Minneapolis Park Board passes 2022 budget, increases youth program funding

This week, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board passed its budget for 2022, which commissioners included increased funding to youth services and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Citing an "unprecedented uptick" in youth violence, board members say the budget includes a $2.6 million increase to youth programs paid for by a property tax increase and American Rescue Plan Act funding.

The funds will help offset a plan to eliminate youth programming and sports fees in parts of the city designated by the census as "Areas of Poverty," where more than half of residents are people of color.

"I am proud of the Board of Commissioners who came together in making good on our promise to substantially invest in the most vulnerable young people in this city," Jono Cowgill, board president, said in a statement. "Every commissioner voted for a budget that made youth programs free in areas of concentrated poverty, established 22 new youth-serving positions across the city, and expanded youth facilities investments like futsal courts and the new ‘Spark’d’ creative technology labs. Under the steady, courageous leadership of Superintendent Bangoura, heading into 2022 I could not be more excited and confident about MPRB’s position as a critical community resource for our neighbors who need support the most."

The budget for 2022 is $139.6 million, in part from a 5.85% property tax levy. Also included is an increase to commissioner compensation, from $12,438 annually for commissioners and $13,853 annually for the board president to $17,000 and $18,700, respectively.

The Board noted additional accomplishments in the budget, including:

  • Athletic Programs, Aquatics, Golf & Ice Arenas – increases in lifeguard pay rates and adult sports officials’ compensation with an offsetting adult sports fee increase and a slight increase in adult sports revenue due to revenue trends; increase in golf fees based on market rates; and addition of one auto mechanic position.
  • Community Connections and Violence Prevention – reduction in contractual services as the department is utilizing full and part-time staffing rather than contractual services.
  • Environmental Management – supports youth investment in nature-based programming, including the addition of two senior naturalists and part-time naturalist, and the Youth Employment and Training Program, including additional part-time youth workers and part-time adult supervisors and mentors; supports an algae toxin surveillance program at 13 public beaches and the use of one-time funding for a Cedar Lake and Lake Nokomis blue-green algae reduction diagnostic study and plan development; revenue adjustments from partner jurisdictions; and reduction in supply and contractual services.

For a complete look at the adopted 2022 budget, click here.