Mpls. may cut street repairs if state doesn't deliver aidby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — Minneapolis city officials announced a plan on Thursday morning to cut back on street repairs in the event that the state doesn't deliver the $87 million of aid promised in 2011.
Under the plan, the city would forgo maintenance for 300 miles of streets over the next five years. That's about a quarter of the city's streets.
Mayor R.T. Rybak said thousands of non-city residents drive the streets everyday on their way to jobs and entertainment venues. He said the state has a responsibility to help the city maintain its infrastructure.
"In 2008, for instance, we sent $429 million in sales tax to the state and $74 million in commercial dollars," Rybak said. "So in return for the $503 million that we sent to the state, we got $69 million back.
"Minneapolis provides services and money to the state and we just might want to make sure they don't break their promise so we can pave our streets," he said.
In past years, the city has absorbed state aid cuts by putting off repairs such as sealcoating or resurfacing. Minneapolis public works director Steve Kotke said that won't work for much longer.
"Our concern is that the average condition of our streets are right at the point now where over the next few years we're going to see the deterioration of the streets accelerate considerably," he said.
Rybak is proposing to spend $90 million over the next five years to resurface streets and alleys and to patch potholes.