Push by Poppe, Sparks paid off

Austin owes a vote of thanks to Rep. Jeanne Poppe and Sen. Dan Sparks for the work they did, supported by many others from the Austin community, to be sure that $13.5 million in state funds will be forthcoming for an expansion of the Hormel Institute.

The Institute plans an expansion that is expected to bring many more jobs to the community in coming years. It is a project that is in perfect keeping with the spirit of the state borrowing legislation that was aimed primarily at essentials like roads and bridges and a handful of other projects that would directly grow employment in the state. As perfectly as the project fit, ensuring it was part of the state bonding bill and that the bill eventually made it through both House an Senate was not a sure thing.

As of this writing, minor differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill were yet to be worked out and, of course, there remained the question of the governor’s signature; neither seemed to represent a significant obstacle.

In any case, Sparks and Poppe came through for their constituents and their district.

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