According to this article over at Thisweek (funny how easy that is, eh), the Dakota County Regional Rail Authority stated that while they love the idea of “high-speed rail” they do not want to pay for it and believe it should all come from state and federal funds.
I’m a big advocate of mass transportation and rail especially. I love the idea that we may eventually be able to take a train to Madison or Chicago and be there in 1 or 2 hours, respectively. What I am not a big fan of is the time line which, according to the article, will be over the next 20 years, nor the Dakota County Commissioner’s fears that the state will purposefully plan funding shortfalls so that part of the money to pay for this will come out of county dollars. The article goes on to mention that plans may be enacted to place a station in Rosemount but the County Commissioners do not want any part of that as they claim it’s nothing more than an attempt to get money from the taxpayers.
While I had no problems with the County Commissioners wanting no part of helping to fund this project if there was no direct benefit to the local community (e.g. if the train was going to stop in Winona, Red Wing, and St. Paul only–you know, which would make less stops and the travel times as fast as they currently claim) but if they are seriously planning a stop in Rosemount, then I want the County Commissioners to more clearly state their disagreement with the plan. As far as I see, that would be a huge boon to the county–much more so than the $21 million transit station in Apple Valley which the County Commissioners and Apple Valley mayor believe will be some sort of jobs creation juggernaut.
What are your thoughts on paying for “high speed rail” in Dakota County? Would it be worth it for the County Commissioners to come down off their high horse if a station was planted in Rosemount or would you prefer that the funding remain only at the federal and state levels? Whatever you think about the Dakota County Regional Rail Authority (I find this name ironic in light of BRT)’s decision to stamp their feet and pound their fists over this plan go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.