“We joined SCCA to learn from and work with other successful businesses in the Seward neighborhood.”
SCCA Member: Jim Welna, Welna II Hardware


December Business Buzz

Better Futures Minnesota Warehouse Liquidation Sale

MOVING LIQUIDATION SALE THIS WEEKEND!! Better Futures Minnesota is in its final weeks at the 6100 Olson Memorial Highway Warehouse. We will be open this weekend: Friday, December 11th, 12 pm to 7 pm and Saturday, December 12th, 9 am to 2 pm. ALL PRODUCTS AND MATERIALS MUST GO!!!!

Better Futures Minnesota recently relocated to Seward at 2620 Minnehaha Ave. www.betterfuturesminnesota.com

Seward Co-op's new Friendship Store

Seward Co-op’s new Friendship Store

Seward Co-op Opens New Friendship Store

Seward Co-op recently opened their new, full-service grocery store at the former site of the Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, on the corner of 38th Street and 3rd Avenue. This store is named “Friendship” in acknowledgment of the site’s history and the relationships the co-op has built in the Bryant-Central neighborhood. They now accept SNAP (EBT) food and cash benefits.

Please visit the Friendship store at 317 E. 38th St. Minneapolis, MN 55409. Phone: 612.230.5595

Fun City Dogs Sunday Playtime

Fun City Dogs is open for Sunday playtime with your dog from 12-4pm.  Drop in to play with your dog at their indoor dog park.  $10 per family.

Fun City Dogs – 2213 Snelling Ave 612-722-3647

Mon Petit Cheri to open for Dinner & Wine/Beer

Message from owner Emily Rheingans: Hello everyone! I’d just like to say a heartfelt thank you to every one of you who have introduced yourselves and made us feel welcome since we opened in February. We’ve had a fabulous year so far and we can’t wait to see where the next year takes us. I’d just like to take a minute to let you all know of our upcoming plans with the bakery. In February, we are planning on adding bottled beer and wine to our menu as well as starting dinner service Thursday-Sunday evenings. We take the addition of wine and beer service as well as extended hours very seriously, and we intend to help keep our neighborhood clean, safe, quiet, and even more delicious now with more local made from scratch food. If you have any questions, please direct any e-mails to me, Emily, at mpcbakery@gmail.com. Here’s to hoping everyone has a successful December, and a great new year!

Mon Petit Cheri is located at 2401 E Franklin Ave. www.mpcbakery.com


Blue Nile Restaurant

Blue Nile Restaurant

Blue Nile closes – Site purchased by Indian Health Board

The Blue Nile Restaurant & Lounge, a long term restaurant at the gateway to Seward on Franklin Avenue, closed for business earlier this winter and this month has closed on a sale of its property. The property had been held by the Katabay family since 1996, and the Blue Nile had a good run with dynamic live music offerings and hearty Ethiopian food.

As of December 2015, the property running along Franklin from Minnehaha to 21st Avenue South has been sold to the Indian Health Board, which Redesign has been told has plans to redevelop the site.

SCCA Member Profile: Ivy Arts Copy & Print

Vicki Joan Keck, owner of Ivy Arts Copy & Print

Vicki Joan Keck, owner of Ivy Arts Copy & Print

Vicki Joan Keck, the owner of Ivy Arts Copy & Print, greets everyone with a big smile and warm hello. Her motto and goal is to be “Your Neighborhood Print Shop” and she loves helping customers make their dreams come true. Ivy Arts Copy & Print is an independently owned shop run by theater artists with a focus on printing for the arts and the neighborhood community. As Vicki describes it, “No bells, whistles or million dollar machines. Just friendly personal service and low prices from people who care!”

