Ninth Ward E-News – January 23, 2012

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Date: Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 4:42 PM
Subject: Ninth Ward E-News – January 23, 2012



     January 23, 2012


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Schiff sponsors fee reduction for trained landlords



Property owners who have taken a rental property course will be eligible for reduced fees.

A Minneapolis City Council committee has given unanimous approval to legislation sponsored by Council Member Gary Schiff that reduces fees for rental property owners who take a property management class.


“This bill addresses the concerns neighborhoods have expressed about the number of homes that are becoming rental property. The reduction in fees provides an incentive for new landlords to learn the property management skills they will need to be successful.”


Current rules require a $1000 conversion fee when a homeowner converts their property from homesteaded to rental. New rules sponsored by Schiff will allow for a $250 reduction in the fee if property owners complete a rental property management course. “In this economy we have many accidental landlord who can’t afford to sell their homes because they are underwater on their mortgage. When a job opportunity forces them to move to another region, they often rent their home out as a last resort.”


The $1000 fee was first implemented in 2008 after the housing market crash and the number of homes that were converted to rental began to soar. Final vote on Council Member Schiff’s proposal will take place Friday, January 27th.



Click photo for a list of previous Ninth Ward Award Winners

Reserve your seat for this Friday’s Ninth Ward Awards


Neighborhood activism will be honored at this Friday’s Breakfast with Gary. The State of the Ward Address and 2012 Ninth Ward Awards will take place January 27th at Mercado Central, 1515 East Lake Street from 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.


Reserve your seat by e-mailing or calling the Ninth Ward office at (612) 673-2209. Awards will be given for Leader of the Year; Block Club of the Year; Neighborhood Project of the Year; and Youth Leader of the Year.  


There is no charge to attend.  Breakfast is available for $7.


Utility commission tells Xcel to bury high voltage transmission lines



The PUC approved Xcel’s certificate of need but ordered the lines buried.


Capping three years of neighborhood protests, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission voted last week to direct high voltage transmission lines proposed in the Midtown Greenway to be buried under 28th Street East. The vote confirms recommendations by PUC staff, the MN Departm
ent of Commerce
and Administrative Law Judge Beverly Jones Heydinger.


The decision regarding cost was delayed one more month. “Suburban cities agree with Minneapolis and Xcel,” said City Council Member Gary Schiff, whose district includes the proposed 1.5 mile line. “The costs should be spread out Statewide. Xcel should not be allowed to tariff the increment and punish Minneapolis for a facility we did not ask for, and which cannot be built any other way. We aren’t finished with this fight until the final vote on cost.”


Background and additional information will be updated and available on the 9th Ward Legislative Initiatives webpage.



Credit cards and cabs: It’s the law



Last week the City Council approved a new ordinance sponsored by Council Member Gary Schiff that prohibits cab drivers from rejecting passengers who want to pay with a credit card. Other cities like Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles that require credit cards to be accepted for taxi fares have documented increases in ridership, tip amounts paid to drivers, and faster transactions.

During a public hearing, the Council heard testimony about public safety. Del Jenkins, a downtown bouncer testified, ”I have witnessed how difficult it is for patrons who have decided not to drive home to find a taxi that will accept credit cards. Some will go down the taxi cab line from car to car looking to find someone that will take them home safely,” Less cash on hand may also reduce crime against taxi drivers. Last year there were 109 crimes against cab drivers, 71 percent of which were robberies.


The majority of taxis in Minneapolis have already invested in credit card processing technology, according to a survey by city staff. “The technology is already there,” Schiff says. “This law will no longer allow taxis to become cash-only at the driver’s discretion, and will reduce visitors becoming stranded downtown. We want transportation in Minneapolis to be accessible and easy, and accepting credit cards is just one way we can do that.”



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