the continued work by many city representatives to develop the slate of 2022 legislative policies! Contact Jennifer Dorn at [email protected] for additional information.


State Creates New Governor’s Council on Economic Expansion

Governor Tim Walz this week announced the creation of a group that will focus on economic growth in Minnesota. The Governor’s Council on Economic Expansion is made up of 15 labor, business, philanthropic, and nonprofit officials from across the state who will provide recommendations on expanding Minnesota’s economy. The council will be co-chaired by Jeff Ettinger, a former Hormel CEO, and Paul Williams, CEO and President of Project for Pride in Living.

The Council has two charges, per the governor’s announcement: to identify immediate actions, potential policy changes, and recommendations to leverage remaining American Rescue Plan funding to advance equitable economic growth and developing a long-term roadmap to achieve a more equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and resilient Minnesota through public, private, and nonprofit systemic change. It is possible the Council could make recommendations in advance of the 2022 session.

The following members were appointed to the Council. Terms expire on July 1, 2022.

Jeff Ettinger, Former Chairman of the Board and CEO, Hormel Foods (Co-Chair) 
Paul Williams, President and CEO, Project for Pride in Living (Co-Chair) 
Scott Burns, CEO and Co-Founder, Structural
Brett Carter, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer and Innovation Officer, Xcel Energy
Joe Fowler, President, Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council
Jodi Hubler, Vice Chair, Medical Alley Board of Directors
Brenda Hilbrich, Executive Vice President, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota
Neel Kashkari, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
Marcus Owens, Executive Director, African American Leadership Forum
Tuleah Palmer, President and CEO, Blandin Foundation
Joo Hee Pomplun, Executive Director, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability
Nonoko Sato, Executive Director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
Traci Tapani, Co-President, Wyoming Machine
Bharti Wahi, Executive Director, Children’s Defense Fund - Minnesota
Penny Wheeler, CEO, Allina Health

The Council has weekly meetings scheduled through early November. Metro Cities will monitor meetings and provide any public comment consistent with its policies. Contact Charlie Vander Aarde at 651-215-4001 or [email protected] with any questions.


The Metropolitan Council’s Environment Committee this week heard updates about the work of the Metropolitan Area Water Supply Advisory Committee (MAWSAC) and its Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). In 2021, the MAWSAC has taken up the topics of contamination and water quality, the intersection of land use and water supply, and the interaction between groundwater and surface water. The MAWSAC plans to take up the subject of infrastructure sustainability later this fall. The MAWSAC will develop draft recommendations for their report to the Metropolitan Council in early 2022.

Click HERE to view the MAWSAC/TAC presentation and draft recommendations so far. Strategies for addressing issues are described and are categorized under financial support, outreach and engagement, research, regulatory approaches, and regional policy and planning. Click HERE to view the recording of this meeting.

Contact Mike Lund at [email protected] or 651-215-4003 with any questions.


Public Comment for Regional Solicitation Application Opens

The Metropolitan Council has opened the Regional Solicitation application for public comment following approval by the Transportation Advisory Board this week. The comment period will run from September 16 through Monday, October 18. Through the regional solicitation, the Metropolitan Council selects locally initiated projects for federal funding. These funds are available for roadway, bridge, transit, and bike and pedestrian projects. The application includes several specific project categories within these broad modal categories. The funding for the regional solicitation comes from the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program, the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Program, and Highway Safety Improvement Program.

Click HERE to view the Metropolitan Council’s web page for the regional solicitation where major changes for the 2022 funding cycle are listed. These include the new application category created for unique projects, an updated pedestrian safety measure, and other changes based on stakeholder feedback. Click HERE to submit your comments on the draft application and instructions for the regional solicitation. Applications for funding will open in February.

Contact Mike Lund at [email protected] or 651-215-4003 with any questions.


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