Vicki opened the print shop in September 2013 after spending 13 years running the Augsburg College copy center. Her job was eliminated earlier that year when the college decided to cut costs and outsource those services. An actress with many connections to the theater community, Vicki’s friend Rick Coleman was running a copy shop in New Richmond, WI. Rick also operates two theaters with Kathy Welch through their business Green T Productions. He didn’t have time to run the copy shop full time, so Vicki suggested they move it to the Twin Cities where she could run it. She visited the Ivy Building and got on the waiting list for space, as she was impressed by the building and the vibrant community of artists. When a ground floor space with its own entrance became available she and Rick knew this was the place. The location also serves Vicki well as she lives on the West Bank and doesn’t own a car, so the #7 bus line is her convenient route to work. Her business partner Rick manages the finances from New Richmond.

A full service copy and print shop, Ivy Arts Copy & Print can help you with brochures, postcards, buttons, business cards, booklets, binding, laminating, and more. The shop does a lot of posters, programs and other printing for local theaters such as Open Eye, Bedlam and Frank Theater, so stopping at the front counter is a great way to see what shows are running. An actress herself, Vicki is also known as Vicki Joan the Rainbow Lady in her work as a storyteller. Right now the print shop is producing a lot of calendars for local artists, as well as chapbooks and zines. Currently Vicki is the primary employee, with one assistant who is there a few afternoons a week. She would like to add staff and offer more services like large format printing. She also hopes to upgrade the equipment as they grow. A new member of SCCA in 2015, Vicki enjoys connecting with other businesses and artists in the neighborhood.

If you need to copy, print, fax, or scan something, stop by Ivy Arts Copy & Print at 2637 27th Ave S, Suite 6 in the Ivy Building. Look for their sandwich board on the sidewalk. Hours: 11 am – 6 pm, Mon-Fri AND by appointment. Vicki says never hesitate to contact her if you need a job done on the weekend. She is happy to open up with advance notice. 612-728-8000 or printer@ivyartscopy.com.


Welcome Hillary Oppmann, new SCCA Staff!

Hillary Oppmann, new SCCA staff person.

Hillary Oppmann, new SCCA staff person.

This month Hillary Oppmann started as the new staff person for SCCA. Current staff person Erin Thomasson won’t be going far; she will be returning to work full time for Redesign. Over the next month Erin will be working with Hillary to hand off the reins, but will still be available to assist when questions arise. Redesign has generously made space available in their office for Hillary to work, so the connection between SCCA and Redesign will remain strong.

Hillary has lived in the Seward and Longfellow neighborhoods since moving to Minneapolis in 2000. She previously worked for the Longfellow Community Council and spent several years staffing the Longfellow Business Association. Her children attend Seward Montessori where she is an active parent volunteer for Safe Routes to School and other efforts. A former small business owner herself of a bakery in Vermont, she is excited to assist SCCA in creating a vibrant business community in Seward.

You can reach Hillary at 612-435-0277 or info@sewardbusiness.org.

City Changes Course in Workplace Regulations Debate

See SCCA’s October Post for background on this issue.

Mayor Delays Scheduling Requirements
After weeks of vocal opposition by the Minneapolis business community to the City proposed Working Families Agenda, Mayor Betsy Hodges announced on October 5th that implementation of the controversial ‘Fair Scheduling’ regulations would be dropped from the current push to implement new workplace regulations. The Mayor stated:

“When it comes to fair, predictable scheduling, I have heard from many people, including many business owners, that the issue is complicated and that more time is needed to engage in this important issue….For this reason, I am announcing today that I am moving forward with the agenda to ensure earned sick and safe time and to protect against wage theft, and that for now, fair scheduling policies will not be the focus of the work.”

 Read more about the scheduling issue in this StarTribune article.

SCCA Board Engagement
In response to the City’s Working Families Agenda proposals, on October 14 the SCCA Board of Directors drafted and delivered a letter to city staff and Councilmembers Cam Gordon and Abdi Warsame. The letter stated, in part:

“We understand the desire to improve working conditions for all employees in our community. These proposals if adopted will have many unintended consequences that are not good for either the employees or employers. The proposal paints the entire business community with a broad brush to address problems with a few businesses.

The proposals under consideration would insert the city of Minneapolis into the daily operations of thousands of businesses in our community that are not covered by a union contract. The proposals if implemented have a drastic impact on the daily operations of many of our businesses and also add unfunded additional costs.

