Walz requests $5 million for Hormel Institute

Published 6:24 am Thursday, March 25, 2010

Austin’s Hormel Institute is one of the projects on a list of funding requests Congressman Tim Walz recently submitted to the House Appropriations Committee.

The 2011 appropriation request called for $5 million to the Hormel Institute for the second phase of the Institute’s expansion project. The funding would go toward construction of a second research building on the Hormel Institute campus.

To gain public input about which projects should be supported, Walz hosted a virtual hearing on his Web site where more than 1,000 people discussed 99 projects.

“I want to thank folks for taking the time out of their day to provide me with their thoughtful, well-informed insight into the local needs of southern Minnesota,” Walz said in a press release on his Web site. “Their input was critical to my final decisions, and they played an important role in helping me identify projects that are good for the local economy and good for Minnesota taxpayers.”

Following earmark reform, house members must post earmark requests and the dollar amounts for projects on their Web sites along with information about the project and contact information.

“While it is likely that only a few of these meritorious projects will ultimately receive funding, I believe it is important for residents of southern Minnesota to be able to see the list of projects I am supporting, and I am proud to release this information about priorities,” Walz said in the press release.

A full list of the projects Walz submitted to the House Appropriation Committee can be found at www.walz.house.gov.

Since the first phase of the Hormel Institute’s expansion was completed in 2008, the Institute has added five section leaders and the number of employees has increased from about 60 to about 115. Hormel Institute leaders promised to add 100 jobs within five years of the 2008 expansion project, and officials have said the Institute is ahead of schedule in adding the positions.