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Hennepin County Won't Support Local Road Project

Last year, Hennepin County supported Golden Valley's quest to create another left turn lane on Winnetka Avenue North and Highway 55. This year, the County said 'no.'

Golden Valley City Councilmembers want to add a second left turn lane to the south side of Winnetka Avenue North and Highway 55. “We want to try to relieve some of the congestion that builds up in the morning and afternoon hours,” Mayor Shep Harris told Patch.

But the city won’t be able to get the funding needed from the state. That’s because Hennepin County refused to give Golden Valley a letter of support--a necessary step in the process, since Highway 55 is a county road.

In their City Council meeting on Aug. 21, Councilmember Paula Pentel asked if Golden Valley would receive a letter of support. Jeanine Clancy, director of public works, was quick to answer.

“We did make a request for a letter of support to Hennepin county which is required because Winnetka Ave. N and Hwy 55 is a county road,” Clancy confirmed. “Hennepin County informed me that they did not have concerns about the technical merit of this project, but were not able to support it.”

Golden Valley sought funding for the same project in 2011, and while the city was not granted funding, Hennepin County supported the project at the time.

“I want to have this recorded in our minutes. This is an example of the county in the past supporting the project and then all of the sudden not,” Pentel said in the City Council meeting. “I think we are seeing some political moves by the county to perhaps punish us for our previous votes.”

councilmembers voted against the proposed Bottineau Transitway that would run through the city. In a 3 to 2 vote, the Golden Valley City Council became the first city along the route to oppose it.

Patch was unable to reach Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat for a comment.

F. Eidbo August 28, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Im glad the council is getting punished for voting against the Bottineau Transitway
Sheila Bahl October 18, 2012 at 08:37 PM
I am very proud of our city council members for not being bullied by Hennepin County. There seems to be a lack of respect for Golden Valley by Hennepin County. They would not dream of putting the light rail through the Rose Garden or along the lakes in Mpls, but have no trouble at ruining our nature area and wetlands. I feel there is somewhat of a value judgement going on here because our lakes are not surrounded by million dollar homes.

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