As we discuss this issue with businesses throughout Seward we have found that many businesses are still not aware of the proposals. In particular many immigrant businesses are unaware of the proposals, as no outreach in languages other than English has been done, to our knowledge. When information regarding the proposals is shared the reaction is strongly negative.

We ask that you help change this discussion from its current direction of creating a new ordinance that forces unworkable operational and cost costs to a positive one that can work for all businesses and their employees and does not involve the city council in the day to day operations of the businesses in Seward.”

The Next Step: Workplace Regulations Partnership
As a result of pushback from many local businesses and business associations, including SCCA, Lake Street Council and Longfellow Business Association, on October 30 the City Council established a 15-member “partnership group to study the impact of policy proposals related to workplace regulations on earned sick time and paid time off.” The Workplace Regulations Partnership will consist of employee, organized labor, business and business group representatives. “The partnership group is directed to engage the community in the development of its recommended policy proposals through focus groups, listening sessions, and similar practices and may consult subject-matter experts in the course of its study.” The group’s final policy proposals on earned sick time and paid time off will be presented to the City Council by February 24, 2016.

All Minneapolis employers are invited to attend the November 17 SCCA Forum on Workplace Regulations to stay informed and learn more about these significant workplace proposals. SCCA members are encouraged to reach out and invite a neighbor business to attend. Presenters at this informational forum include Jim Welna, owner of Welna II Hardware & Paint and current SCCA Board member; and Allison Sharkey, Executive Director of Lake Street Council.


SCCA Member Profile: Encore Upholstery Studio

Flowery chair

Mary Opila and Marge Higgins are professional upholsterers who launched their studio this past summer out of their home in Seward. They haven’t always been upholsterers: Mary practiced architecture for more than 20 years with a large firm, and got her start by designing and building furniture evenings and weekends. This led to her spending a year in Hickory, North Carolina, where she trained with factory upholsterers and apprenticed with a local craftsperson.


In contrast, Marge began learning upholstery as a hobby 30 years ago in St Paul, soon after she graduated from the College of St Catherine with a degree in social work. Her teacher and mentor was Sister Clare Collins, who passed away in 1996 and left her upholstery tools to Marge. Once Marge retires from her career as a social worker, she plans to join Mary as a full-time upholsterer.

Tan couch

Blue armchair

The services that Encore Upholstery Studio offers includes re-upholstery and minor repair of furniture, and custom made ottomans, headboards, cushions and pillows. “Our motto is ‘just do good work’”, says Marge. “Our goal is to provide quality products with a focus on reusing and recycling – to bring old furniture back to life.”

Mary Opila working in her studio.

Mary Opila in Encore’s workshop.

Marge and Mary’s modest home is filled with beautiful reclaimed and re-upholstered furniture. The lower level has been transformed into a workshop containing cushion materials, rolls of fabric, leather pieces, cutting tables, and sewing machines (including a ‘zipper machine’ that only sews zippers). “Rather than try to carry large pieces of furniture up & down the stairs to the basement,” explains Mary, “we decided to turn our main floor living room into a workspace and occasional showroom. We tried to keep a balance of professionalism and practicality when setting up our home studio.”

Mary and Marge also continue to refine their craft and skills. They plan to attend a 2-week master training course in Cornwall, England through the Association of Master Upholsterers & Soft Furnishers (AMUSF), a British organization. Locally, Mary and Marge belong to the Professional Upholsterers’ Association of Minnesota and often attend monthly meetings where members share skills and experience informally.

Custom reupholstered armchair.

Marge & Mary turned this old Coke cooler into a couch!

Marge & Mary turned this old Coke cooler into a couch!

Encore Upholstery Studio are also new members of SCCA, and have attended several meetings and events this year. According to Mary, “We’ve made several good connections through SCCA, including Landreau Insurance Agency for our insurance needs, and Cedar Box Company, who can make custom boxes for shipping furniture.” They also hooked up with Pizza Lucé, who sponsored the Studio’s booth (more like a living room) in front of the restaurant during Open Streets Franklin this past summer.

