Minn. Reps tour Iron Range

By KBJR News 1

September 25, 2013 Updated Sep 25, 2013 at 7:33 PM CST

Virginia, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- A bipartisan group of Minnesota House Representatives spent Wednesday on the Iron Range touring projects being considered in the 2014 bonding bill.

Members of the House Capital Investment Committee made stops in Tower, Hibbing, Biwabik and Virginia to take a closer look at projects that could receive funding from the 2014 bonding bill.

One of those projects is the relocation of Highway 53 and the Masabi Trail.

"You don't really get the magnitude of the problem until you stand here and see how difficult it is to realign a road," said Alice Hausman, Chair of the house committee.

While the money for the relocation will be funded through the Minnesota Department of Transportation, funds from the bonding bill would cover the costs to move utilities such as pipes and cable.

"In session it's really hard to explain what you are dealing with because most people think of utilities going under the road, and in this case we have to avoid some structures with the mining companies and the property owners here," said Rep. Jason Metsa (DFL-Virginia).

Other projects being considered for money include the development at Vermillion State Park, Improvements to Giant's Ridge Resort and the expansion of the Range Regional Airport.

Next week the Minnesota Senate will start an eight week bonding tour around the state.

The 2014 legislative session kicks off at the end of February.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.
kanderson@kbjr.com