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Rosen warns Vikings about road improvement costs

Posted by: Mike Kaszuba under Funding, Minnesota governor, Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, Minnesota state senators, State budgets Updated: May 10, 2011 - 2:03 PM
In a sign of the mounting pressures involving a new Minnesota Vikings stadium, the Minnesota Senate’s chief author of the stadium plan said Tuesday she pointedly told the team that the state’s contribution to the project would not go above $300 million.
The early Tuesday conversation took place as the team appeared to be making a last-minute probe to  see whether state officials would also pay for road improvements as the Vikings moved to announce they would build in Ramsey County’s Arden Hills.
Gov. Mark Dayton, in a Tuesday press conference, made the same point as tensions suddenly seemed to heighten over the Ramsey County stadium costs.  State officials said a stadium plus any surrounding development in Arden Hills would cost $240 million in road improvements, and Dayton said that the amount would be subtracted from the state’s $300 commitment.  A stadium without surrounding development, state transportation officials said, would cost $175 million in road improvements.
Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, the stadium plan’s chief Senate author, said she “made it very clear” to the Vikings that “our max is $300 million.”
Rosen’s discussion with the Vikings was another sign that the talks regarding a new stadium were moving quickly throughout the day.
Rosen said that when the team told her they were going to announce a deal with Ramsey County, “[I said], ‘that’s fine. However, you have to remember the state is another partner in this and our limitations are $300 million,” she said.
She said the Vikings asked whether the state’s contribution would be for $300 million, plus an additional amount for road improvements surrounding the site.
“I said, ‘No,’ ” said Rosen.
“So, [I said] if you want to work on those transportation costs and take that out of the $300 million, that’s fine,” said Rosen, who said she was scheduled to have more discussion with team officials later Tuesday.
 

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