Mayor Rybak announces 2014 budget proposal

Nicholas Studenski

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Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak announced his $1.1 billion 2014 budget proposal in August. In his proposal, Rybak emphasized the importance of investing in the city’s future.

For projects affecting University of Minnesota neighborhoods, Rybak has budgeted $11 million for improvements to the 10th Avenue Southeast Bridge.

Other proposed projects include installing lighting along the Hiawatha LRT trail and extending the 311 phone service to Saturdays.

The budget also allocates $1.25 million for “preliminary engineering” of the proposed streetcar  line along Nicollet and Central avenues. Due to increased local government aid and assistance from last year’s property tax relief fund, Rybak also seeks to decrease property taxes by 1 percent in 2014 .

“In tough times, we asked residents to invest more to keep the city strong,” Rybak said in a speech  introducing the budget on Aug. 15. “With times getting a little better, we will ask less.”

Throughout the rest of the year, the Ways and Means/Budget Committee  will hold public budget hearings on November 19 and December 11. The committee will then make a final recommendation to the Minneapolis City Council, which will make its final decision on the 2014 budget on December 11.