Mayor Chris Coleman calls MPR lawsuit 'outrageous'

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman says a lawsuit filed by Minnesota Public Radio over a proposed light-rail line has no merit.

Coleman, appearing on MPR's Midmorning program Tuesday, reacted to remarks made last week by MPR President Bill Kling that the Metropolitan Council was failing to hold up its end of the deal on the billion-dollar Central Corridor project.

"That comment is absolutely 100 percent outrageous. The conduct of Mr. Kling and the board of MPR is outrageous," Coleman said. "This is the most important public works project in the history of this city and the history of this region.

"The fact of the matter is, for every dollar spent on the University of the Minnesota and Minnesota Public Radio is a dollar that the people who are dependent on this system don't get."

When asked for reaction to Coleman's comments, MPR spokesman Jeff Nelson said the radio station is seeking mitigation that represents just a small fraction of the project's total cost.

MPR claims the Met Council isn't complying with the terms of an agreement to limit noise and vibrations from the trains. The U of M and a St. Paul community group have also sued over the project.

Coleman says he expects the federal government to allow the project to advance into final design this month.

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