Met Council, Hennepin County Hear Public Comment on Southwest Light Rail

Updated: 05/29/2014 11:33 PM
Created: 05/29/2014 10:20 PM
By: Tom Durian

The long, controversial process of approving the Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) line trudges on.

The Metropolitan Council and the Hennepin County Railroad Authority held a "municipal consent" hearing Thursday. The hearing is just one of six that will be held at all the cities along the rail line.

The 2 1/2 half hour meeting had more than 45 speakers signed up from the community. Residents both for and against the project spoke passionately about it.

Uptown resident Harry Savidge said "this project makes sense, it's what we need."

However, there are many that are opposed to the project, which the Met Council estimates could cost as much as $1.7 billion.

An Eden Prairie resident believes the constant changes to the plan could run up the price tag even more. She asked what the hurry is.

Met Council spokesperson Meredith Vadis says the longer the project is delayed, the further down the priority list it falls for the federal government. Federal funding will pay for as much as 50 percent of the total cost.

All the cities must hold their meetings and take a vote on the project by July 14.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

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