Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Friday, August 31, 2007

Morningstar update

See here for the Bridge Newspaper story on this topic.

Morningstar Coffee has received two $200 fines from the City's Environmental Management staff. Until the afterburner that Morningstar's management committed to install on July 16 is installed, they face fines that will double every two weeks ($400, $800, $1,600, up to a maximum of $2,000).

The good news is that the fines seem to be working. I have heard from Environmental Management staff that they have been in communication with a contractor that Morningstar has hired to install the odor control equipment next week. Note that this is later than the date of August 31 that Morningstar owner Jose Vido gave Bridge reporter Liz Riggs for when the equipment would be "up and running."

Our office's experience with this issue prompted a meeting earlier this week with high-level staff within Regulatory Services, to talk about possible improvements to their enforcement processes. I believe we're making progress on that, especially on the need to provide clear and firm due dates and timelines for when the City expects work on remediating livability complaints.

Lastly, we continue to hear through the grapevine that Jose Vido is thinking about not using the equipment once it is installed, and taking steps to reduce inspectors' access to his building, such as a buzzer system at the door. Environmental Management staff will be sending the company a letter informing them of the consequences of playing this sort of game with neighbors and the City.


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