If the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board won’t let the train run on time, Governor Mark Dayton won’t punch the board’s budget ticket.
Dayton says the park board is running up the cost of the proposed Southwest Light Rail transit line by spending about $500,000 on consultants for engineering studies of a proposed tunnel under the Kenilworth channel at the Chain of Lakes. “If they have all this additional money to throw around for consultants then they don’t need all the state money that’s being allocated.”
“I don’t think state money should be going for them to spend a half-million dollars on consultants to just obstruct the overall purpose of the project,” Dayton told reporters. He says that the board should not receive state money to “cause this kind of mayhem.”
Dayton’s budget proposes the state withhold nearly $4 million in state aid over two years.
Park board denies it is stalling light rail
Liz Wielinski, President of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board issued a statement saying she is “extremely disappointed that the Governor wants to punish the Park Board and more than 15 million users of regional parks in Minneapolis because the Met Council did not do their job in their pursuit of taking park land.”
Wielinski says the park board is not obstructing the Southwest Light Rail transit line and the board’s actions have not slowed the project. She instead blames lack of support from the legislature for the project’s problems.