The City of Minneapolis and the Metropolitan Council have struck a tentative deal that could allow the proposed Southwest light rail project to move forward.
The nearly $1.7 billion budget for the proposed Southwest Light Rail project includes a tantalizing pot of money for the cities along the line: a contingency fund estimated at about $300 million.
The city has until July 14 to vote on the project and has yet to schedule a hearing. It has been negotiating with the Metropolitan Council behind closed doors for the last two months. The parties have revealed little about the status of those talks.
The city of Minneapolis will need to find more money for a new downtown park now that Radisson has abandoned a planned hotel development nearby.
It's been a tough month for cities and counties around the state. "It was little different than a typical disaster," said Hennepin County's Eric Waage. "This has been just body blows coming in rapid succession."
Every city along the proposed line has until July 14 to vote on the project. Hopkins and Minnnetonka have already approved it. St. Louis Park and Hennepin County are scheduled to vote next week, Eden Prairie the week after that.
The fireworks were supposed to be part of the Taste of Minnesota festival, but flooding on Harriet Island forced the festival to relocate to Waconia -- 40 miles west.
Mayor Betsy Hodges has received at least two letters this week from lawyers representing groups based in the city's Kenwood neighborhood. One came from a condominium association concerned its buildings could be damaged by light rail construction. Another argues the Metropolitan Council is legally required to do an additional environmental review.
As evidence of progress, the campaign lists the creation of a task force on early childhood education, the Legislature's decision to allocate $21.5 million to rehab Nicollet Mall, and the legalization of "grocery trucks."
A U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist says most of the state is vulnerable to flooding at this point. Survey crews are out measuring river flows and stream gauges in the wake of the heavy rains that have caused flooding in many parts of the state. Here's an update on the impact of flooding around the state.
The diocese's latest release also details how the church responded to the allegations, most of which took place decades ago. Many priests were referred to counseling and treatment programs. Few faced criminal investigations.
Sabo said he decided to speak out about the project and its $1.7 billion cost after hearing some of the recent arguments made by proponents of the line, including how it would help low-income people on Minneapolis' North Side.
Minneapolis City Council President Barbara Johnson has inquired about the possibility of suspending Minneapolis Civil Rights Director Velma Korbel, in light of a speech Korbel gave last year to employees in her department.
The agreement gave the Hubbard family the "right to distribute" up to three channels over the satellite system, provided the programming met a set of criteria.
A recently released text of a speech Velma Korbel made last year to employees lends credence to complaints about her management style. She is also engaged in an unusually public feud with the chair of the City Council committee overseeing her department.