The following article by Janet Moore was published in the August 31, 2016 issue of the Star Tribune.
Hennepin County Approves Extra $20.5M for Southwest LRT
Photo by Richard Sennott
Hennepin County officials agreed Tuesday to give the proposed Southwest light-rail line an additional $20.5 million, part of a last-minute funding patch that is intended to keep the controversial $1.9 billion project afloat.
The county’s Regional Railroad Authority is already on the hook for $165.3 million for the 14.5-mile line linking downtown Minneapolis and Eden Prairie. But since legislators did not come up with their 10 percent share last spring, the Metropolitan Council is now scrambling to make up the resulting $145 million shortfall.
While voting 6-1 Tuesday in favor of the cash infusion, some Hennepin County commissioners — who sit as members of the rail authority — appeared to find their own action distasteful. Commissioner Mike Opat went so far to call it “ulcer-inducing.”
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