The Legislative Commission on Metropolitan Government, which oversees the Metropolitan Council, met Tuesday for the first time in more than three years.
The Met Council has a nearly $780 million annual budget, and its members are appointed by the governor, not elected. So the commission is planning a closer look at how it operates. “There’s concern with the amount of money and authority the council has,” said Rep. Mary Liz Holberg (R-Lakeville).
They didn’t get much done on the authority and spending front Tuesday, says Lee Ann Schutz of House Public Information Services. They did, however, talk about the proposed Vikings stadium site in Arden Hills.
The Met Council is also conducting a survey of the proposed stadium site, due by Oct. 15, looking at infrastructure needs, permitting and approval issues. And that got the commission talking, with a House member representing several communities near the stadium site saying the findings may show the need for costly infrastructure improvements, the story said.
“I call it the Ramsey County Vikings stadium,” said Rep. Bev Scalze, DFL-Little Canada. “I fight constantly for the northeast metro, because infrastructure dollars flow elsewhere. I think the Met Council has to look at equitable use of taxpayers’ dollars. “
Rep. Peggy Scott, R-Andover, the newly elected commission chair, said the group will hold more meetings because local units of government have asked for more council oversight and that in these times of tight budgets, it’s important to “look under every rock for efficiencies … I really do want a package of recommendations for the Legislature by the time session rolls around.”