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County Board appoints two to metro-wide transit board

After a feisty discussion and a 3-2 vote that allowed Washington County to raise its sales tax by a quarter of a percent and to join a joint board that will use the money for transit projects in the metro, a more quiet appointment occurred April 8.

The Washington County Board of Commissioners voted to appoint Commissioner Myra Peterson and Commissioner Dennis Hegberg as the county's representatives to the board that will dole out the money collected in taxes to transit projects, called the Counties Transit Improvement Board.

Dick Stafford, District 5, was appointed to serve on the Grant Evaluation and Ranking System (GEARS) committee to review grant applications for funding.

Washington County will join with Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka and Dakota counties -- all of which voted to impose the additional quarter-cent sales tax -- to create transit projects for the entire metropolitan area.

The county board voted 3-2 April 1 to join the joint powers board, after studying the issue over two workshops. The board was authorized by the Legislature in a transportation bill that was passed earlier in the year.