News from the Ninth Ward.
News from the Ninth Ward.
Photo credit: The Minnesota Daily

Council Votes to Suspend City's Expasion of

Hiawatha Campus in Phillips Community
On April 30th, the City Council voted 12-1 in favor of a staff direction to suspend the City's expansion of the Hiawatha facility in East Phillips. In addition, at the Business, Housing, Inspections, and Zoning Committee (BHIZ) on May 4, the associated Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) was postponed until August 5th at Committee of the Whole (COW).
The staff direction requires City staff to return to the City Council on August 5th with a full report on the following:
  • Suspend the City’s work to expand the Hiawatha Maintenance Facility at 1860 East 28th Street East and 2717 Longfellow Avenue South.

  • Return with a report on the financial and operational implications of terminating the City's interest in this parcel and identifying another site for a facility, including but not limited to a process, a timeline, and budgetary needs.

  • Recommend a process for how to sell all or a portion of the City-owned property not needed for municipal operations at 1860 East 28th Street and 2717 Longfellow Avenue South in a way that is aligned with community interests and engages community-based organizations.
To see supporting documents and materials related to this action, please go to the City's Legislative Information Management System website

Mask Requirements Remain in Minneapolis

If you’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced you can start doing many things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. The CDC has lifted the federal mask requirement in most indoor and outdoor activities – large or small. Governor Walz has also lifted Minnesota’s mask requirement while still strongly recommending Minnesotans who are not fully vaccinated wear face coverings indoors. Mayor Frey will keep Minneapolis’ mask requirement in place pending review of public health data and local vaccination rates. Private businesses, public transit, and other settings may also have face covering requirements including Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan, which stays in effect requiring masks in schools through the end of the school year.

What you can start to do...

If you’ve been fully vaccinated:

You can resume most activities without wearing a mask or staying six feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. Watch for State of Minnesota and City of Minneapolis updates on more local guidance, and check with businesses before you go.

If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.

You need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States.

You do not need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.

You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the United States.

You should still get tested three to five days after international travel.

You do not need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.

If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms. However, if you live or work in a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.

Keep doing...

For now, if you’ve been fully vaccinated:

You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace and local businesses.

If you travel, you should still take steps to protect yourself and others. You will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Fully vaccinated international travelers arriving in the United States are still required to get tested within three days of their flight (or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past three months) and should still get tested three-five days after their trip.

You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.

People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system, should talk to their healthcare provider to discuss their activities. They may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19.

Vaccines work

If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, get a vaccine as soon as you can. We know that vaccinated people are less likely to spread COVID-19 and that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death.
About nine out of 10 Americans live within 5 miles of a COVID-19 vaccination site.

Call for Artists:

Water Works Public Art Project 

Honoring two sacred Dakhóta sites, Owámniyomni and Wanáǧi Wíta

The City of Minneapolis invites public artists to apply to design and create public artwork to be incorporated into Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s new park, Water Works, located within Mill Ruins Park overlooking Saint Anthony Falls. The artwork will celebrate the histories, languages and vibrant cultures of Indigenous and Dakhóta people and honor the two nearby sacred Dakhóta sites- Owámniyomni (St. Anthony Falls) and Wanáǧi Wíta (Spirit Island) – destroyed in the 1960’s to make way for the nearby lock and dam.  The selected artist or artist team will collaborate with the design team and community to create public artwork for this new park. 
Intent to Apply deadline: Wednesday, June 2, 2021. FILL OUT THE ONLINE FORM.
For more information, please email Ann (dot) Godfrey (at) minneapolismn (dot) gov.

City Leaders Respond to Trial Outcome

Mayor Jacob Frey, City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins, and City Council Member Alondra Cano addressed the murder conviction of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin following the announcement of the jury verdict issued on April 20th. Watch Council Member Cano's statement here

Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second degree unintentional murder, thirddegree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

Watch the press conference.

Governor Announces Timeline to

End State COVID-19 restrictions

Governor Walz has announced a three-step timeline to end State COVID-19 restrictions as the state is on track to vaccinate 70% of Minnesotans by the end of June. The announcement came as more than 2.6 million Minnesotans have gotten their shots. The three-step process will end nearly all state COVID-19 restrictions by May 28, and end the statewide mask requirement by July 1 at the latest.

May 7: Step one took place on May 7. It removes limits for outdoor dining and ends the mask requirement when you’re outside (unless you’re in a very large crowd at a formal event).

May 28: Step two sees an end to all capacity and distancing limits, including indoors. People will still need to wear face coverings indoors and at large events outdoors.

When 70% of Minnesotans 16 and older have had at least one dose of vaccine – or July 1 at the latest – step three ends the remaining face covering State requirement. The State emphasized that local governments and businesses may still require masks and have other requirements beyond July 1.

Local requirements

Minneapolis was the first jurisdiction in the state to issue an indoor mask policy, and Mayor Frey is in close contact with the Minneapolis Health Department. He will continue weighing public health data in determining when to lift restrictions in Minneapolis. Watch for City of Minneapolis news in the coming weeks and check with businesses before you go.

Rent and Utility Bill Assistance is Available

If the pandemic has caused you hardship and you need help catching up on your rent or utility bills, you may be eligible for Minnesota’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance. Eligible Minneapolis renters can receive help with rent and utility bills dated on or after March 13, 2020. If you qualify, you could receive up to 15 months of total assistance.

While you can’t be evicted for not paying rent during Gov. Walz’s executive order, rent is still due. When the order is lifted, people owing unpaid rent could be at risk for eviction.

Apply now for RentHelpMN

To apply for RentHelpMN or find more information, visit or call 211. The 211 helpline has dedicated multilingual staff available to answer questions about RentHelpMN 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

In Minneapolis, you can apply through, 211 or one of these community partners:

Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES)
Assistance in Spanish

New American Development Center (NADC)
Assistance in Somali, Oromo and Amharic

Construction Update for Lake Street

For Lake Street reconstruction, MNDOT will be closing 1st Avenue South, north of Lake Street on Monday, 5/17 through June 14th. 1st Ave from Lake St to Cecil Newman LN will be converted to two way traffic. Cecil Newman will also be converted to two way traffic. Detour for 1st Ave will be Lake St -28th, down Nicollet to Cecil Newman.

MNDOT is also scheduled to close Blaisdell Ave S, north of Lake St. on Thursday, 5/20. Detour for this will be 26th-Lyndale-Lake Street.

Need help paying your utility bill?

If you’re having a difficult time paying your utility bill, contact Community Action Partnership for financial help. Community Action Partnership’s program has grants and other resources to help people catch up on some of their bills.

Visit and look under “what we do” or call 952-697-1393 to find out if you’re eligible.

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