St. Paul, MN – On Thursday Governor Mark Dayton (DFL) met with business leaders, community members and lawmakers to discuss alternative funding options for the Southwest Light Rail Transit project (SWLRT).
All sides were represented, including those for and against the project.
Two options were presented. Option one fills the $144.5M funding gap. In option one the Metropolitan Council issues “certificates of participation” for $103.5M with the Council financing $91.75M, and the Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB) financing $11.75M. The Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority would provide an additional $20.5M, and CTIB an additional $20.5M.
Option two is to shut down the project, which includes incurring $5M in shutdown costs, laying off “up to 45 staff,” and walking away from $140M in “sunk costs.”
The project is set to run out of cash Sept 30th.
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