Recap: Coffee & CREam Discussion with Met Council Chair Tchourumoff
April 5, 2018
Dozens of NAIOP members attended April’s Coffee and CREam discussion with Metropolitan Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff to hear about the Council’s work.
The Met Council is a unique form of regional government. Functioning both as a governing body and planning organization for the seven-county metro area, it is granted its governing ability by state statute. Its role is to provide and manage necessary regional services, including public transportation, affordable housing, sewage treatment and regional planning, among others. Its board is currently made up of 17 members appointed by Governor Dayton and confirmed by the Minnesota Senate.
In recent years, the council has become debated as some legislators have voiced concerns that the council is not accountable enough to the people it serves, given its vast scope of services, large budgets and board membership being exclusively by gubernatorial appointment.
Chair Tchourumoff outlined the council’s newly modified Sewer Availability Charge (SAC) calculation process and why she believes it will be beneficial for businesses. The new process streamlines SAC calculations, which intends to simplify the process for builders, cities and Met Council staff. Changes include:
- The determination process will continue to use usage and categories to determine SAC, but instead of using net square feet of individual uses, it will use gross square feet of tenant space.
- Outdoor seating discounts will continue, but to simplify calculations they will now receive twice the amount of “free” outdoor capacity – up to 593 gross square feet.
- SAC collection will be eliminated for remodel projects that result in no change of use as long as the floor plan does not grow in size.
- The grandfather date will change from Jan. 1, 1973 to Jan. 1, 2009 for the SAC credit process.
Expected to be revenue neutral, these changes will be implemented July 1. Learn more about SAC here.
Another hot topic of discussion was the region’s transit planning. Highlighting Rapid Bus Transit (RBT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT), Chair Tchourumoff spoke about the expanding reach, reliability and accessibility of transit in the metro area. With 700,000 additional people expected in the metro area by 2040, the demand for transit will only increase.
While giving updates on projects like Southwest Light Rail and the Bottineau line, Chair Tchourumoff pointed out that all rail transit has seen increased ridership the last several years – already surpassing the Council’s 2030 ridership projections. The council continues to plan how best to deliver transportation services for the future in order to keep up with increased demand.
“We were pleased to host Met Council Chair Tchourumoff this morning,” said Phil Cattanach, Public Policy Chair of NAIOP Minnesota. “Thank you for the productive conversation about issues that impact our members. We appreciate the dedication the council has to supporting our region’s economic vitality.”
For more information on the Met Council, visit metrocouncil.org.