By Terry Lehrke, News Editor
Gov. Mark Dayton’s $986 million bonding bill proposal is geared to invest in infrastructure projects statewide.
The governor’s office says it would create more than 27,000 Minnesota jobs, hailing it as a new jobs bill and help address many of the state’s critical infrastructure needs, while strengthening Minnesota’s economy and getting people back to work.
“My proposals will put thousands of Minnesotans to work throughout our state,” said Dayton. “This bill gives priority to projects that are ready to go. Many of them have been delayed for years and are crucial to revitalizing downtown business centers, modernizing MnSCU and U of M buildings and classrooms, and improving parks, roads and local infrastructure.”
Locally, the Minnesota Department of Transportation would receive $3.58 million to complete a truck station, near the former Central Minnesota Ethanol Cooperative, north of Little Falls.
Bob Reinitz is chair of the Camp Ripley Veterans State Trail (CRVST) committee. The group has been working for several years to complete a 35-mile missing link between the Crow Wing State Park to the Soo Line Trail. The CRVST would come through Little Falls and other Morrison County cities, to complete the world’s longest continuously paved off-road bike trail (300 miles).
Reinitz said the CRVST Committee has “Received some good bipartisan support on this project.”
He said he is “fairly confident” that a portion of the $5 million the governor recommends for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will go to acquire and develop parks and trails to improve recreational opportunities.
The CRVST is a DNR trail, authorized by the Minnesota Legislature in 2009.
“I have learned that nothing is a sure thing when dealing with government, especially these days,” Reinitz said. “I certainly would not bet my house on it.
The Legislature must approve all the components in the bonding bill, with 60 percent, bipartisan, support.