Twin Cities area business leaders are officially backing the Metropolitan Council’s bid to get a share of state bonding money to use for the Southwest Light Rail Line project.
The council is applying for part of the $47.5 million economic development fund, which was created in the larger bonding bill passed during the 2012 Legislative session. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development will decide which local projects get the money.
Minnesota’s five largest local chambers of commerce announced today their endorsement of the application. Bruce Nustad, president of the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce, said in a news release that the project is critical to the state’s economic success.
“The day it opens, Southwest Light Rail will serve 210,000 jobs on the line and connect the southwest suburbs with jobs in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the University of Minnesota,” Nustad wrote. “Funding Southwest will let us compete with the many other American cities that use great transit to serve jobs and grow opportunity.
State officials extended the deadline to apply for the economic development money to July 9.