BLAINE, Minn. – (Sept. 28, 2017) – The North Metro Mayors Association celebrated its 30th anniversary last week. Former Blaine Mayor, El Tinklenberg said the association was founded when mayors from several north metro cities began talking about the how the southern metro area was receiving much more attention and state funding.
“There was an awareness that we needed to be able to compete on the north side with what we saw as the resource allocation being more and more diverted to the south side and so we started having conversations,” said Tinklenberg.
The current Mayor of Blaine, Tom Ryan said North Metro Mayors Association can count several major area projects as accomplishments.
“If you march in with one voice you don’t get very far, but when they started seeing the metro mayors organize, then that was a big deal,” said Ryan.
Circle Pines Mayor, Dave Bartholomay said the association has championed many transportation and infrastructure improvements over the years.
“Circle Pines is only 5,000 people, it’s a couple square miles so we don’t really have a lot of big budgets and big oomph and so it only is by working with others that we actually get enough kind of gravitas to make it happen,” said Bartholomay. “Whether it’s 35W, whether it’s some county road projects, whether it’s some stuff with out school districts it’s by working together that makes it happen, it really makes a difference.”
In 2017 the association had 36 different projects or policies that they advocated for with state lawmakers. Much of the work of the North Metro Mayors Association is based upon collaboration between cities. The association currently has 15 member cities. Blaine City Manager, Clark Arneson said the collaboration has helped fund many major highway projects.
“Probably the best example is 610 or even Highway 10, when you’re working on a corridor project like that, what the state legislature and the federal government both want to see is that there’s a: an identified corridor need, b: that all the cities are working together,” Arneson said. “Getting 610 funded in multiple steps, now Highway 10 is under the same program, hopefully we’re going to be able to do a corridor approach to Highway 65 here soon.”
The association will continue to advocate for projects that are designed to improve the quality of life for those living in, working in or traveling through the north metro.