Dayton OKs $2.16M for bike trail; Governor signs session’s biggest money bills

Published 10:53 am Wednesday, May 21, 2014

By Austin Daily Herald and Associated Press

ST. PAUL — The Shooting Star Trail officially has $2.16 million to bring it from Rose Creek to Austin.

A set of major bills that parcel out money from Minnesota’s budget surplus or authorize construction borrowing became law Tuesday as Gov. Mark Dayton signed them in full, foregoing his power to use line-item vetoes to trim them.



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Dayton signed a tax bill providing another $103 million in property and business tax cuts on top of earlier rollbacks this session. He approved $303 million in spending on schools, health care workers, broadband technology and other items. And he endorsed a pair of construction bills that contain $1.1 billion worth of projects, which Democrats say will put thousands of people to work.

Local projects

The bonding bill included about $2.16 million to extend the trail from Rose Creek to Austin — a goal local trail enthusiasts have worked toward for decades. Both Sen. Dan Sparks and Rep. Jeanne Poppe, both DFL-Austin, voted for the final bills. The Blazing Star Trail, which starts in Albert Lea, received $433,000 to extend the trail to Hayward.

The original request was for $2.5 million for the Shooting Star and $500,000 for the Blazing Star, but Sparks said the two trails could receive more money if other communities aren’t able or ready to utilize their portion of the $17 million going to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for trails.