Briefs: Farmington legislator seeking to halt Zip Rail line to Rochester

  • Updated: August 23, 2014 - 3:00 PM

A legislator from Farmington is vowing to try to stop the proposed Zip Rail line from the Twin Cities to Rochester.

Republican Rep. Pat Garofalo said he will introduce legislation when the Legislature resumes next year.

It would block the state from pursuing the line, which could cross his district.

“It’s time to put a stop to government wasting hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars on studies and other plans for this California-style boondoggle,” Garofalo said.

“With an expected one-way fare of $30, Zip line is not a priority for Minnesota families, and it’s appalling that Minnesota taxpayers continue to be forced to foot the bill as big government types push forward against the will of local residents,” he said.

Garofalo said a heated meeting took place last month in Kenyon, Minn., packed with opponents.

State officials seemed to confirm that there are indeed strong feelings, announcing earlier this month:

“In response to public interest, the Minnesota Department of Transportation extended the comment period to Aug. 22 on a plan for passenger rail service between the Twin Cities and Rochester,” an additional 16 days.

That announcement came several days after news of the plan appeared in the press.

Garofalo pointed to parallels with a 2002 proposed Dan Patch commuter rail line from Minneapolis to Northfield.

Eagan

City’s Goat Hill Park latest to go solar

The newest feature at Eagan’s Goat Hill Park is solar panels.

City officials said Mouli Vaidyanathan, consulting engineer and president of SolarPod, donated the two SolarPod panels.

Goat Hill Park has, among other things, two lighted ball fields and two lighted hockey rinks.

“Electrical use can be substantial depending upon the season,” they said in a statement.

The panels were installed by city staff on a south-facing knoll beside a park shelter.

The array can yield about 9 amps, enough to operate most lights in the park building.

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  • Solar panels help provide the electricity that runs the athletic complex at Goat Hill Park in Eagan.

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