Ramsey County delays release of new Vikings stadium plan
January 27, 2012 — 11:09pm
By ROCHELLE OLSON
Ramsey County's third Minnesota Vikings stadium plan won't be ready until at least next week.
Commissioner Tony Bennett said the county is looking at several options for a new plan after the last two were rejected.
Bennett and Commissioner Rafael Ortega initially said the county could raise its sales tax a half-percent to pay off $350 million in bonds. Then Bennett and Ortega suggested a 3 percent food and beverage tax in the county to pay for a $375 million share of the stadium.
The two haven't discussed their latest ideas, and county finance director Lee Mehrkens was out of the office Friday.
Bennett has repeatedly said the Ramsey County plans were much more detailed than anything Minneapolis -- which is competing for a Vikings stadium -- has put forward.
He also said he had not been specifically told by any legislators of a Friday deadline for a new plan. Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, the chief Senate stadium legislation author, told reporters Wednesday that the county had until the end of this week to submit a new local financing plan.
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."