Metro-area counties that adopted a sales tax to fund transit projects now have an advisory panel to help set spending priorities.
City officials representing Minneapolis, St. Paul and metro-area suburbs were selected Monday to serve on an advisory committee to the new County Transit Improvement Board.
The transit board -- made up of county commissioners from Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, Dakota and Washington counties -- will select transit projects to receive funding generated by a quarter-cent sales tax that took effect July 1.
The tax is expected to bring in about $100 million annually for transit improvements.
The mayors and city council members chosen for the advisory board will make recommendations on which projects should receive funding.
Minneapolis chose Council Member Robert Lilligren as the city's representative on the advisory board. In St. Paul, Council Member Russ Stark is expected to be approved by the City Council.
Suburban representatives to the group were chosen during a county-by-county vote of city council members on Monday at the state Capitol, supervised by the Association of Metropolitan Municipalities:
• North Hennepin County suburbs will be represented by Mayor Steve Lampi of Brooklyn Park. Edina Mayor Jim Hovland will represent south Hennepin County suburbs. The two were chosen from seven applicants. Hennepin, because of its large population, is the only metro-area county with two representatives.
• Coon Rapids Mayor Tim Howe will represent Anoka County suburbs. He was chosen from six applicants.
• Washington County suburbs will be represented by Woodbury Mayor Bill Hargis. He was chosen from four applicants.
• Dakota County suburbs selected Apple Valley Council Member Ruth Grendahl from four applicants.
• Ramsey County suburbs did not vote Monday because of a "miscommunication," a spokesman for the association said. Ramsey County had three applicants for the position. It was unclear when its vote will tke place.
This year, the Legislature allowed the seven metro-area counties the option of approving the quarter-cent sales tax to pay for bus and light-rail improvements. Five of the seven counties opted to do so; Carver and Scott declined.
Laurie Blake • 612-673-1711