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Mayor Jacobs to Gov. Dayton: We're 'Extremely Disappointed' in Southwest LRT Delay

St. Louis Park mayor Jeff Jacobs penned a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton threatening to withhold the city's municipal consent should the Met Council decide to reroute freight traffic through SLP.

St. Louis Park mayor Jeff Jacobs and Gov. Mark Dayton. Credit: City of St. Louis Park and state of Minnesota.
St. Louis Park mayor Jeff Jacobs and Gov. Mark Dayton. Credit: City of St. Louis Park and state of Minnesota.
St. Louis Park mayor Jeff Jacobs sent a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton Thursday morning saying the city was "extremely disappointed" in the decision to delay a vote by the Met Council on the Southwest light-rail project.

Freight rail is back on the table during a two to three month back-to-the-drawing-board period for Met Council staff, and Jacobs stressed the city's preference for a shallow tunnel plan, endorsed by LRT project staff and by the council's Corridor Management Committee, that would co-locate light-rail with freight rail in Minneapolis' Kenilworth corridor.

"Based on our history of past statements of concerns over rerouting freight rail traffic in St. Louis Park and the conclusions to date demonstrating viable alternate routes," Jacobs wrote in his letter, "it will be difficult to see a path forward to municipal consent in  community should it now be recommended that freight rail traffic be rerouted in St. Louis Park."

Dayton met privately Tuesday with Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak, Met Council chair Susan Haigh and others, and Jacobs expressed dissatisfaction that no representatives from St. Louis Park were invited to the meeting.

"At a minimum, St. Louis Park leaders and its legislators should have had a place at that meeting before an announcement was made that more than a decade of study and two years of hard work by the Corridor Management Committee and Metropolitan Council staff to reach a freight rail conclusion was being set aside," he wrote.

Copies of the letter are being sent to Gov. Dayton's chief of staff and St. Louis Park's legislative delegation. 

Read Jacobs' full letter above.

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