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Letter: Why is MN throwing away $900 million?

Minnesota is up for a $900 million matching grant for the Southwest Light Rail Transit project.

This grant would provide $900 million dollars for our Minnesota construction companies and our Minnesota construction workers. These jobs could not be outsourced to China or some other foreign country. This work would be done by Minnesota construction companies and Minnesota construction workers.

A problem is that 84 mostly rural Minnesota legislators signed a letter asking the Trump administration to cancel the $900 million dollar grant.

According to the metropolitan council, over the past few years there have been 850 public meetings concerning the project attended by about 28,000 people, and the city councils of all cities along the line --- Minneapolis, St. Paul, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie --- support it.

In addition, almost all of the funding for the project comes from taxing local districts. The legislature's contribution to date is only $30 million dollars (1.5 percent) of a nearly $2 billion dollar infusion of transportation infrastructure.

Thus, one may ask, why are these 84 legislators sending a letter to the Trump administration asking that the $900 million grant be cancelled?

I called a legislator to ask why he was so against this project. The answer I got was that it was too expensive. Well, it isn't too expensive for rural Minnesotans, since rural Minnesotans will pay almost nothing for the project. Also, it isn't too expensive for the local people who will pay the taxes because, as explained in paragraph 3 above, the local people think the project will benefit them.

The next reason he was against the project was there would be ongoing operating expenses. Well, there are ongoing operational expenses for all transportation projects. One year you build a road, the next year you have to start maintaining and repairing it.

Please call your local state legislator and ask if he or she signed the letter asking the Trump administration to cancel the $900 million of funding for the Southwest Light Rail project. I thought the Republicans were for jobs. I thought the Minnesota state legislators were for Minnesota construction workers and Minnesota construction companies. How do we create jobs when we throw away $900 million?

To read more about this, go to Google and type in the following phrase, "84 Minnesota state legislators sent a letter to the Trump administration asking them to block funding for Southwest light rail project."—Robert Peterson, Henning, MN

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