16 October 2009

The greening of a city

Minneapolis is slated to receive $31.8 Million from the ARRA funds to further innovative housing projects according to Mayor Raymond "R.T." Rybak, a fiscal bulldog who is poised to win re-election to a third term.

In north Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) is partnering with an array of community organizations to create a brand new senior community center that will provide a variety of medical, recreational and social services to the senior population.

Near that proposed community center, the ARRA funds will also be used to develop a new 48-unit cutting edge "green" senior housing development incorporating technologies such as solar and geothermal to provide a supportive home to the frail and elderly, particularly those who have severe memory issues.  The innovative structure, built from green materials, will reduce energy costs and consumption to reduce the structure’s carbon footprint.

Green economic initiatives go beyond environmental awareness; it starts with construction jobs that help get money flowing in the area, while the community benefits long-term -- in this case from the new facility to take care of senior citizens while having a low impact on critical resources.

Rybak says that improvements on 733 already existing MPHA properties will also be undertaken using ARRA funds.  Properties have severely outdated energy and water systems will be enhanced to be more efficient and to save energy.   Even in the land of 10,000 lakes, water is one of our most precious resources, and obviously energy efficiency goes beyond economic and environmental concerns to actually enhance national security by reducing our dependence on supplies from those who have historically opposed American success.

Such investments in a community give a boost to the local economy while ultimately reducing burdens on tax-payers as well.  Rybak's Minneapolis continues to be a strong competitor for recovery funds and innovative, beneficial projects like this illustrate what a strong, effective leader skilled at advocating on behalf of their community can do.
Recovery.gov is online to see projections -- based on language in the legislation -- of where ARRA money will go, broken down state-by-state.

Mixed Greens

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