Minnesota governor to raise $22.5M for Northstar project

Posted on August 3, 2004

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced on Tuesday a plan to raise $22.5 million to keep the Northstar commuter rail project moving forward. Funding for the project was included in the governor's bonding proposal this year, but the legislature failed to pass a bonding bill. The governor's new plan does not require legislative approval. The plan includes using $2.5 million of Metropolitan Council money to leverage an additional $10 million in federal matching funds. The federal funds would be lost if not used by the state before Sept. 30. In addition, the Northstar Corridor Development Authority is expected to provide an additional $10 million to be used for design of the project. The combined $22.5 million will go toward the project's expected $265 million total cost and allow it to continue according to plan. "We need to move forward with efforts to relieve traffic congestion," said Pawlenty. "Our efforts to build roads and bridges are a big part of the plan, but we also must pursue effective transit options along priority corridors." The Metropolitan Council is expected to vote on the proposal as early as next week.

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