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The EPIC Report – March, 2015

70 residents, city, and state officials gathered on Saturday, Feb. 28th at East Phillips Park for this Forum. State Rep. Karen Clark gave an overview history of numerous environmental threats to this area that have been sources of pollution for decades. City of Mpls. staff explained their rationale for proposing to buy the Roof Depot site along 28th Street between Longfellow Ave. and the Greenway Sabo Bridge ramp and expand City facilities by bringing Mpls. Water Works trucks and infrastructure to the site. A proposal was also given to identify this area as a “Green Zone”center of green job re-employment, urban agricultural initiative, youth-led bike shop, aquaponics operation to raise fish and vegetables, a farm processing center, and a sustainable entrepreneur incubator. Rep. Clark also explained the 2008 State Law that requires an analysis of cumulative pollution impacts in the East Phillips area when businesses move in or expand.

Next Community Meeting Saturday, March 14th. Watch for TIME & PLACE

Expansion of Industrial Pollution in East Phillips and Taxation Concerns

Forum on Stopping Expansion of Industrial Pollution in East Phillips

BY CAROL PASS, EPIC Chairperson

East Phillips Has its Challenges. EPIC is taking them on.

First: More Pollution for Phillips: EPIC leadership just learned that, in spite of their opposition and without having been informed, the Minneapolis Department of Public Works is in the process of secretly expediting the purchase of the Roof Depot site (1860 E. 28th St.) for the purpose of moving the equipment and the 68 vehicles, many of them diesels, of the City Water Works into our midst. This will significantly add to our already polluted air. It will vastly increase the traffic load on this residential neighborhood’s already congested roads. The move will bring more of everything we are already choking on and probably doom our dream of seeking a less hazardous and more appropriate future for this major site of dirty, asthma-producing air and diesel truck congestion. The City’s Core Principle of Community Engagement, is:

The Right to be Involved: Public participation is based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process. (Copyright IAP2. All rights reserved. Adopted by Minneapolis City Council, December 2007)

Do you see any indication that the City is following their own principles in this case? Neither do we! We need City people to stop violating their own principles. EPIC is working to see that happens. This is called “equity”. If you want to be a part of that effort, call EPIC Chair Carol Pass, 612-280-8418 or EPIC Secretary, Linda Leonard, 612-655-1755.

Second: Taxation without representation: The residents of these economically challenged Phillips neighborhoods who have the misfortune of owning property on East 26th and East 28th Streets between Hiawatha and 35W are being individually assessed for a substantial percentage of the cost of resurfacing them. These streets need more frequent resurfacing as compared to residential streets because of the high percentage of industrial and commuter traffic on them. Many of the people living on this stretch of roads are elderly and own their own homes, but are too poor to own a car. Many can barely pay their taxes without the additional assessments, and yet, they are being assessed as a convenience to those whose only reason for being there is to traverse the neighborhood as quickly as possible. In a very real sense, this is ‘taxation without representation’. We feel that in this era of professed “equity”, the city should put its money where its mouth is and find a more “equitable” way of funding this project.

Again, call us if you wish to be involved or want more information.

Join us at an EPIC meeting to help find and work toward answers to these and other issues.

East Phillips is bordered by:

Lake St. on the South,

Bloomington Ave. on the West,

East 24th St. on the North (with a northerly jog to include East Phillips Park) and

Hiawatha Ave (Hwy. 55) on the East.

All residents, business owners, property owners and employees of neighborhood businesses in East Phillips are welcome and encouraged to participate in the activities and decision-making in the neighborhood by attending EPIC meetings.

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