Rybak marks roads and safety as budget prioritiesby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak's 2009 budget proposal will focus on public safety and transportation spending.
The mayor wants to spend an additional $27 million to repave, repair or fix potholes on more than 69 miles of streets and parkways.
His budget would also improve bike paths and replace or repair thousands of traffic and street light poles. The budget also allocates $210 million for public safety and an additional $8.5 million for youth violence prevention programs.
Rybak said Thursday that investing in public safety is key to continuing a double-digit drop in the city's violent crime.
"Minneapolis is a safer city today than it was a year ago, when it was a safer city than it was the year before but it must still be a safer city. That's why the budget today maintains our core investments in public safety," Rybak said.
In 2006, nearly half of violent crime in Minneapolis was committed by young people. Now, that number has fallen to 25 percent.