Sen. Sparks participates in Capital Investment Tour

Published 7:32 am Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Members of the Minnesota Senate Capital Investment Committee are visiting southeast Minnesota this week to learn about requests from local officials for state bonding dollars.

Senator Dan Sparks (DFL-Austin), a member of the committee, participated in meetings Monday, Feb. 12, with Austin Mayor Tom Stiehm and City Administrator Craig Clark to discuss two projects that will improve quality of life for Austin residents:

• The creation of a recreational area near Ramsey Mill Pond (Mower County’s largest body of water) financed by one-time use of $4 million in state general obligation bonds; and

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• The creation of a portage and trailhead at the historic site of Austin’s first structure, a former mill on the Cedar River at Fourth Avenue Northeast, financed by one-time use of $500,000 in state general obligation bonds.

“One of my jobs as a state senator is to make sure our public assets are safe, strong, and provide a good return on investment to Minnesota taxpayers,” Sparks said. “As a member of the Capital Investment Committee, I help the Legislature do its due diligence on hundreds of requests and ultimately decide which projects receive funding. I am pleased to partner with our outstanding local officials to advocate for projects that benefit the people of Austin and surrounding region.”

Both projects in Austin offer regional benefits as well as the potential to invigorate the local economy by boosting local tax revenue via tourism, improving employee recruitment and retention, increasing adjacent property values and providing options for a healthy, active lifestyle.