To contact Encore Upholstery Studio, email to info@encoreupholstery.com or call 612-588-4242. Their website is http://encoreupholstery.com/, and their studio is open Monday – Saturday by appointment.




K’ul Chocolate Member Tour

Gar Hargens of Close Associates Architects

Gar Hargens of Close Associates Architects

Like kids in a candy store, SCCA members who embarked on a tour of the K’ul Chocolate production facility and retail store on October 21st were all smiles in anticipation. The tour and the chocolate energy bar samples didn’t disappoint. The owner of K’ul Chocolate, Peter Kelsey, conducted the tour with support from his wife, Elena Kelsey, and Sales Manager Jane Mocchia.

Peter Kelsey explaining the process to tour attendees.

Peter Kelsey explaining the process to tour attendees.

The process of creating bean to bar artisan dark chocolate was explored in detail during the tour, along with explanations of the health benefits of dark chocolate and the other ingredients in K’ul’s energy and endurance bars.

Luis monitoring the cacao roaster

Luis monitoring the cacao roaster.

Tour attendees learning about the secret ingredients in K'ul Chocolate bars!

Tour attendees learning about the secret ingredients in K’ul Chocolate bars!

Kelsey and his team at K’ul Chocolate are continually experimenting with new flavors and ingredients, including dried raspberries and blueberries, puffed quinoa and herbs known for their medicinal qualities. For more information on guarana and maca, two herbal ingredients used in K’ul Chocolate’s superfood bars, click here.

Many thanks to K’ul Chocolate, a new SCCA member this year, for opening up their factory and shop to other members of the business and civic community.

November Business Buzz


Sample 2 Gingers & More at Zipp’s

Zipp’s Liquors, a neighborhood gem since 1961, has a full schedule of wine, beer, and spirits tastings, as well as classes, in November. Stop in the store from 4 – 6 pm on November 14 to sample 2 Gingers Whiskey, a local operation that has “expanded into an international sensation.” For a listing of all the events at Zipp’s, visit their website at http://www.zippsliquors.com/


Lake St Council Bash 2015 header

Lake Street Bash – November 19

Every November, the Lake Street Council holds its only fundraiser of the year, the Lake Street Bash. The money raised at this fundraiser ensures that the Council can continue their work renewing and strengthening the business community on the Lake Street corridor and the Twin Cities at large.

Luckily for us, supporting the Lake Street Council is a ton of fun! Attendees get to sample wines provided by East Lake Liquors and beer from local breweries, eat authentic Mexican food from El Rodeo Nuevo, and listen to live music. As you eat and drink you also get to bid on silent auction items donated by many of the people and businesses that make Lake Street great.

Thursday, November 19th, 2016 5:30 – 8:30 PM El Nuevo Rodeo 3rd Floor Ballroom 3003 27th Ave S., Minneapolis, MN, 55406 Parking is available at U.S. Bank (2800 E. Lake St) $30 Presale, $35 Door – Click Here to Purchase Tickets through Eventbrite


Frolic Ad 2015

Seward Winter Frolic Kick-Off Event at The Playwrights’ Center on Dec. 4!

Enjoy Seward’s writers and performance artists, and experience great food and wine from Seward businesses. The talented lineup includes Seward writers Patricia Cumbie, Rachel Moritz and Madelon Sprengnether, dance performances by Dans Askina and speed painting by JAO.

Friday, December 4th
6:30-9 pm
The Playwrights’ Center
2301 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406

$15 per person * $25 per couple * All proceeds go to Seward Neighborhood Group


Somali food safety

Somali Food Manager Class

One more session of the Somali Certified Food Manager class and exam will be offered this fall on three evenings: Nov 30, Dec 1 and Dec 2. Classes meet from 5:00 to 9:00 pm at the Midtown Global Market, lower level meeting room, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407.

Cost is $50 for food operators working in businesses licensed by the City of Minneapolis. $150 for non-Minneapolis business operators. To register, call Burhan Shire at 612-715-2549. This training is sponsored by the Minneapolis Health Department.

