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Tuesday December 12th 2017

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City Water Works at the Roof Depot Site Who Pays? – Who Gains?

roof-depot

BY CAROL PASS, EPIC PRESIDENT

City’s move:

Eminent Domain of the Roof Depot Site

Because the owner of the Roof Depot property was not interested in selling to the City at this time, the City is reportedly resorting to their seldom-used big gun, Condemnation leading to Eminent Domain. This will allow the City to take the property from the rightful owner, in exchange for a price the court determines. Fair? No! Neither to the owner nor to the community! Once again, our problem is we, the East Phillips residents, PAY and the rest of the City GAINS at our expense! Why should we consent to this action or the City goal as currently offered in the first place?

Most of us know well that East Phillips neighborhood is one of the most over-burdened in the state with polluting industries and that its residents and children suffer the attendant serious health consequences and their related debilitating problems: more asthma, more ADHD, more cancer. In 2014, EPIC, the East Phillips Improvement Coalition, refocussed to continue its long struggle to protect this neighborhood of low income and diverse people with many children from already existing pollution. At that time, EPIC’s process compelled the City to expose their closely guarded secret plan to dump MORE pollution and congestion on East Phillips. This comes in the form of their attempt to relocate the City Water Works Mainenance Department and its fleet of 68 work vehicles, many of which are diesel, along with over 100 employee vehicles at the Roof Depot site – 1860 E 28th St. at the intersection of Cedar Ave and 28th Street.

We now know this project has been in the works since before 2002 with no information shared with the community, including this most recent move.
Consider: Where is the Community Engagement? Ignored for a decade! And even now there has been next to none! Where is the Equity? Interesting how quickly this Moral Posturing gets thrown overboard when it gets in the way of the needs of people who don’t live here! People should know by now that EPIC does not change its stance and commitment to justice and fairness because it gets costly in time and convenience! Shouldering the community out of the way goes on primarily in the communities of poverty and diversity. The stated Equity policies of the City itself demands a different approach and, at the very least, shared sacrifice!

We call upon the other neighborhoods, especially those who have not had to continually fight these battles, to join us in opposition and a more fair and equitable solution to this battle. Call your Council Members. They are not listening to us who don’t empower them. We need your help!


EPIC Acts

The Board & Membership Passed the Following Resolution, 11-12-15

BY EPIC BOARD MEMBERS

Whereas the City of Minneapolis is apparently COMMITTED to acquire the Roof Depot Site and force upon East Phillips the City Water Works Maintenance Facility, and

Whereas in doing so, the City of Minneapolis is in violation of all 7 of its own “Core Principals of Community Engagement” (2007, City Council) and also, breaches the public trust; and

Whereas The City of Minneapolis is ignoring its new definition of “Equity” i.e., “Fair and just opportunities and outcomes for all people.”; and

Whereas Eminent Domain is being used as a weapon of prejudice against a low income and indigenous community as well as being selectively used against an individual business owner; and

Whereas all of the cost, namely the sacrifice of the protection and public interest of our people and their chosen future, falls on the residents of East Phillips and all the gain goes to the rest of the City, especially those areas that do not have these challenges; and

Whereas the City plan will bring no new jobs, no new tax revenue while eliminating the existing tax revenue; and

Whereas the City plan will dramatically increase traffic congestion and pollution: and

Whereas in the ten plus years the City has been planning this acquisition, they have never once consulted and only recently informed the people of East Phillips of their intentions,

Therefore Be It Resolved that EPIC, as the Citizen Participation Organization of East Phillips, remains firmly opposed to this acquisition and to protect the health and vibrancy of our community will use any and all means politically and legally available to prevent it.

Further we call upon the Ways & Means Committee and full City Council to vote “NO” on any request to condemn and take by Eminent Domain the Roof Depot site AND to honor the directive to Property Services, Public Works and CPED to work with EPIC and East Phillips Residents NOW – Not After the Fact, to determine fair and equitable solutions to these issues.

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