41° and Overcast at 4:47am in Pine City

Pine County Staying in Rail Alliance

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 at 2:58 pm

nle1Pine County is still a part of the Minneapolis-Duluth/Superior Passenger Rail Alliance, at least for this year. The County Board agreed Tuesday to make the $25,000 payment to remain part of a joint powers agreement. County Commissioner Steve Hallan encouraged the board to stick with the project because of the long term economic impact on the county.

Hear Hallan’s Comments:

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The board agreed to make the payment with a 4-1 vote. Commissioner Curt Rossow gave the lone vote of opposition. Commissioner Rossow says he still wants more details on how the rail line will benefit the county.

Hear Rossow’s Comments:

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Interim County Coordinator Mark LeBrun told the board that Douglas County and Superior are now paying $15,000 for their vote on the board. Ken Buehler, Executive Director of the Lake Superior Railroad Museum and Historic Union Depot, says Pine County is paying more because it will see greater benefits.

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County Commissioner Doug Carlson, who also sits on the Rail Alliance, says because Pine County falls right in the middle of the proposed line from Duluth to Minneapolis, it needs a voice on the rail alliance.

Hear Carlson’s Comments:

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The county board scheduled a Committee of the Whole Meeting to meet with members of the Passenger Rail Alliance on February 24th in Pine County.

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