Minneapolis city staffers spent 1,369 hours on stadium planning

That's eight workers over 13 1/2 months, a report says. At Capitol, work on a bill continues.

Minneapolis city employees have spent 1,369 hours working on Vikings stadium plans from January 2011 through Feb. 15 of this year, according to a report from the city's development office.

The draft document, which was requested by a City Council committee, says eight city employees have devoted those hours to developing stadium plans -- including Target Center and Convention Center components.

The city's development chief, Chuck Lutz, said the stadium finance plan includes $200,000 to pay the city back for staff costs. That figure is about double the current cost of staff time, he said, since it accounts for costs until project completion.

If the deal announced Thursday to build the $975 million stadium in Minneapolis doesn't pass, the city will likely be left with the tab.

"It's not atypical," said Lutz, who racked up 700 of the hours. "Sometimes we have development projects that we spent some staff time on that we don't get reimbursed for because the project collapses."

The city's chief financial officer, Kevin Carpenter, has worked 300 hours on the project in the past 13 months. Jeff Johnson, who heads the city's convention center, has committed 200 hours.

The council's community development committee will review the city's time investment at its March 20 meeting.

The work continued Friday, as 30 legislative leaders and officials, lawyers, researchers, fiscal experts and representatives of the Vikings and the city of Minneapolis worked for 3 1/2 hours to whip the freshly minted stadium agreement into shape as legislation.

The bill will not be introduced Monday, contrary to what Gov. Mark Dayton's office announced Thursday, but chief House sponsor Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, said nothing should be read into that.

"There are so many things you have to pull together," he said Friday. "We just had the term sheet finalized here yesterday. Now you have to craft language that implements the terms agreed to, and you just don't do that quickly."

Another session is scheduled Monday, and Lanning said that's when he may be able to say just when the bill will be introduced.

The bill will incorporate terms of the agreement reached Wednesday night between the state, the Vikings and Minneapolis. If approved by the Legislature and the Minneapolis City Council, the deal would result in a fixed-roof stadium on the east side of the Metrodome, fronting a large plaza for game days and civic events.

eroper@startribune.com • 612-673-1732

kduchschere@startribune.com • 612-673-4455

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