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The Twin Cities-area Metropolitan Council yesterday agreed to reinstate the municipal consent process for a slimmed-down plan regarding the Green Line light-rail extension, which also is known as the Southwest Light-Rail Transit (LRT) project. The reinstatement means the council's $250 million cost-cutting measures must now be approved by Hennepin County and the five cities along the rail corridor: Minneapolis, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins and St. Louis Park, Minn.A joint public hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 27 and each city will set its own hearing date. The process will need to be completed between July 23 and Oct. 11, council officials said in a statement."The municipal consent hearings will be the public’s opportunity to comment on the preliminary design plans that were revised as a result of $250 million in scope reductions,” said Metropolitan Council Chairman Adam Duininck. “Southwest LRT is a once-in-a-century project and reinitiating municipal consent is critical to ensuring that there is an opportunity for public and community response to the project’s current design."The council had previously approved several cost-reduction measures along the extension, including eliminating the original westernmost station at Mitchell Road, deferring construction of the Town Center Station and the elimination of public art along the corridor. Other cuts included a reduction in the number of parking spaces and elimination of plans for landscaping.
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