Tababarka Maamulaha cuntada ee Shatiga leh iyo imtixaanka afka Soomaaliga ah

Fadhi walba sedex bari oo tababar ah ayuu leeyahay 5:00 pm ilaa iyo 9:00 pm haweenki Maalin sedexaada ayaa imtixaanka la qaadi doonaa Goobta Tababarka: Midtown Global Market, 920 E Lake St Lower Level, Minneapolis, MN 55407.

Maalmaha tababarka: Fadhiyada 6: Nov 30, Dec 1, iyo Dec 2. Kharaska: $50 weeye Hawl gala yaasha cuntooyinka ee ka shaqeeya ganacsiyada ku leh shatiga Magaalada Minneapolis. $150 weeye hawl gala yaasha ganacsiyada aan reer Mineapolis ahayn. Si aad isu qorto wac: Farhiya Farah 612-702-5051. Tababrkan waxaa soo qaban qaabiyey Waaxda Caafimaadka ee Minneapolis.

Franklin Avenue Bridge Update

Franklin Bridge construction - Oct 2015

If you travel across the Franklin Avenue Bridge, you may not see all the activity occurring below the deck. One of the main construction activities during the past year has been to restore deteriorated areas of the bridge. In October, crews were busy with restoration work on all five spans and two of the piers. One of the areas of focus has been the southern half of Span 2. Crews, tied-off for safety, work high above to remove segments of concrete in need of repair.

Franklin Bridge span 2 work - Oct 2015

As long as the weather holds up, crews will continue to take advantage of it. The focus of next year’s activity will be on deck removal and replacement. For more information and to sign up for email updates visit Hennepin County’s Franklin Ave Bridge webpage. Please direct any questions or comments to franklinbridge@hennepin.us.



Working Families Agenda Forum on Oct. 8

New City Workplace Proposals Will Impact Many Businesses

Click SCCA’s Meetings & Events page for details on the Oct 8 Forum.

News Flash: Oct. 6 – Mayor Hodges Announces Changes to Draft ProposalsClick Here for Press Release

In April of 2015 the Minneapolis City Council established a workplace policies workgroup to develop policies and engage with the public in three areas that affect low-income workers. As defined by the city, these areas are “earned sick time, scheduling and wage theft”. The workgroup has drafted proposals, known as the Working Families Agenda, which were released to the public in September. To read more about the context for these proposals, visit http://minneapolismn.gov/WorkingFamiliesAgenda/index.htm, where you will also find links to the full draft proposals.

Here are a few highlights of the proposals:

  • Earned Sick Time – These proposals would affect employers with one or more employees, except for those who have a waiver due to a collective bargaining agreement, or if they already have a sick time/PTO system that meets the requirements. According to the new rules, employees would earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked starting the first day of work. Other sick time proposals have to do with the permitted uses of sick time, trading and covering shifts, accrual and notification of sick time.
  • Fair Scheduling – The scheduling proposals would impact all employees, except those covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Employers would need to notify employees of their schedule (including on-call shifts) 28 days in advance, with a 24 hour notice of any changes to initial schedules. If the employer initiates a change in an employee schedule, the employee will received one hour of ‘predictability pay’, and up to 4 hours of ‘predictability pay’ if the employee’s shift is changed, cancelled or shortened with less than a 24 hour notice. There are several more proposals regarding scheduling that deal with mutual consent for scheduling changes, overtime pay, access to full time work and other worker protection measures.

The city is conducting outreach sessions with business owners and workers, and are on a short timeline to approve new policies by the end of 2015. Read this MINNPost article to learn more about some of the feedback by small businesses at recent meetings. SCCA members are invited and encouraged to attend the upcoming forum to make sure your voices are heard on these significant workplace changes.

