Exurbs built infrastructure, but nobody came to pay for it

  • Article by: DAVID PETERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 5, 2012 - 5:08 AM

Population growth on the metro fringe has cratered.

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boredindulutNov. 4, 1211:20 PM

May I be first in line to dump bags of tea into these new wastewater facilities? I'm trying to think of a more delicious irony than red-state no-taxers drowning in their own waste.

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exrepublicanNov. 4, 1211:22 PM

So all us taxpayers who live in the Metro area are expected to pay for a bunch of anti-social people who want to pretend they are living "out in the country"? We already had to pay for better roads so they could race their SUVs and pickups home each night, and now this. Sorry, we are too "broke" to pay for infrastructure for those of us who didn't want to move to Green Acres, so we certainly should not pay for this! Amazing how they want to be "rugged individuals" who don't need all us nasty "city people"--until they need a bailout themselves.

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bwikNov. 4, 1211:34 PM

Makes you wonder why Minneapolis taxes doubled in 10 years. This is in a time with zero inflation. Oh, wait. It's because somebody wins when taxes go up... city employees and vendors. Taxes always go up unless beaten back with a stick.

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snarky45Nov. 4, 1211:35 PM

this local financial crisis is reminiscent of a similar crisis that Minnesotra experiencesd in the 1930's. Amble rainfall and farm technology in the teens and 1920s promoted the idea that northwestern Minnesota could be an agricultural paradise. A number of counties financed a series of massive agricultural drainage ditch systems that were constructed in that part of the state. The return of normal weather and economic hard times meant that the bumper crops were not achieved. The farmers defaulted on the special assessments that supported the ditches. The financial responsibility for the bonds that financed the ditches fell back on the counties that had promoted them. The financial burden pushed a number of counties close to bankruptcy. Ultimately the state legislature bailed our the counties but the price the legislature exacted from the indebted counties was that those counties had to give up to the state treasury much of the sale value of the tax forfeited lands when those lands were later resold. These lands became the Consolidated Conservation Lands that the state still collects most of the proceeds right up to the present. This may be a lesson for how to handle the over-extension of these municipalities which got in over their heads. They will need to be bailed out. The only issue will be what price they will have to pay for the bailout.

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suzukisvNov. 5, 1212:01 AM

Yep, that's too bad but it's just how it goes sometimes. Guess they'll have to figure out a way to pay for it. I am sure these people understand that they'll need to pay the bills themselves.

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shuckNov. 5, 1212:01 AM

Well, we can go left or right on this one... Left: "See that's why you should live in the big city where costs can be efficiently shared" (nevermind the looming billions in infrastructure reconstruction which is or will soon be overdue) Right: "Don't trust big government when they want to build for 20 year projections rather than getting by with lower levels of services and taxes" (nevermind the significantly higher total cost for marginal expansion had growth continued on par with the previous 2 decades)

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redkayakNov. 5, 1212:05 AM

The bubble in home values caused many peripheral problems in addition to this one. Cities, counties, school districts and even churches over built and over spent despite many of their citizens urging restraint. There are many innocent homeowners paying for the mistakes of others.

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mcjoe1Nov. 5, 1212:21 AM

bwik: "Makes you wonder why Minneapolis taxes doubled in 10 years." ---- Perhaps it's because every year the state keeps taking more and more of the sales tax revenue (LGA) away from Minneapolis and dishes it out to the suburbs/exurbs to fund their growth. If the metro area is thinking with the future in mind, then we should skip on these exurbs altogether. People get lured to them for more open space and cheap houses. Eventually the land will be fully developed, and the $400 monthly gas expense negates the cheap house.

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forpeopleNov. 5, 1212:52 AM

This is so typical, as others have pointed out. Republicans, who claim they don't believe in government bailouts, are lining up for bailouts to cover their mistakes. It is so hard to have any sympathy for these folks.

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statikNov. 5, 12 1:45 AM

Drive to affordability? There are many, many affordable places in Minneapolis proper.

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