Northern projects fare well in Gov. Dayton’s bonding bill

Gov. Mark Dayton revealed his suggestion for a $750 million bonding bill yesterday, including money for several northern Minnesota projects. A larger bonding bill is expected next year where many additional projects will be considered, along with those from this year that fail to make the cut.

Local media lamented the lack of inclusion for funds to address the Highway 53 re-routing issue going on, with negotiations ongoing between the state and Cliffs Natural Resources. The House and Senate bonding bills will now go through the legislative process, negotiated with the governor’s suggestions. Lawmakers will attempt to shoehorn in northern projects such as renovations to Duluth’s Spirit Mountain, the Reif Center in Grand Rapids and more.

A regional roundup from Superior Publishing Company’s correspondent Urmila Ramakrishnan reads as follows:

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• Reforestation funding, which would include Beltrami, Cass County, Aitkin counties.

• Road repair for Aitkin County.

• $1.8 million for Eveleth’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics initiative via MnSCU.

• $1.5 million to Virginia for infrastructure for Northern Heights Park.

• $24 million for Cook County bridges and roads, a portion to go to road and bridges.

• $3 million for Silver Bay veterans home for repairs and improving safety regulations.

• $24 million to St. Louis County for road and bridge repair.

• $24 million for Cook County for a forestry bridge.

• $8.375 million for Voyagers National Park waste water infrastructure expansion.

• $35 million from MnSCU to Ely to replace the roof of Vermilion Community College.

• $24 million to Embarrass for a wildlife bridge.

The Duluth News Tribune reports that the plan includes “$4.95 million for renovations to downtown Duluth’s NorShor Theatre and $2 million to refurbish the Northeast Regional Corrections Center.” The plan also includes $200,000 for renovations to Wade Stadium, with the possibility of more money in next year’s bonding bill.

Other projects listed in the bill (from the DNT) include:

$109 million for ongoing restoration work at the Minnesota State Capitol and $16 million for Capitol parking ramps.

$100 million for the University of Minnesota system, with $85 million to renovate the Tate Physics Lab on the Minneapolis campus.

$89 million for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, with $33 million of that to build a new science education center at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul.

$54 million for a nursing building on the Minneapolis campus of the Minnesota Veterans Hospital.

$35 million for Rochester’s proposed Mayo Civic Center expansion.

$20 million for reconstruction of downtown Minneapolis’ Nicollet Mall.

$15 million for flood prevention in Moorhead.

$14 million for an expansion of the St. Paul Children’s Museum.

$14 million for the Mankato Civic Convention Center and Auditorium.

$10 million for the Minnesota Zoo.

$10 million for the St. Cloud Convention Center.

$7 million for the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

You can see a map of the location of Gov. Dayton’s proposed bonding projects here.

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