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HOUSE INTRODUCES BONDING BILL WITH FUNDING FOR LOCAL PROJECTS

ST.PAUL – The 2014 Omnibus Bonding Bill was unveiled in the House Capital Investment Committee today. Included in the bill is funding for several local projects. Representatives John Persell (DFL – Bemidji) and Roger Erickson (DFL – Baudette) advocated for the projects in the Legislature.

“These local projects are important to our communities,” said Rep. Persell. “Bemidji State University in particular serves students from across all of Minnesota. Investing in the BSU campus will not only benefit our community, but the whole state.”

At a time when interest rates are still low, this borrowing bill will allow the state to stretch taxpayer dollars and boost job creation. Minnesota added more than 45,000 jobs during 2013, and currently has an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent.

“Investing in local infrastructure projects helps preserve assets in our communities in the long term, but it also helps create jobs in the short term,” said Erickson. “These local projects will definitely help get people back to work in our area.”

Local projects funded under the proposed bill include:BSU Memorial, Decker, Sanford, and Hagg Sauer building project- $9,193,000

Red Lake Capital Loan (Elem. School and High School Cafeteria) -$10,491,000

Matching funds for a EPA clean water grant in Lake of the Woods County- $1,335,000

Itasca Research Station Higher Ed Asset Preservation - $225,000

Development and maintenance of the Heartland Trail

Forestry Seed Processing Facilities near Badoura

DNR Buildings and Facilities Development in Bemidji

Bemidji State University Higher Ed Asset Preservation

The bill, in total, allocates $850 million in general obligation bonds for statewide infrastructure improvements in higher education, transportation, housing, economic development, clean water and wastewater systems.

Highlights of the Capital Investment Bill include:Protects natural resources – from International Falls’ Voyaguers National Park to the Big Lake Sanitary District to Albert Lea’s Fountain Lake

Provides greater public safety through upgrades in flood mitigation, local roads and bridges, and dam repair.

Invests in asset preservation – MnSCU, the University of Minnesota and state agencies will get needed asset preservation funds for critical repairs.

Makes historic investments to address housing challenges across Minnesota.

Completes projects long past ready to go including civic centers in Mankato, Rochester and St. Cloud as well as the Minnesota Historical Society’s Oliver Kelly Farm and the Southwest Regional Sports Center in Marshall.

Makes a dent in the backlog for crumbling wastewater systems, roads and bridges throughout the state.

During the meeting, Rep. Hausman, Chair of the Capital Investment Committee, also unveiled the details of a separate bill that would make $125 million in cash investments through the use of one time budget surplus funds.

The full $850 million bonding bill can be found here: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/comm/docs/a14-1037.pdf.

The $125 million general fund bill can be found here: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/comm/docs/a14-1038.pdf.

 

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