City council to vote on Sayles Belton’s 2001 budget proposal

by Mike Oakes

The Minneapolis City Council will vote Thursday on Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton’s 2001 budget recommendation.
The mayor presented her proposal to the city council on Nov. 9.
Part of the $1 billion proposal seeks to increase collection of property taxes by $10 million, increase park spending by 17 percent and cut spending levels for the police, fire and public works departments.
City council member Barret Lane, who represents Ward 13, covering a portion of southwest Minneapolis, described the mayor’s recommendation as “a status quo type of document” which contains a large tax increase and will provide less spending on infrastructure commitments.
Council members spent the last few weeks assessing Sayles Belton’s budget proposal and began this week recommending certain changes.
Seeking more funding for infrastructure projects is included in those recommendations.
Lane emphasized that recommendation, citing a five-year capital plan that moved $19 million out of infrastructure spending and put it into the Park and Recreation Board’s spending plan.
Both the city and the park board were on pace to close their infrastructure gaps 50 percent in the next 10 years. Lane said that gap would close sooner for the park board and later for the city because of the $19 million transfer.
He said the council will recommend a plan to regain about $7 million of the transferred funds for city infrastructure spending.
The $1.03 billion 2000 budget passed in the council by a 7-6 vote.
Lane said he expects this year’s vote to be as close.