Frey presents Ward 3’s goals for 2015

Councilman Jacob Frey reflected on 2014’s accomplishments and described his plans for future progress.

Nick Wicker

In the crowded basement of Nye’s Polonaise Room, Ward 3 City Councilman Jacob Frey addressed more than 50 community members Thursday evening for his first annual State of the Ward speech.

In addition to recognizing residents for their accomplishments, Frey said the ward he represents accounted for 65 percent of the city’s growth in 2014. He also presented plans to continue with at least 20 development projects this year.

Some of his proposals include creating more affordable housing for college graduates downtown and constructing a more accessible grocery store for students.

These proposals, Frey said, are part of a broader plan to create a “pipeline” that would give students housing and employment incentives to stay in Minneapolis after they graduate.

At the event, Frey also distributed awards to community leaders and local businesses that helped improve the ward, which includes Dinkytown and the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood.

Ellen Wolfson, 88, was presented with the leader of the year award, an acknowledgment Frey said was long overdue.

The 39-year resident of the area serves on the city’s Senior Citizen Advisory Committee and also volunteers for the UCare Skyway Senior Center and the Minneapolis Central Library.

“I knew I’d been nominated, but I never anticipated that I would win,” Wolfson said. “It’s wonderful because I really love living in this ward and doing whatever volunteer things that I can do.”

The East Hennepin Avenue athletic store, Mill City Running, took home the local business of the year award. The store is owned and operated by Jeff Metzdorff and his wife Rebekah Metzdorff.

“To be recognized for this is quite the honor, especially knowing what other businesses are in the third ward,” Jeff Metzdorff said.

The store has been open for less than two years, he said, and it focuses on “being more than a store that sells shoes and apparel.”

Frey said he chose Mill City Running because it coordinates group runs and other community events in northeast Minneapolis.

The citizens group Friends of Webster Public Schools won the neighborhood initiative of the year award for rallying support to construct a new elementary school in St. Anthony East.

Webster Elementary, which will open this August, was one of Frey’s biggest accomplishments last year, he said.

Young community leaders were also recognized at the event Thursday.

Marcus Mills, a 2010 University of Minnesota graduate and owner of a massage therapy company, was selected as the youth leader of the year.

“I was kind of flabbergasted, to be honest,” he said. “It means that some people are taking a really good look at the efforts of young people.”

Mills said he worked on many community projects in the past year, including successful local political campaigns, and was involved with the Minneapolis City Council.

He plans to stay involved in the Marcy-Holmes community and serve as chair of the Marcy-Holmes Housing Diversity Taskforce.