Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Southwest Corridor Not in Bonding Bill

Southwest Corridor not on bonding bill passed by Minnesota House today. This is a blow to the Southwest Corridor.

 Minnesota House passes bonding bill
"As before, the bill tilts heavily toward bricks-and-mortar projects like flood mitigation and bridge repairs, and leaves out most local projects like convention centers, the Southwest rail corridor, a face-lift for Nicollet Mall or a new ballpark for the St. Paul Saints.
“Let’s not tell Minnesotans that we’re preparing for the future, because we are not,” said Rep. Jean Wagenius, DFL-Minneapolis, lamenting some of the items that were left out of the bonding bill – including funds to fight invasive Asian carp in the rivers and funds for the Southwest light rail corridor.
The bill does contain a $55 million pot of money that can be used for capital project grants – grants that communities might be able to apply for to build, say, a minor league ballpark or a civic center. Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, offered an amendment that would have locked up that $55 million for road construction projects instead, but was voted down."

Supporters say Southwest Corridor LRT could lose federal funds

Saints Ballpark, Southwest LRT Not in MN Bonding Bill
"On Monday night, the Minnesota House and Senate passed slightly different versions of a $496 million bonding bill—but neither version includes money for a new Saints ballpark or the Southwest Corridor Light Rail line.
Still, that isn’t a sure sign that both projects are dead."

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