Minneapolis Mayor Frey seeks federal, state aid for at least $55 million in estimated damage

StarTribune reports with at least $55 million in estimated damage and far more to come, Minneapolis will need state and federal aid as it attempts to rebuild hundreds of structures after the riots following George Floyd’s death, Mayor Jacob Frey said.

City officials are still putting together a complete tally of the destruction and cautioned that estimates are likely to rise significantly. Gov. Tim Walz and members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation are trying to get government assistance to offset that cost. But in the past, neither the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) nor Congress has consistently sent federal funding to cities ravaged by riots.

Minneapolis City Council members on Tuesday received an update from the city’s Community Planning & Economic Development department that estimated at least 220 buildings had been damaged, resulting in a minimum of $55 million in costs, though the city was “not yet ready to produce a credible estimate” of the losses.

Frey said in an interview that he expects the full cost of the damage to be “tens, if not hundreds of millions” of dollars, across both Twin Cities.

“We will do everything we can as we shift to recovery mode,” Frey said. “We’re recovering from crises sandwiched on top of each other, from COVID-19 to the police killing and then the looting which took place afterward.”

Walz said Tuesday that he is pushing for funding to rebuild damaged communities. His administration has been talking to U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, as well as U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar and Betty McCollum, who represent the Twin Cities. Walz said they have had conversations about seeking federal assistance to rebuild communities and “we have expressed some of our desires to explore what we can do there.”