What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

Flat park board budget moves quietly forward

Posted by: Bill McAuliffe Updated: December 4, 2013 - 7:50 PM

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board committee Wednesday approved a $66,051,956 budget for 2014. That represents no increase in the board's operating fund, but it does include $1.1 million spefically to remove and replace ash trees on city boulevards and in parks.

That $1.1 million will be raised by a special tax levy the park board must renew each year. Superintendent Jayne Miller said the fund would have to be renewed for eight years to remove and replace all of the nearly 40,000 ash trees on public land in the city.

Miller has indicated that staffing and organizational efficiences, including new equipment,  have put a lid on expenses for the year.

Of the $66 million operating budget, $47.6 million comes from local property taxes. The remainder is from local government aid from the state, and other sources.

The budget, developed since June, was approved by the administration and finance committee without discussion. It will likely be approved by the board as a whole in tandem wth the city council budget Dec. 11 at City Hall at 6:05 p.m.

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