After much preparation and work, the CARAG organization is ready to get started on the second phase of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP). CARAG residents are needed to help get a series of neighborhood improvement projects rolling. So, neighbors are invited to attend the March 15 CARAG Neighborhood Meeting to begin the effort.
Last fall CARAG approved an action plan dedicating $636,000 for projects ranging from low-interest, home improvement loans to crime prevention initiatives. Minneapolis City Council cut the program’s budget by half in December. Consequently, CARAG prioritized projects and plans to move forward with half of the funding.
Programs will be implemented by task groups including but not limited to:
- The Crime and Safety Task Group will be responsible for initiating a community safety committee by hiring a part time community organizer. This person will work within the CARAG neighborhood to organize block and apartment clubs focused on crime prevention. Other prevention initiatives will include environmental design and lighting improvements for crime and graffiti prevention.
- The Housing Task Group will create the structure for a revolving loan fund for housing improvements, including, but not limited to, energy efficiency, structural integrity, appearance, and health/safety projects. This group will also promote and provide building-specific energy efficiency information so that owners can make well-informed decisions based on need, cost, return on investment and effectiveness.
- The Transportation Task Group will encourage bicycling and walking by providing and improving bicycle and walking routes in CARAG. The group will also work on increasing use of public and shared transportation.
- The Community Building and Beautification Task Group will work closely with the CARAG Livability Committee to “green” the neighborhood by providing more boulevard trees and support planting of boulevard gardens.
- The Seniors Task Group will provide support to the Southwest Senior Center.
If you want to get involved in any of the task groups but are unable to attend the March 15 CARAG Neighborhood meeting, please send a note of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612.823.2520.
Scott Engel is Executive Director of CARAG.