Bet you never thought you’d hear us say that. But it’s true: the far, far left of the Minneapolis City Council is seeking to stop the construction of a new water treatment plant that provides safe and clean drinking water for Minneapolis residents. City Council President Lisa Bender is cautioning the radicals that safe drinking water is a core function of the city and thus far, it’s one of the only things Minneapolis elected officials seem to have not screwed up in recent years.
Now that work has begun to update the city’s water infrastructure in this East Phillips neighborhood, some community leaders would like to replace it with – wait for it – a community-owned “urban farm” that would include “aquaponics, low-income apartments, an industrial kitchen and mom-and-pop retail.”
The impetus for stopping construction of the water maintenance facility? Minneapolis declared that racism is a public health emergency. As such, Minneapolis City Council members are now siding with community activists to stop construction of the water maintenance facility (which, to date, has cost city taxpayers $9.8 million). Instead of the water maintenance facility, these city “leaders” are trying to find “an investor to buy the site for $6.8 million, which is what the city’s Water Fund paid for it [the property.] They aren’t sure where the water maintenance facility should be located but they’re pretty sure it shouldn’t be in the current location that is under construction.
According to the Star Tribune, “the city’s water division oversees more than 1,000 miles of underground water main, which supplies the drinking water of Minneapolis and seven surrounding cities. Its current building is crumbling and inaccessible to people with disabilities.”
Yet some city council members believe a new site should be found for an essential city service so they can construct an urban farm with other amenities. Perhaps someone should tell the Minneapolis city council radicals that we wouldn’t have to continue to set aside land and build new “mom-and-pop businesses” if they would call upon their fellow travelers to stop burning and looting existing ones.