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Promises Broken: Minneapolis Advances Plans to Demolish Roof Depot

Urban Farm supporters testify from the floor of an adjourned City Council meeting on September 22, 2022. Only a handful of council members stayed to listen to community members, including CMs Chavez, Johnson, and Wonsley. Photo: Steve Sandberg

By STEVE SANDBERG


In a 7-4 vote on September 22, the Minneapolis City Council voted to move forward with its request for proposals (RFP) process to select a vendor to demolish the Roof Depot building. Voting 7 in favor, 4 against, 1 abstention, one absent. In favor: Vetaw, Osman, Jenkins, Palmisano, Goodman, Rainville and Koski. Against: Chavez, Wonsley, Payne and Chugtai. Abstained: Johnson. Absent: Ellison. East Phillips residents and urban farm supporters were denied permission to speak at two previous Council meetings concerning requests for proposals (RFP) for the contracted demolition of the Roof Depot. This despite the mayor’s repeated promises dating back to July to schedule a meeting with the city’s environmental consultant Braun Intertec to address the community’s concerns regarding how they would be protected from arsenic and other known contaminants if demolition occurs at the 7.4 acre site. When those in attendance were again refused permission to speak, the Council President abruptly adjourned the meeting when testimony from the floor began. When proceedings reconvened in the afternoon, the 7-4 vote was taken over continued loud testimony from the floor.


Now the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) and its allies will host a series of events to stop demolition leading to the expected Council vote to choose a vendor in November.


Follow EPNI and it’s actions via social media, join our email list: UrbanFarmMpls@googlegroups.com, and give to Protect East Phillips Go Fund Me.

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