Working Families Agenda Forum, sponsored by Lake Street Council and Longfellow Business Association

Wednesday, October 8

8:30-9:30 am

at El Nuevo Rodeo (2709 E Lake St)

City Councilmember Andrew Johnson, and possibly other councilmembers, will be speaking at this forum. For more information, contact Allison Sharkey at: asharkey@lakestreetcoucil.org or 612-824-7420. If you are not able to attend, and/or would like to submit written comments to the city, email workingfamilies@minneapolismn.govComments should be submitted no later than October 16, 2015.


SCCA Member Profile: The Landreau Group

The Landreau Group: Liz Zucate, Sarah Soria, and Carlos Landreau.

The Landreau Group: Liz Zacate, Sarah Soria, and Carlos Landreau.

Sitting in his new office at 2615 East Franklin that looks out onto the avenue, Carlos Landreau has a view of Wells Fargo, Zipp’s Liquors and the busy commercial corridor that helps to define the Seward Neighborhood. He wasn’t sure that he wanted or needed such a visible storefront for his insurance business, The Landreau Group, but he likes the diversity of businesses along Franklin as well as the proximity to the Seward industrial and manufacturing district to the south. And, says Carlos, “the freeway access is great!” Moving here from his previous traffic-jam-plagued Uptown location, he can appreciate that.

The Landreau Group is an independent insurance agency focusing on commercial, life & disability, and personal policies. For Carlos, the long and windy road to selling insurance in the Seward neighborhood began when he left his native Puerto Rico to attend Macalester College. After graduating with a degree in International Business and Accounting and a stint working for 3M in New Mexico, Carlos returned home to Puerto Rico where he started his own maintenance contracting business. And he did very well, growing his business from 1 location to 450 locations serviced in 8 years.

“But,” says Carlos, “as a young 25 year old entrepreneur, I made a lot of mistakes and learned about risk the hard way. I had no one who talked to me about what could go wrong.” That experience planted a seed that would take a few more years to mature. He left Puerto Rico again, with his wife Charlotte of 30 years who was born and raised in the Mac Groveland neighborhood in St. Paul. They started a family and worked throughout the Caribbean, North and South America, and Europe in a variety of sales and product management positions for companies like 3M, Laser Master, GE and ADC Telecom. Wanting to settle down and start his own business again, Carlos’ experience as an entrepreneur in Puerto Rico led him to spend 2 years researching the complex world of insurance before becoming an agent in Minneapolis with Farmers Insurance.

Carlos Landreau of The Landreau Group.

Carlos Landreau of The Landreau Group.

Part of his business plan was to always become an independent agent, free to work on behalf of his clients and their best interest. Carlos has been an independent agent now for the last 6 years and is joined by Sarah Soria and Liz Zacate who pride themselves in offering memorable customer service. The Landreau Group has built their reputation on extensive knowledge of the industry and a desire to help people understand the risks they face in their business or personal life. The motto Managing Risk Through Insurance encapsulates the philosophy, and The Landreau Group strives to negotiate the best price and coverage for their clients from the offerings of 40 different insurance carriers.

Recently, the agency participated in a Carlson School of Management marketing study conducted by students who interviewed current clients of the agency. The clients’ responses revealed that The Landreau Group’s reputation is one of integrity, dedication, passion and accessibility, and that most of their clients are long-term clients or referrals. So you won’t see a big marketing campaign or Carlos knocking at your door for your business, but if you’re ever in need of insurance, stop in at 2615 East Franklin, check out their website at http://www.ligmn.com/ or call Carlos, Sarah and Liz at 612-276-7035.


October Business Buzz

ArtiCulture’s Fall Classes & New Facebook Page!

October marks the start of ArtiCulture’s Fall session of art classes and workshops for all ages, from 1 to 100. Topics include Art Sprouts for Toddlers, Edible Holiday House, Comics to Animation, Drawing & Painting, Paper & Book Arts, Fused Glass Jewelry, and much more. They also offer a variety of art camps for school age children during school release days and winter break. Click on the link to see the complete Fall Schedule. If you’re interested in volunteering, check out the new ArtiCulture Volunteers Facebook group.

Upcoming Seward Construction Projects!


