The Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority board on Tuesday approved spending $520,000 to go toward one of three additional stations to be included on the Central Corridor light-rail line.
The stations at Victoria Street, and Hamline and Western avenues had long been on the city's wish list, but didn't seem like a possibility until recent weeks when federal funding guidelines were loosened. The federal government now will provide $7.8 million for the stations, with another $5.2 million coming from the city of St. Paul, $1.6 million from a five-county transit sales tax and the $520,000 Ramsey County contribution. The Funders Collaborative, a group of foundations, will add $500,000.
The 11-mile line, at nearly $1 billion, will connect the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul and is expected to begin rolling in 2014.
Also Tuesday, commissioners approved a $200,000 contract with HR&A Advisors, a New York firm, to study the Union Depot's effect on the economy of St. Paul and the region. The study will help officials form financial plans to make the most of the building and development in the surrounding area.
County officials have long viewed the downtown depot as a regional transit hub, and it will be the terminus of the Central Corridor. A $150 million renovation is underway, to be completed in 2012.