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Minneapolis City Council delays action on Bottineau Transitway

What they didn’t do was the major news from Friday’s Minneapolis City Council meeting.

After an hour of debate on the possibilities of the Bottineau Transitway proposed for north Minneapolis, the council sent it back to committee.

The Bottineau Transitway would enter the city in North Minneapolis and carry riders into downtown or connect them with other public transportation. The project is about to become the topic of a draft environmental impact statement.

The debate focused on how much the system will serve the residents of the north side — or if it will pass through the area with minimal city stops as it carries suburbanites into the core of the city. Residents of North Minneapolis are heavy users of public transportation.

“This is not people making green choices. This is people who have no cars,” said Council Member Don Samuels, who represents the area and argued that it should not become one stop between the suburbs and the city but should also serve the local residents.

There were other questions about the use of streetcars or light rail and about which routes the transit might take through the community.

In the end, the matter was sent back to the Transportation and Public Works Committee, which is schedule to meet next Tuesday.

There is a deadline involved: The full council must vote by Feb.17 to join the environmental impact statement process.  To meet this deadline, a special one-topic council meeting has been scheduled for next Friday.

Council opposes state marriage amendment

With very little discussion, the council approved a resolution opposing the proposed amendment to the state constitution that would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.  The voice vote was unanimous.

The resolution noted that Minneapolis was the first city in Minnesota to adopt a domestic partnership registry.  That occurred on July 25, 1991.

Judge Rosenbaum joins housing board

Retired Federal Judge James Rosenbaum has agreed to serve as a member of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority Board. Rosenbaum was appointed to the federal bench by President Reagan in 1985 and became the chief judge for the District of Minnesota in 2001.  He retired in 2010.

Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, an attorney, called the appointment a major achievement for Minneapolis. She recalled appearing before Judge Rosenbaum, who she said could be “very pointed in his comments.”

More beer

As expected, the council approved a taproom license for Fulton Beer that will allow the company to sell beer for consumption at its brewery.  It also approved a license for Boom Island Brewing to sell “growlers,” which are 64-ounce bottles, for consumption away from the brewery.

“Today is a great day,” said Council Member Gary Schiff of the business additions. He added that he has been contacted by what could be the city’s fifth microbrewery.

Two Cities blog, which covers Minneapolis and St. Paul City Halls, is made possible in part by grants from The Saint Paul Foundation and the Carolyn Foundation.

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