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News & Updates for March 2006

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March 24, 2006

Senate passes Northstar funding

The Minnesota Senate overwhelmingly approved $60 million in bonding for the construction of Northstar Commuter Rail on March 23rd. The bill passed with strong bipartisan support on a 56-9 vote.

The Minnesota House must now pass its version of the bonding bill before a conference committee of House and Senate members meets to resolve the differences between the bills.

March 21, 2006

Northstar is committed to protecting the environment during development

Recent media reports have highlighted efforts that will be taken to protect Blandings turtles during development of Northstar Commuter Rail.

The Northstar Corridor Development Authority is committed to taking special care to keep the turtles out of harms way and minimize any affect Northstar development may have on the environment.

A federally-required Environmental Assessment (EA) found that Northstars construction may cause only one significant environmental impact: removal of two acres of wetlands that could potentially put the Blandings turtle at risk. While the report found that the turtles nesting grounds would not be directly disturbed by track improvements for Northstar, it highlighted the concern because the turtles travel between wetlands and may come in contact with construction zones.

Read the Star Tribune article here:

March 10, 2006

FTA Plans to Recommend Northstar for Entrance into Final Design

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) intends to grant the Northstar Commuter Rail project approval to enter the final design phase of development upon completion of federal requirements, according to a March 8 letter sent to state officials. FTA approval for final design is a required step toward gaining the federal funding needed to complete the Northstar project.

Continue reading "FTA Plans to Recommend Northstar for Entrance into Final Design" >>

March 01, 2006

Legislature Back in Session

The 2006 Minnesota Legislature will be asked to approve the remaining portion of the state commitment for Northstar -- approximately $60 million. It is critical that supporters urge their legislators to support this level of funding. Contact your legislators here:

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