Metro Cities News 6/3/22


In This Issue:



Public Comment Open: Transportation Improvement Program

The Metropolitan Council’s Transportation Advisory Board is accepting public comments on the Draft 2023-2026 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The four-year program includes highway, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian projects proposed in the seven-county metropolitan area. Comments will be accepted until 5 PM on Tuesday, July 5. Click HERE to view the Draft TIP and submit your comments. The Metropolitan Council is also holding a public meeting on Tuesday, June 21 from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM. Click HERE to sign up for the public meeting. The Metropolitan Council is expected to consider final adoption of the 2023-2026 TIP on September 28.

Contact Joe Barbeau at [email protected] or 651-602-1705 with any questions.

Metro Transit Safety and Security Action Plan

A draft action plan on transit safety was presented to the Metropolitan Council’s Committee of the Whole on Wednesday. This plan is the latest in a series of steps taken by the Council to address safety on the Metro Transit system. The work thus far can be divided up into three phases.

The first phase of this project centered around community engagement efforts taken by the Citizens League. Key themes include:

  • Perception vs. reality of safety
  • Impacts of passenger behavior on safety
  • More riders lead to a feeling of safety
  • Safety is more than enforcement
  • The presence of an authority figure leads to a greater sense of safety

Following the Citizen League’s work, the Council began phase two by convening a Police Work Group that resulted in three recommendations/vision statements:

  • Provide a quality transit experience for all, using an anti-racist lens, equity lens, and an inclusive approach to transit safety, security, and policing.
  • Address systemic issues by fostering community relationships and partnerships.
  • Demonstrate responsive leadership and accountability for results.

The plan identifies three areas of work. 1. Improving conditions on the system, 2. Training and supporting employees, and 3. Engaging customers and partners. Click HERE to view the Draft Action Plan and HERE to view the presentation materials from Wednesday’s meeting. Next steps for the plan include the refinement of action items, methods for measuring performance, and reporting plans based on Council and stakeholder feedback. The plan will be brought before the Metropolitan Council as a formal business item for approval at some point in the future.


Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicle Replacement Grant Opportunity

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is accepting applications for grant funds to help purchase new, all-electric heavy-duty vehicles. All local governments are eligible to apply and grant awards can cover up to 75% of equipment replacement costs. The $6.5 million in grant funds comes from Minnesota’s share of the Volkswagen (VW) settlement.

Eligible vehicles and equipment include:

  • Class 4-8 shuttle buses and transit buses
  • Class 8 (33,001 pounds and greater GVWR) heavy duty trucks
  • Class 4-7 (14,001- 33,000 pound GVWR) medium duty trucks
  • Airport ground support equipment (Tier 0, 1, and 2 only)
  • Forklifts
  • Port cargo handling equipment
  • Freight Switchers (must be pre-tier 4 and must operate more than 1000 hours per year)

Click HERE to view the grant web page, information on the RFP and FAQ. The MPCA and the Minnesota Clean Cities Coalition (MC3) are hosting a free workshop on June 14, from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM for those interested in this grant opportunity. Applications are due by 4:30 PM on Wednesday, August 31, 2022. Please send questions to [email protected] with the subject line “HD Electric Grant 2022 Question”, no later than August 16.


Submit Your Applications for Broadband Development Funds

Cities are encouraged to submit applications for state broadband funds. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) launched a Request for Proposals (RFP) that will award $95 million in broadband grants across the state. Applications must be submitted by August 4, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. Using state appropriations from the 2021 and 2022 legislative sessions, this grant round contains the highest-ever amount of funding for the Border-to-Border Broadband Infrastructure grant program. Funding from two sources – state and federal – can be used to reimburse for up to half the cost of the broadband infrastructure deployed. Funding for a single project is capped at $5 million.

Requirements and application materials for this competitive grant program are available on DEED’s website.

Broadband development projects located in unserved or underserved areas are eligible for the broadband grants. An unserved area is an area of Minnesota in which households or businesses lack access to wire-line broadband service at speeds that meet the FCC threshold of 25 megabits per second download and 3 megabits per second upload. An underserved area is an area of Minnesota in which households or businesses do receive service at or above the FCC threshold but lack access to wire-line broadband service at speeds of 100 megabits per second download and 20 megabits per second upload.

An interactive map showing areas reported by providers as being unserved and underserved areas is available on the OBD website.


2022 Metro Cities Policy Committees

Metro Cities is preparing for 2022 policy committees this summer, and your participation is encouraged! Committees will recommend the association’s legislative policies for 2023.

Participation is open to member city elected officials and staff, and committee descriptions and dates are on the website. Please be sure to sign up for the committee(s) you wish to attend. This will help us keep rosters accurate. We look forward to seeing you this summer!


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