Minn House, Senate begin work on bonding requests

By KBJR News 1

September 27, 2013 Updated Sep 27, 2013 at 5:36 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Minnesota lawmakers are touring the state over the next several days to get an up-close look at projects asking for funding.

This isn't the first time we're talking about a bonding bill this year.

Lawmakers tried to squeeze in an $800 million bonding bill in a non-bonding year and that failed at the last minute.

There was some money approved for improvements to the State Capitol building.

Now they're working to gather support ahead of the next legislative session.

The Senate Capital Investment Committee is looking at $13 million in bonding requests for Duluth.

The projects include Spirit Mountain, the Lake Superior Zoo, Wade Stadium and the NorShor Theater.

The money would go for repairs and renovations at all four destinations.

"Frankly, in comparison with what Duluth has asked for over the past many years, with the sanitary sewer overflow improvements, Amsoil Arena, the new terminal at the airport; we've had significant big ticket items and these four put together are pretty small items," said Sen. Roger Reinert (DFL-Duluth).

The Senate committee will follow House members in touring several projects on the Iron Range next week asking for $20 million in bonding money there.

Projects on the Range include the relocation of utilities for the Highway 53 move, Range Regional Airport and Giants Ridge.

People can learn more about all the Northland projects under consideration by the Senate next Tuesday at UMD.

A presentation will be held at the Kirby Student Center starting at 1:45 p.m.

[Proposed Funding]

Spirit Mountain Recreation Area is requesting $3.4 million in bonding funding to help engineer, design and construct a system that will transport water from the St. Louis River estuary in order to make snow.

Wade Stadium is requesting $5.7 million in bonding funding in order to help repair this Works Progress Administration-era stadium.

The NorShor Theatre is requesting bonding funds totaling $4.95 million to help return this historic theater into a vibrant cultural center.

Lake Superior Zoo is requesting $200,000 in pre-design funds for renovations caused by the 2012 flood.

Kevin Jacobsen
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