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Yes or No? Dayton presses Mpls. for vote on SW light rail

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Gov. Mark Dayton
Gov. Mark Dayton in an April 2014 file photo.
Tom Olmscheid/AP, file

Gov. Mark Dayton is calling on the city of Minneapolis to make a decision on the $1.7 billion proposed Southwest light rail line.

  The city has until July 14 to vote on the project and has yet to schedule a hearing. It has been negotiating with the Metropolitan Council behind closed doors for the last two months. The parties have revealed little about the status of those talks.

• Earlier: Metro leaders back SW light rail shallow tunnels as Minneapolis objects

  A "no" vote from Minneapolis would be the rail line's "death knell" and trigger future metro traffic problems, Dayton told MPR News Wednesday.  

While the project isn't perfect, its benefits far outweigh the costs, Dayton added. "You've got a project that so many people are depending upon. If it stopped now, it would be catastrophic."

  The Minneapolis City Council voted in March to oppose the plan to bury the light rail trains in shallow tunnels as they pass between Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles.

  Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges' office declined to respond to the governor's comments.

  MPR News reporter Tom Scheck contributed to this report.