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Frey unveils smaller Minneapolis budget in response to financial challenges from COVID-19

Plus: 100 Minneapolis police officers expected to leave department by end of year; Minnesota home prices continue to climb; Osseo teachers protest reopening plan; and more.

MinnPost photo by Jessica Lee
Mayor Jacob Frey
Tightening the belt. The Star Tribune’s Liz Navratil reports: “Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Friday gave the first preview of his plans for a 2021 budget that will be scaled back as the city deals with multiple financial challenges. … ‘Under the weight of the [coronavirus] pandemic and on the heels of the civil unrest following George Floyd’s killing, our city’s finances are under severe duress,’ Frey said in a video aired Friday morning. … This year’s budget cycle is expected to be more painful than those in many prior years, as the city struggles to balance an increased demand for services against the reality that cash is in shorter supply.”

Some savings here though. WCCO reports: “Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced during a budget address Friday that 100 police officers are expected to leave the city’s department by the end of the year. … The mayor said dozens of officers have already parted ways with the department. That’s in keeping with WCCO-TV’s reporting, which found last month that 65 officers have already left and a considerable number have filed for leave, with many citing PTSD. … The mayor says the officers leaving this year won’t immediately be replaced, as the city government will be under a hiring freeze through 2021.”

Housing getting pricier. KARE’s Brandon Stahl reports: “The pandemic and high unemployment rates that followed have had little impact on housing prices in Minnesota, new data shows. … Home prices climbed 4.8% across Minnesota in the past year, continuing eight straight years of increases, according to figures released by CoreLogic, which maintains data on home sales throughout the country. … While analysts say that’s good news for the health of the state’s housing markets, it’s bad news for first time and low-income buyers, who are finding few, if any, homes in their price range, particularly in the Twin Cities area.”

Reopening plans questioned. KMSP’s Hannah Flood reports: “On Thursday, a few dozen teachers held a demonstration outside of the Osseo Area School District office calling on leaders to change the plans for the start of the school year from hybrid learning to fully online, distance learning. … ‘We’re out here letting the community know that we are concerned about our students, we’re concerned about teachers and we’re concerned about the safety of everybody,’ Park Center High School math teacher Ternesha Burroughs said. … Burroughs says teachers haven’t been involved enough in the planning of the hybrid school year system. She says she doesn’t feel like she and other teachers are prepared for all of the unknowns going into the school year, especially with the start of school less than a month away.”

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In other news…

Sixth Ward winner:Jamal Osman poised to join Minneapolis City Council” [Star Tribune]

Plan an alternate route:I-94 and I-494 close this weekend, Hwy 5 closes through October” [KSTP]

Opening of note:Real big fish: Coastal Seafoods moves to new, upgraded home with cafe in Seward” [City Pages]