Update to clear up a couple points of contention some have raised.
1) I do not have any evidence that makes me believe that the Anoka County Board is interested in killing Northstar. That doesn’t sit well with some supporters of certain Anoka County Commissioners, but they could take steps to do what so many conservatives in Anoka County want – a) repeal the transit sales tax AND b) kill Northstar all together. But they haven’t and some commissioners have told me that they can’t and won’t. I am not :”attacking the Commissioners, I am disappointed they haven’t done what we all want.
2) The piece of land purchased by the city was not a council member’s, but he does own a parcel in the area. There have been many instances in the rail transit development recent history in Minnesota that politicians (or their close personal acquaintances) happen to own the land that will eventually be required for construction of stops OR future redevelopment once property values go up. My hunch is that this is likely the case. Commuter rail in Minnesota is just not profitable with out local cities and counties ponying up all the money to add the bells and whistles to make the areas around the stops look and seem like “progress’. You see, just imagine how valuable a single parcel of land near a slated redevelopment corridor will be after all the other pieces are put in place. I don’t know any of the principles in the city of Anoka, but this is how Government and developing works everywhere else, why wouldn’t it possibly be the case in Anoka?
Oh look, a politicians who just happened to own land near a Northstar Rail stop sells his “vacant” parcel to the City of Anoka for redevelopment.
There really should be term limits for all levels of Government. Read to the end. they just want to prevent someone from buying the property and, brace yourself, not just doing exactly what the city wants with the land. The city is buying up land in order to sell large swaths off to developers.
Get taxpayers to spend a billion on a train that is unsustainable and requires massive subsidies and diverts attention from the aging and crumbling and dangerous highway system. Then start buying up all the land around the stops for said train. Get tens of millions to build overpasses along train route due to shortsighted planning by local government simply trying to help local landowners get rich off their prospect buying years ago. And if they just can’t swindle enough people to buy along the route, get the city to buy up the land….
In financial realms this is almost like insider trading or something people go to jail for. In government its just called, waste fraud and abuse but no one cares because its the status quo and everyone has skin in the game.