Metro Cities News 6/10/22


In This Issue:



Metropolitan Council Lays Out 2050 Community Designation Process

The Metropolitan Council reviewed the development process for the next cycle of community designations this week. Community designations will be included in the 2050 regional development guide, the Council’s decennial and required guide that informs the development of local comprehensive plan updates.

The region’s 2040 development guide, Thrive MSP, included nine community designations – five urban and four rural. Staff explained those designations will be the starting point for the 2050 updates.

The Council convened a focus group of a dozen cities and two counties to review current community designations, analyze and adjust inputs, and conduct a spatial analysis. Those cities will continue to provide input to the Council.

The first approval of draft community designations will be made by the Land Use Advisory Committee in November 2022. The designations will then be reviewed and approved by the Community Development Committee before final approval by the full council.
Metro Cities is tracking the formation of the community designations as well as density expectations and requirements that are included in each designation. Metro Cities is participating in a long term regional advisory planning group with several city officials and Metropolitan Council staff. The community designations will also be reviewed and discussed by the advisory group.

On a related note, the association’s density policy will be discussed during Metro Cities’ policy committee process this summer.


Redevelopment Grant and Demolition Loan Program Now Seeking Applications

Cities are encouraged to submit applications for grant funding for redevelopment projects through DEED’s Redevelopment Grant and Demolition Loan Programs. The deadline for the submission of applications is 4:00 pm, Monday, August 1, 2022.

Approximately $2 million is available for distribution for the Redevelopment Grant and Demolition Loan Programs. Metro Cities supports state redevelopment funds and has successfully advocated for legislative appropriations as well as internal DEED transfers to fund two annual rounds.

The redevelopment programs provide grants and loans to assist with the costs of redeveloping blighted properties for more productive uses, including commercial, industrial, and residential that improve the local tax base.

A local match of 50 percent is required for each project site receiving a Redevelopment grant. There is no match required for Demolition Loans.

More information on the program as well as application details can be found here.


HomeHelpMN Application Period Extended

The application period for HomeHelpMN has been extended until August 17 to allow more time for Minnesota homeowners to apply for assistance.

HomeHelpMN still has funds available to assist homeowners who are behind on house payments and other expenses like property taxes, lot rent, and homeowner association fees. There is $109 million in federal assistance for homeowners. The program opened for applications on May 17 and has already received applications from over 2,800 households, with requests for funds representing about a third of the available funding.


Draft 2023-2026 Transportation Improvement Plan Comment Period

The Metropolitan Council is holding an online public meeting to discuss the Draft 2023-2026 Transportation Improvement Program on Tuesday, June 21 from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM. Click HERE to sign up to attend. Written comments may be submitted HERE. The deadline to submit written comments is Tuesday, July 5. The four-year program includes highway, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian projects proposed in the seven-county metropolitan area. The 2023-2026 TIP is scheduled to be recommended by the Transportation Advisory Board (TAB) in August, with final adoption by the Metropolitan Council occurring in September.

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

City Leaders Urge Legislature to Pass Bonding Bill and Funds for Infrastructure

On Tuesday, June 7, city leaders and other interested parties held a press conference calling for a special session and passage of a bonding bill. The legislature received $5.4 billion in bonding requests during the regular session. The Governor and legislative leaders agreed to a $1.4 billion target for an eventual bonding bill, but bill language did not materialize before adjournment in May. Attendees also spoke in support of legislation that would provide the required state matching funds needed to unlock federal dollars authorized in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
Throughout the regular session local leaders pushed for the state appropriations needed to access the corresponding federal dollars coming to Minnesota via the IIJA. Without legislative action the state could miss out on approximately 84% of the $7.3 billion intended to come to Minnesota. These federal funds, flowing through existing formulas or competitive grant programs, represent an opportunity for local governments to make improvements in the areas of transportation, energy, and water infrastructure. Click HERE to view the corresponding press release from Tuesday’s press conference.
Contact Mike Lund at [email protected] or 651-215-4003 with any questions.

Metro Cities Breakfast at LMC Annual Conference

Metro Cities will host a breakfast meeting as part of the League of Minnesota Cities 2022 Annual Conference in Duluth, from 8:00-9:00 a.m. Friday, June 24. Breakfast will be held in Ballroom O on the second floor of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC). This is a great opportunity to connect with other metro-area city officials. We hope you will join us! The conference will be held Wednesday, June 22 – Friday, June 24. Please visit for more information.


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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