The Minneapolis City Council approved a proposal Friday to authorize the creation of a new city department to oversee the future of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program.
The NRP began 20 years ago and includes all 84 Minneapolis neighborhoods. The program allows neighborhoods to use taxes from city-assisted development on priorities set by community members, such as developing housing, taking care of public spaces and offering programs for youth and the arts. Funding for the NRP stops next year, though it will begin again in 2011.
“This was done to assure the NRP didn’t go away, and I want to thank everyone involved in making this possible,” Tenth Ward representative Ralph Remington said to the council Friday.
The framework the City Council approved reorganized the NRP under a new city department, Neighborhood and Community Relations, which will be part of the City Coordinator’s Office. There will also be a resident-based Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission to help guide the new department.
The commission will consist of 16 members — eight selected by neighborhood groups and eight appointed by the City Council, Mayor R.T. Rybak and the Minnesota Park and Recreation Board.
Although city officials have spent much of this term reworking and devising a 10-year successor to the NRP, their solution is unpopular with many neighborhood activists.