Franklin/Cedar/Minnehaha Intersection

Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis are planning for the repaving of Franklin Avenue (County Road 5) between 16th Ave and 21st Ave in 2016. In conjunction with this repaving project, they will be working to improve the difficult, high-traffic and dangerous Franklin/Cedar/Minnehaha intersection. Anticipated changes include the closure of Minnehaha Avenue north of Franklin; removing the traffic signal at Franklin & Minnehaha; creating a southbound turn lane from Cedar to 22nd Street; and improving the bike lanes and crosswalks. City and County planners have been getting feedback from the public and meeting with stakeholders, and will hold a public open house some time in November. The best way to stay in the loop about this project is to visit the County’s Project Webpage and sign up for project updates via email.

Minnehaha Avenue from 24th – 26th Streets

The City has been reconstructing and repaving this stretch of Minnehaha Avenue for the past few months and is expected to be completed this fall. For more information, visit the City’s Minnehaha Ave Paving webpage.

Snelling Avenue & East 24th Street

Just around the corner is the reconstruction of Snelling Avenue from 22nd to 24th Streets. The City began work this summer installing storm sewers near 24th & Snelling. The reconstruction of this stretch of Snelling will occur in 2016, when crews will dig up the road, install new curbs and gutters, and repave. For more information, visit the City’s 24th St & Snelling Ave webpage.

Franklin Avenue Bridge Update

Crews continue their work to restore concrete below the bridge deck, including work on the piers. Below is a picture of a section of pier that has been restored using shotcrete. Shotcrete is a special concrete that is applied using a controlled spray.

Sprayed concrete - shotcrete - used to repair pier below bridge deck.

Sprayed concrete – shotcrete – used to repair pier below bridge deck.

Crews have also been using the cofferdams in the river to get access to the parts of the pier that are at and below river level. Below is a picture showing concrete removal at one of the piers. Concrete is being restored in a way that protects the integrity of the structures.

Repair of pier below Franklin Ave Bridge

Repair of pier below river level.

Crews continue to work at the casting yard at Bohemian Flats area up the river to create the roadway deck panels. At present, more than 160 of the 366 panels needed for the roadway deck have been completed. All panels will be floated down the river next year and hoisted into place.

For more information and to sign up for email updates visit the County’s Franklin Ave Bridge webpage. Please direct any questions or comments to franklinbridge@hennepin.us.


‘Bring Your Own Bag’ Ordinance (reprinted from CM Cam Gordon’s September e-newsletter)

In August, Council Member Warsame and I formally introduced the subject matter of a new ordinance that would regulate carry-out bags in retail establishments.  The ordinance would prohibit the use of the standard carry-out, handled plastic bags and require retailers to charge a fee (that the retailer would keep) for paper bags.  The aim of the ordinance is to motivate shoppers to bring their own environmentally friendly reusable bags.  We are working on this to reduce litter and other negative environmental impacts, reduce the impact of plastic bags on our recycling system (which is significant), reduce the amount of plastic burned at the county garbage burner and move Minneapolis a step closer to a Zero Waste future.  We plan to do significant public engagement on this ordinance in the next few months, including broad-based resident outreach and specific targeted conversations with businesses that will be impacted, and with operators of recycling facilities, and environmental groups.  I am also working to coordinate efforts with St. Louis Park, where a similar ban is also being considered. If your group would like to get a presentation and give feedback, or if you would like to help educate others about this initiative, please let me know. Cam.Gordon@ci.minneapolis.mn.us



Clean Energy Resource Teams Request for Proposals for 2016 Seed Grants

The Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) seeks proposals for seed grant funds. These grants are designed to provide limited financial assistance for energy efficiency and/or renewable energy projects. Project funding can support assistance services (labor costs only, such as for a consultant, design professional, installer, or student labor), for projects in all seven MN CERT regions.

Past projects can be seen at http://mncerts.org/projects, and case studies can be read at http://mncerts.org/casestudies. The deadline to apply is Monday, October 26th, 2015 at 4:00pm. To learn more, visit http://mncerts.org/rfp.