Twin Cities Envision Greater Regional Cooperation

<p>The idea of expanding the influence of the metropolitan planning organization in Minnesota's Twin Cities region has been around for a while. But increasing growth and congestion may finally push the idea forward.</p>
June 27, 2007, 11am PDT | Nate Berg
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"A serious push is needed to bring those counties under the influence of the Metropolitan Council or lure them into another form of coordinated planning, said numerous speakers Monday at a conference of regional leaders."

"Expanding the council's reach into surrounding counties has been batted about for many years but seldom, if ever, with quite the public intensity of Monday's session."

"One of the main concerns within the inner metro is that surrounding counties are adding new housing and therefore commuters without any overall coordination, meaning they are being piled on top of already congested roadways without regard to the long term."

"The Metropolitan Council, which has modest taxing authority, oversees growth in the Twin Cities area, while providing various services. Cities within its jurisdiction benefit from a number of those services, such as transit and waste treatment, but are also subject to certain restrictions, at times controversially so. The cities may not, for instance, get expensive water and sewer service unless they agree to a certain amount of density in housing developments."

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Published on Monday, June 25, 2007 in Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
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