WHEREAS, the city administration and council wish to establish a clear set of priorities for legislative action during the 2005 legislative session; and

     WHEREAS, there have been several meetings devoted to discussing city legislative concerns and priorities; and

     WHEREAS, the administration and council choose to express support for a number of projects which will benefit the community while indicating whether the city will assume a lead role or a supporting role or will simply express its support for a funding request.

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the primary legislative objectives of the city of Duluth for the year 2005 are to:

           Preserve a truly needs based formula for the allocation of local government aid and maintain the highest possible funding for the local government aid program.

           Secure legislation to delay the take over of the collection of the city’s local sales by the department of revenue until December 31, 2007.

           Secure state bonding proceeds for the following requests:

                 Duluth sanitary sewer overflow storage.

                 Completion of the Aerial Lift Bridge rehabilitation.

                 Design for the new Duluth arena at the DECC.

                 Development of Spirit Mountain master plan.

                 Design and develop restrooms, exhibits and trail at Lake Superior Zoo.

     FURTHER RESOLVED, that city staff and elected officials will take the lead role in advancing these initiatives during the 2005 legislative session.

     FURTHER RESOLVED, that city staff is to support the following funding requests:

           Port development assistance administered by the Minnesota department of transportation.

           Redevelopment account administered by the department of employment and economic development.

           Wastewater infrastructure funding administered by the public facilities authority (DEED) and the Minnesota pollution control agency.

           State matching funds to complete a study of freshwater corrosion of structures in St. Louis Bay.

           Greater Minnesota regional parks funding administered by the department of natural resources.

     FURTHER RESOLVED, that city staff is to support the following legislative initiatives that have state wide effects:

           Housing legislative initiatives:

                 A $20 million bond allocation for permanent supportive housing loans through the Minnesota housing finance agency;

                 Modification of the 1995 Minnesota state legislation that provides “relative homestead” property tax status, restricting this status to “vacation homes”;

                 Support for the programs and services of the Minnesota housing finance agency including the “Bbridges program”;

                 Support property tax relief for low income rental properties;

                 Expand tax abatement authority to provide 20 year abatements for affordable housing development;

                 Support tax increment financing for development of mixed-income and mixed-occupancy housing; and

           Support efforts to establish historic preservation tax credits.

     FURTHER RESOLVED, that the administration and council express support for the initiatives advanced by the Minnesota state colleges and universities system for construction funds for a health and wellness facility at Lake Superior College; construction funds for a life sciences facility and a recreational sports addition at University of Minnesota Duluth; and design funds for a new business school at the University of Minnesota Duluth; by the department of education for the Duluth Grant School Youth and Community Center through the department of education; and for construction of, and tax exemptions for, a test facility of a personal rapid transit system in Minnesota; and for state tax exemptions for the relocation of dock facilities from a superfund site on St. Louis Bay waterfront.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This resolution sets forth the city’s legislative priorities for the 2005 session of the Minnesota Legislature. Projects are prioritized into three categories of support. The first category is where the city assumes an active leadership role in promoting the funding of projects, the second is where the city will assume an active supporting role in promoting the funding of projects and the third is where the city will simply express its support for the funding projects.