Why is it that the words “Metropolitan Council” and “News” always put me in a foul mood?
I wanted to share this very important story with you, as the future growth of our county hangs in the balance: the Met Council wants to slow the growth of Carver County!
For months now, I have been active in fighting against a Met Council initiative called “Thrive MSP 2040,” that they call “…the vision for our region over the next 30 years. It reflects our concerns and aspirations, anticipates future needs in the region, and addresses our responsibility to future generations.”
The reality is this: “Thrive MSP 2040” is a plan to drive growth into the inner cities and restrict growth in cities like Waconia, Watertown, Victoria, Norwood-Young America, Mayer Cologne, and Carver.
The plan is supposed to guide future growth for the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area in 10-year increments. In previous years, the data from cities like Waconia has shown that we would continue to grow quickly and require investment for critical infrastructure such as roads, sewer lines, and water lines.
When we received the initial findings back from the Met Council’s demographer, the data said that Waconia would see very slow growth leading up to 2040.
Here is the problem: the Met Council is not using actual data from cities; they are using computer models created for other countries, and have admitted that their model is flawed, and have said they are “…going to have to pencil-whip some results!” In other words, they are just guessing, but their guessing has potential consequences for you and me.
There are a number of projects that based on the solid growth numbers for Waconia and neighboring communities that could be cancelled. One is a sewer line that runs along Highway 5, that Waconia and the surrounding communities will need as we continue to grow. Highway 5 itself is in need of expansion to better serve our communities, and to attract residents and businesses to western Carver County.
If the Met Council is not challenged, we will see these and other projects pushed off into the distant future. That’s why I led a large coalition of area leaders and city employees who demonstrated to the Met Council that we were already outpacing their projections, and demanded that they revise their numbers upwards and get out of the way of Carver County development.
Although this took a great deal of time and effort, the battle still isn’t over. The revised numbers are still too low, and we are still fighting for an increase in those numbers to reflect reality. I have been contacted by several other local elected officials, asking my advice on how to push back on the Met Council to stop them from killing off their growth to suit the whims of core city leaders, Governor Dayton, and the DFL.
As your state representative, I will continue to fight the Met Council on this and many other issues. They are an unelected, unaccountable group who are not interested in hardworking folks like you and me. We need to have a strong advocate fighting them, and I will do just that.
Here is an excellent Op/Ed in the Star Tribune on this horrible plan. It’s worth reading.
I welcome your thoughts and questions on this, and look forward to being your advocate in St. Paul.
Thanks again have a blessed weekend.