City Council approves additional funding to accelerate pothole repairs

On Friday, April 16, the Minneapolis City Council approved dedicating an additional $500,000 to accelerate the City's pothole repair work.

The Twin Cities experienced extraordinary weather conditions this winter, and as a result there is a significant pothole problem across the metro area. In Minneapolis, crews have been working for weeks to address them, and began making permanent patches when the weather warmed up in March. Although work on permanent patches began early this year, there is still a lot of work to be done.

The Mayor and City Council approved a plan to double the number of repair crews out patching potholes for the next six to eight weeks. This will allow the City to accelerate repairs to the streets and fix the most significant problems sooner. This funding means that Minneapolis will now have eight crews doing permanent pothole repair work.

The City is able to expand its pothole repair effort because of its ongoing fiscal management practices. In 2009, City leaders took swift action to reduce the City's budget in the face of State cuts to Minneapolis and Governor Pawlenty’s unallotment of aid to cities. Those cuts were made with an eye toward the possibility that further cuts may be required in the future. In addition, the City received more revenues than were projected in 2009. These two factors resulted in the City ending its 2009 budget cycle with cash reserves above its minimum level of 15 percent of revenues.

Mayor Rybak and City Council Members will look to use some of the dollars to make necessary, one-time investments – such as the expanded and accelerated pothole repair program - rather than long-term uses such as staff salaries. Such long-term uses are not sustainable given the new funding cuts from the State, and the State’s long-term financial position.

Published Apr. 16, 2010