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Should Minneapolis Share Cost of 50th and France Parking?

Edina's city manager, Scott Neal, proposed in a blog post that maybe Minneapolis should chip in to pay for parking on the Edina side of France Avenue.

Providing sufficient free parking for the 50th and France business district is a costly and complicated issue for Edina. The city purchased the Edina Realty building on West 49½ Street for $2.65 million in March and has gone forth and back on invoking eminent domain to acquire the Hooten Dry Cleaning building.

But with the commercial district split down France Avenue between Edina and Minneapolis, Edina city manager Scott Neal has floated the idea that maybe Edina's eastern neighbor should pitch in financially.

In a Jan. 22 blog post, Neal wrote about a lawsuit filed against the Red Cow, a popular restaurant on the Minneapolis side of France, for creating parking congestion in the neighborhood.

The courts sided with the restaurant, citing the hundreds of parking spaces in Edina's "public ramp just two blocks away."

Neal said he was annoyed that the $5 million in improvements planned for Edina ramps will benefit Minneapolis residents but be funded wholly by Edinans.

"It’s nice that the City of Minneapolis acknowledges the benefit of Edina-provided free public parking in the 50th & France parking ramps," he wrote. "It would be even nicer for them to work together with the City of Edina to create a new Special Services District that would allow Edina to be able to spread the cost of building and maintaining those municipal parking ramps over the properties that actually benefit from them—on both sides of France Avenue."

Some of Neal's readers responded with sarcasm to the suggestion, taking to the comment section to make the point that the relationship between the cities isn't  "completely one-sided" and that there are plenty of "examples of Minneapolis-funded infrastructure that benefit Edinans."

"Maybe we (Edinans) should propose reciprocity," Dave Ostlund wrote. "Minneapolis pays for our ramps and we pay for Minneapolis’s lakes and parks."

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