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East Phillips Urban Farm Faces Crucial City Council Vote in August

By LINDSEY FENNER

The future of the East Phillips Urban Farm will reach a crucial turning point in August when the Minneapolis City Council will hear a staff report on the future of the City”™s Public Works expansion at the Roof Depot site at Longfellow and 28th Street, and vote on an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW). An EAW is a short document that reports on the facts of a project and determines the need for a further review called an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

At the end of April, the City Council approved a staff directive that paused the City”™s Public Works expansion at the Roof Depot site, with a required report at the City Council Committee of the Whole meeting on Thursday, August 5. The report will include information on the financial and operational impact of ending the Public Works expansion project and recommendations for selling the property to community groups.
The Public Works expansion, if it went forward, would increase car and truck emissions in a neighborhood already overburdened with pollution and accompanying health conditions like asthma.

Neighbors, community members, and allies have been fighting for another vision of the Roof Depot site, the East Phillips Urban Farm. The community project would include urban agriculture, affordable housing, job training, and a small business incubator. The community group organized around this vision, the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute, has an active lawsuit against the City of Minneapolis to stop the Public Works expansion, is working on securing funding and a buyer for the property, and has been holding workshops with business owners, community groups, and tenants interested in renting space within the 230,000 sq.ft. Roof Depot.

The East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) hosted a workshop with local businesses and community organizations such as Migizi, Gandhi Mahal, Little Earth, and more to envision a business model for the future East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm!

The East Phillips Neighborhood Institute is calling on all Urban Farm supporters to show up for East Phillips at two events in August:

Community Rally, Sunday August 1, 1-3PM at Longfellow and 28th Street. Free food, music, and community resources.

Minneapolis City Council Committee of the Whole Meeting, Thursday, August 5, 10AM. Streaming online  Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/cityofminneapolis or City Council TV: https://www.minneapolismn.gov/government/meetings/city-council-tv/

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