Bonding bill to ‘create jobs, improve infrastructure’

The Senate bonding bill was released yesterday, proposing more than $1 billion in spending on shovel-ready projects, which legislators hope will create jobs and address critical infrastructure needs, higher education, transportation and public safety.

Included in the bonding bill are several projects carried by Sen. Jim Metzen, DFL-South St. Paul.

Projects to receive funding include:

• $1.5 million for the Mighty Ducks grant program, which provides a start to helping towns across the state to help address the removal of R-22, a gas used to cool rinks that has been banned by the federal government.

• $1 million for the Inver Grove Heights Heritage Village Park, which would build off the success of a previous bonding request that Metzen carried for the historic Swing Bridge at the park. This funding is intendend to help the park become even more of a destination for wedding and graduation photos.

• $1 million for the West St. Paul North Urban Regional Trail Bridge. With the completion of this trail system, Hastings to Minneapolis will be connected by trails for pedestrians and bikers. Currently, this route goes right through Robert Street, reportedly a dangerous situation for bikers and pedestrians. With the building of a pedestrian bridge, as a part of the NURT, this dangerous situation will be addressed.

• $3 million for Metropolitan Cities Wastewater Inflow and Infiltration Abatement Grants, which will allow communities like West St. Paul to repair their sewer pipes to prevent clean water and wastewater spillage in the regional wastewater system.

When addressed at the local level, millions of dollars are saved.

“I’m very pleased to see these projects included in the Senate bonding proposal. These are projects that make sense to invest in, and we should be prioritizing them,” said Metzen in a statement. “The great thing about all of these is that they help our local communities fund important projects that they would be unable to pay for without state investment.”

In addition to these projects, the bill includes approximately $7.6 million for Dakota County Technical and Community College, which is currently operating at maximum capacity, with almost 100 percent job placement after graduation. By expanding the college, even more students are expected to be able to take advantage of these programs and find employment.

More information on the Senate bonding proposal, including the full spreadsheet outlining every project’s requests, can be found at http://build.mn/.   

For information on this or any legislation, contact Metzen at 651-296-4370 or by email at sen.jim.metzen@senate.mn.

 

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