Friday, April 26, 2013
The Metropolitan Council is warning about dwindling groundwater supplies. Find out how much water St. Louis Park residents are using.
The Metropolitan Council is warning about the increasing use of groundwater across the metro. Until the late 1970s, the seven-county region relied primarily on the Mississippi River for its water needs. But today, about 70 percent of the metro, including St. Louis Park, relies on municipal and private wells that pump groundwater. “Aquifers are being depleted; lakes, streams, and wetlands are being damaged; and in some areas, groundwater levels have declined by as much as 40 feet, roughly one foot each year, since the 1970s,” a news release quoted said Keith Buttleman, assistant general manager of the Council’s Environmental Services division. In St. Louis Park, water use is expected to grow 4.8 percent between 2010 and 2020—from 6.83 …
Monday, April 8, 2013
HousingLink data highlights how uneven affordable housing availability can be.
Paying for rental housing is no easy proposition in Minnesota. Last month, the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual Out of Reach report ranked the state worst in the Midwest and 24th nationally. A breakdown of the report by the Minnesota Housing Partnership estimated that 54 percent of renters can’t afford a modest two-bedroom apartment. But apartments can have a hard time winning neighbors over even when they don’t specifically serve low-income renters—as recent debates have shown. In St. Louis Park, some residents criticized the proposed Eliot Park Apartments development that would build two new apartment buildings with a total of 138 units on Cedar Lake Road. Said Patch reader MMG: All of a sudden, all I am seeing in this city…
Monday, December 3, 2012
A study commissioned by the Itasca Project examined the return on investment for fully funding the regional transportation plan—which includes roads, buses and two more light rail lines by 2030.
A study commissioned by a group of Twin Cities business leaders estimates that the region could more than double the return on its investment by fully funding the Metropolitan Council’s transportation plan—which includes road and bus upgrades and the addition of two more light rail lines by 2030. “The Regional Transit Project Return on Investment Assessment” was commissioned by the Itasca Project—a group of more than 50 people that is made up mainly of private sector CEOs, with a small number of public and nonprofit leaders. Cambridge Systematics, the Massachusetts-based firm that did the analysis, estimates that implementing the Met Council’s plan would generate between $6.6 billion and $10.1 billion in direct benefits between 2030 and …
Friday, October 12, 2012
A Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Southwest Light Rail line was recently released.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Today, the Southwest Light Rail (SWLRT) Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was released. While we applaud the release of this document and look forward to the many benefits of SWLRT we continue to be concerned with the way in which the proposed freight rail re-route is being presented and how the issue may be treated by the Met Council and Hennepin County. During the years of planning for SWLRT, Hennepin County made a concerted effort to keep true study of the freight issue to a minimum, while promising Minneapolis residents that the freight trains would go away. Most recently this effort came to light after the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) required an analysis of the freight rail issue be added to the SWLRT DEIS. …
Monday, August 27, 2012
A stretch of track from I-394 to just east of Beltline Boulevard is being replaced.
Changes are coming to the Kenilworth Freight Rail Corridor this fall, but not as part of a potential reroute through St. Louis Park. A stretch of track from I-394 to just east of Beltline Boulevard will be replaced in October, the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority reported Tuesday. The section of track is aging and isn't up to current design standards. The new track will consist of continuously welded rail, which will result in smoother operations for freight trains. There is no plan to increase train speeds as part of the project, the HCRRA reports. This also has nothing to do with a proposed freight rail reroute that could divert Kenilworth traffic onto a railway that runs through the heart of St. Louis Park to make room for a …
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
The city added 255 people over the year.
St. Louis Park grew slightly less than the metro area as a whole from 2010 to 2011, according to Metropolitan Council data released Monday. The community added 255 people from 2010 to 2011—.56 percent growth that brought the city’s population to 45,505. That growth is a notch slower than the .84 percent in the seven-county metro area and Hennepin County’s .92 percent growth. Minneapolis led the metro in population increases, which Met Council Demographer Todd Graham attributed to new multi-family housing. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul, which had the second-most growth, had increased apartment occupancy rates. Together, the two cities accounted for 29 percent of the metro’s growth. “I’m pleased to see growth occurring primarily where there…
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
The city is looking to put its stamp on the Beltline Boulevard stop.
Though the state legislature didn't include funding for the Southwest Light Rail Transitway in last session's bonding bill, St. Louis Park City Council is still forging ahead with its part of the project. At a Monday study session, council looked over design guidelines for the proposed Beltline station. The stop is the first of three in St. Louis Park to go under the microscope, thanks to a grant from the Met Council. A grant was also received to study the Louisiana Avenue stop, so that figures to be next in line for City Council. A grant for the third stop—at Wooddale Avenue—is expected to come the city's way as well. To study the Beltline station area, City Council set up a resident advisory committee, which drafted the design guidelines…
Monday, July 2, 2012
The Edina, Eden Prairie, Minneapolis Regional, St. Paul Area and TwinWest chambers have all endorsed the proposal.
Monday, July 2, 2012
Editor’s Note: The state’s five largest released the following statement Monday after endorsing the Metropolitan Council’s request for up to $14 million for Southwest Light Rail Transit from the Department of Employment and Economic Development. The Edina, Eden Prairie, Minneapolis Regional, St. Paul Area and TwinWest chambers have all endorsed the proposal. Click on the PDFs to the right to read the resolutions of support, the cover letter for the application packet, the application and the Federal Transit Administration’s approval for preliminary engineering. Minneapolis/Saint Paul/Plymouth/Eden Prairie/Edina, MN — Minnesota’s five largest local Chambers of Commerce endorsed Metropolitan Council’s application today to the state’s $47…
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Met Council is currently applying for $47.5 million in state funding for Southwest Light Rail.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Editor's Note: The following is a letter written and signed by the mayors of Edina, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Minneapolis and St. Louis Park. The letter was sent to Mark Phillips, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Dear Commissioner Phillips: As the Mayors of six cities in the western metropolitan area, we write today regarding the $47.5 million Business Development Through Capital Project Grants Program to be administered by the Department of Employment and Economic Development. We understand that the Metropolitan Council is applying for a grant for Southwest Light Rail Transit (SW LRT) from this program. We strongly support that request. SW LRT will benefit each of our cities. The …
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Susan Haigh criticized the Legislature’s refusal to set aside $25 million for Southwest Light Rail Transit in this year’s bonding bill.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
(Susan Haigh, chairwoman of the Metropolitan Council, released the following statement Thursday after the conclusion of this year's legislative session.) A bonding bill that omits Southwest Light Rail misses a tremendous opportunity for the state and the Twin Cities region. I’m disappointed that the Governor’s original bonding proposal was scaled back in a way that leaves out this important investment, which has the strong support of business and the six communities along the line. By leaving out Southwest Light Rail, the Legislature put up a serious impediment to private sector job creation along the corridor. The State of Minnesota must continue to make smart investments in critical public infrastructure projects for the region like …