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U prez: We won't budge on light rail

From the Pioneer Press:

Bob Bruininks won't budge.

After a 1-week allowance to get on board the current plan for the Central Corridor, the University of Minnesota president has decided to oppose the plan, according to a letter Bruininks sent to Met Council Chair Peter Bell.

Furthermore, if the U's opposition causes a delay in the light rail plan to link St. Paul and Minneapolis by 2014, then so be it, Bruininks says in the letter, obtained by the Pioneer Press.

"In accordance with the Board of Regents Resolution dated July 12, 2001 and periodically reviewed and re-affirmed as recently as April 2008, the University cannot support any measure that calls for the elimination of the northern alignment from consideration at this time," Bruininks wrote in the letter, dated Friday.

On Minnesota Public Radio this morning, Bell, a former regent himself, expressed frustration with the university's opposition. "Why they're doing that is anyone's guess," he said. "I respectfully disagree with him," Bell said of Bruininks' position.

A re-vote is scheduled for tomorrow, and Bell said the vote will go forward.

"I think the vote will be unanimous, with the exception of how the university will vote," he said on MPR.

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