The Dakota County Board voted 4-3 Tuesday against adopting a resolution supporting the Red Rock Corridor transit project’s plans, citing doubts about its timeline, ridership and how it would benefit Dakota County residents.

The Red Rock Corridor is a bus rapid transit (BRT) project proposed to run along Hwy. 61 from the St. Paul Depot to Hastings, with five stops in between. Stations are planned for Lower Afton, Newport, St. Paul Park and Cottage Grove.

The project began a year and a half ago, with a goal of obtaining resolutions of support from cities and county boards, including Ramsey, Dakota, Washington and Hennepin. All four counties are partners on the project and contribute members to the Red Rock Corridor Commission.

Dakota County commissioners’ comments ranged from jokes about whether they would be alive for the project’s 2040 end date, to questions about why plans don’t include stops in dense Dakota County cities like South St. Paul.

The commission wants support from cities and counties but doesn’t require it, said Lyssa Leitner, a Washington County senior planner.

Leitner acknowledges that projected ridership numbers “aren’t there yet” and added that the transitway isn’t planned for the near future.

“It will be up to the Red Rock Corridor Commission to decide what the next step is,” Leitner said.

Hally Turner, the Washington County planner who made the presentation to the Dakota County Board, said the commission will discuss possible changes and bring those ideas back to Dakota County.

Erin Adler

South metro

New commissioners and board chairs greet three south metro county boards

Carver, Dakota and Scott counties elected new 2017 board chairs and vice chairs at their respective first meetings of the new year, held Tuesday.

In Dakota County, Commissioner Mike Slavik, who represents the First District, was chosen as board chair, replacing Commissioner Nancy Schouweiler, who retired this fall. Commissioner Kathleen Gaylord, who represents district two, was picked as vice chair.

Commissioner Joe Atkins, formerly mayor of Inver Grove Heights and a seven-term state representative for District 52B, was sworn in to represent district four.

Two newly-elected Scott County commissioners took an oath of office on Tuesday, including Commissioner Dave Beer of Prior Lake and Barb Weckman Brekke of Jackson Township. Beer and Brekke replace longtime commissioners Barbara Marschall and Joe Wagner, who were pushed out in November’s election.

Mike Beard was appointed as board chair and Tom Wolf was tapped as vice chair. Wolf, on the board since 2009, was also sworn in after his November re-election.

The Carver County board has no new members but selected Commissioner Tim Lynch as chair and Commissioner Jim Ische as vice chair.

County Boards elect a new chair and vice chair each year and many try to pass the position around so everyone gets to lead.

Erin Adler

Carver County

Foster care informational meeting on Jan. 10

Carver County will hold a meeting Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. for people who want to learn about foster care, including how they can care for kids in their home on either a long- or short-term basis. The meeting will be held at the Carver County Government Center in the Human Services Building; visitors should enter through door two.

Homes for teenagers and sibling groups are especially needed, county officials said in a news release.

The meeting will cover requirements for becoming a foster parent, what training is needed and options for caregivers. The meetings are open to anyone but preregistration is required at 952-361-1603.

If fewer than three families register, the meeting will be canceled.

Erin Adler

Prior Lake

Tip a Cop event will benefit Special Olympics

Prior Lake police officers will serve meals and bus tables from 5 to 8 p.m. Jan. 15 at The Point Grill and Bar (16691 Hwy. 13, Prior Lake) to raise money for the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Minnesota. All tips will benefit Special Olympics athletes.

Last year’s Tip a Cop fundraiser collected more than $2,800.

Polar Plunge events are held multiple times each winter around the state. Prior Lake’s is scheduled for Feb. 18 at Sand Point Beach.

Erin Adler