The Office of the Legislative Auditor released its special review on the Southwest Light Rail Transit: Project Budget and Timeline on Friday morning. The report reveals troubling issues concerning the initial planning costs of the project and the omission of key details by the Metropolitan Council to artificially lower the overall costs of SWLRT.
In response, House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee Chair Representative Frank Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis) and Senate Transportation Finance and Policy Committee ranking DFL-lead Senator Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) released the following statement:
“Today’s report reinforces our deep concern over the management of this project by the Metropolitan Council. While today’s report is new, the truth is many of these issues are the long-term results of an agency that lacks transparency in decision making or accountability.
“Moving forward, we will work with our colleagues to pass legislation making changes ensuring the Metropolitan Council receives the level of democratic accountability and transparency it should have, most importantly the transformation of it into an elected body.
“We commend the Office of the Legislative Auditor for a thorough report and look forward to receiving the rest of their findings early next year.”
Next week, there will be a Legislative Audit Commission virtual hearing for the Southwest Light Rail Transit: Project Budget and Timeline report on Thursday, September 8, at 1:30 p.m. that will provide an overview of the report’s findings. The second part of the report will be released in early 2023.