Metro Cities News 11/19/21


In This Issue:


Metro Cities Policy Adoption Meeting is December 9 – Plan to Attend!

Metro Cities’ 2022 legislative policies will receive final adoption by the association’s members at the Policy Adoption Meeting on Thursday, December 9th at 12 noon. The adoption of policies will be followed by a speaker from the State Demographer’s office on trends and highlights from the 2020 Census. The meeting will be held virtually and should last approximately one hour. Draft legislative policies can be viewed HERE. A quorum of members is required to adopt policies.


TAB Allocates $20 Million to Cities and Counties

The Transportation Advisory Board voted to allocate $20 million in Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act (CRRSAA) funds via the state-aid formula, providing eligible cities and counties with direct payments to put toward local transportation projects. Last month, the TAC and TAB discussed three approved uses for these funds identified by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Click HERE to view the memo from MnDOT which includes funding estimates for eligible counties and cities. Members of the TAB concurred with the TAC’s recommendation to use this money for transportation revenue losses (Option 1) because it most closely meets the goals of CRRSAA as a pandemic relief package and it gets funds out to local governments quickly and efficiently.

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


2022 Regional Solicitation Application Approved for Release

The TAB officially accepted the public comments on the 2022 Regional Solicitation Application and approved its release. Most comments related to modal funding ranges, with many calling for investment to be shifted away from roadway expansion to transit, bicycle, and pedestrian projects. These investment priorities have been the topic of much debate throughout the 2022 solicitation development process. Other themes found in the comments included calls for more investment in safety and asking for a simpler solicitation process. Click HERE to view the Public Comment Report.
There are several changes of note for the 2022 funding cycle. These include:

  • A new Unique Projects application category to support innovative projects that reduce environmental impacts, improve racial equity, and support multimodal communities.
  • Updated pedestrian safety measure.
  • Increased number of points allocated to safety in the Roadway Spot Mobility and Safety application.
  • Updated Equity and Affordable Housing criterion based on stakeholder feedback.
  • The inclusion of purpose statements for each application type.
  • The inclusion of common crash modification factors listed under Application Resources.

The application will open for local governments to apply in February of 2022. Click HERE to view the 2022 Regional Solicitation Application.

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


Shared Mobility Collaborative Quarterly Convening

The Twin Cities Shared Mobility Collaborative is hosting its next convening on Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 8:30 AM. The topic for this convening is electrification in the right-of-way. Click HERE to view the event web page. Speakers from the City of Minneapolis, City of St. Paul, Metropolitan Council, and Xcel Energy will discuss current electrification efforts and barriers to installing charging infrastructure in the public right-of-way. Associated topics include the difference between public right-of-way charging and private infrastructure, access and equity considerations, branding and partnerships, and maintaining infrastructure in winter weather conditions. This event is free and will be held virtually via Zoom. Click HERE to register and contact Mike Lund at [email protected] or 651-215-4003 with any questions.


Governor’s Council on Economic Expansion Releases Final Recommendations

The Governor Walz-created Council on Economic Expansion concluded its first round of work this week when it issued a final version of recommendations. As Metro Cities has reported, the Council was created this fall to make recommendations on using one-time federal dollars, commit to equitable outcomes for Minnesotans facing systemic barriers, and invest in innovation.

The Council named five priorities that will impact Minnesota’s long-term economy: produce new affordable housing; workforce skilling, reskilling and upskilling through industry partnerships; create a BIPOC small business ecosystem investment package; ensure broadband access throughout Minnesota; and investments in opportunity youth workforce.

The Council’s recommendations are focused around eight themes. They are: housing, workforce, entrepreneurship and small business, child care, infrastructure and technology, health care, youth engagement and youth employment, and community. The full list of recommendations can be found here.

The housing recommendations include using $100 million in one-time funds to subsidize the construction of low-income affordable housing and workforce housing. The council also recommends using $100 million in one-time funds to preserve existing affordable housing through purchasing and preserving naturally-occurring affordable rental housing. The third housing recommendation is to increase access to homeownership for BIPOC households. The Council recommends $50 million to expand funding for down payment and closing cost assistance programs to support BIPOC first-time homebuyers as well as providing affordable first mortgages or equivalent financing opportunities.

Other recommendations of interest to cities include creating a $100 million pilot and growth funding mechanism for governments and other programs to provide both "seed funding" and "scale funding" to support growth over time. Funding will be available for organizations and government programs, with pilot grants for innovative programs. Child care access and affordability, funding the Angel Tax Credit and broadband access are also recommended.

The Council will present the recommendations to Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan December 1. Phase 2 of the Council’s work will begin later this winter. Contact Charlie Vander Aarde at [email protected] or 651-215-4001 with any questions.



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