Minneapolis City Council members pitch budget recommendations for fiscal year 2025

Minneapolis city leaders discuss budget priorities

Minneapolis city leaders discuss budget priorities

Elected officials in Minneapolis spent time on Monday working on the city’s next budget.

City Council members in a Budget Committee meeting discussed their individual recommendations for the fiscal year 2025 budget with plans to forward their proposals to Mayor Jacob Frey’s office later this month.

The meeting was just the beginning of a rather lengthy process, but the discussion provided a first glimpse at how council members in Minnesota’s largest city would like to prioritize tax dollars.

The item most listed as a priority by members was a proposal to roughly double the city’s spending on efforts to calm and control vehicle traffic, which would bring the cost up to a million or more dollars next year.

“The amount of calls and emails that we get about different intersections across my ward and quite frankly across the entire city is continuing to mount,” said Council Member Emily Koski in support of the recommendation.

Public safety was also among issues at the top of the list. A couple of council members pitched prioritizing MPD recruitment and retention in the next budget cycle.

There were also more than a handful of non-traditional safety projects on the table, some in need of continued funding and others, like a Dinkytown initiative called ‘Dinky After Dark’ would be new.

“Basically, this is building on the success that we’re seeing with Warehouse District Live,” Council Member Robin Wonsley said, referring to an existing initiative which Council Member Michael Rainville requested ongoing funding for.

Housing and homelessness were also major themes. A couple of council members advocated for money to support the city’s Avivo Village tiny home shelter and build a second, which has been proposed before but never made it off the ground.

A few council members expressed concern over the amount of new project recommendations on the table, fearing the cost will conflict with another top priority, which is not to raise property taxes.

“This is the number one priority on my list for the budget, and it is because areas like north Minneapolis definitely feel the burden of property tax increases,” Council Member LaTrisha Vetaw said.

“I will be a broken record on this, and I’m going to continue being a broken record on this,” Council President Elliot Payne said after Koski echoed Vetaw’s sentiment. “Budgets are not about cutting they’re about prioritizing.”

The full slate of budget priorities, which remain simply proposals at this stage, are expected to be brought up again for Council approval later this month. If approved, they head to the mayor’s office next, where his administration gets the final call on what ends up in the next fiscal year budget recommendations.

A final budget is typically passed in December.