Senate Bonding Committee heading to dam sites
Published 10:25 am Friday, October 16, 2015
Austin officials are about to show off potential projects to legislators again.
The Minnesota Senate Capital Investment Committee is coming to Austin as part of a southeast Minnesota tour on Oct. 29.
The House Capital Investment Committee toured Austin sites in September. Community leaders are seeking $3 million in state bonding dollars for the Ramsey Dam area near The Old Mill Restaurant to acquire more land, build two miles of trail, restore a railroad bridge, improve the dam’s flood mitigation and build public amenities to improve the area.
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Leaders are also seeking $600,000 for the Fourth Avenue Northeast dam area for flood control retaining walls, restoring the old mill site, for stream bank restorations and to study dam conditions.
Vision 2020 and community leaders also envision a canoe and kayak portage at the site, which is expected to attract visitors to town.
Both projects are partnerships between the city, Vision 2020 Waterways and Bike/Walk Trails committees, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Cedar River Watershed District and the Mower County Soil and Water Conservation District.
The Senate Bonding Committee hits the road on Oct. 27 and continues through Oct. 29. The tour kicks off by visiting a rail grade separation project in Welch and includes stops to hear bonding requests in Albert Lea, Red Wing and Winona, along with stops at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Historic Forestville, the Rochester International Airport, and Minnesota State Academies in Faribault.
Committee Chairman Sen. LeRoy Stumpf, DFL-Plummer, said the tour bus has already traveled close to 2,000 miles this fall and has heard from more than 60 projects.
“Traveling on these tours is the most economical and fiscally responsible way to view the more than $3 billion worth of bonding proposals across the state. Hearing from locals and getting to see the project requests in person really gives those of us on the committee a good idea of the needs of each community. There is so much need out there, learning as much as possible before we put this bill together is critical to investing wisely,” Stumpf said in a press releases.
The 2016 legislative session is scheduled to be a bonding year. Bonding is the process in which the state invests money into state-owned infrastructure projects. The state of Minnesota sells general obligation bonds for the cost of capital projects with the approval of the legislature. The bonds are sold to investors who receive their money back, plus interest.
Find our more on bonding requests
The Senate Capital Investment website www.build.mn has been tracking the bonding tours. The public can also follow along by visiting the committee’s following social media pages:
• Twitter: twitter.com/MNSenCapInvest
• Facebook: facebook.com/mnsencapinvest
• Instagram: Search for ‘BuildMN’
• Use the hashtag #BuildMN to follow along on all social media sites
The full Southeast Minnesota bonding tour schedule will be available at: www.build.mn/events