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House leaders unveil $825 million bonding plan

“We are addressing the important needs of our cities and state, while respecting the taxpayers," said Rep. Dean Urdahl, chair of the House Capital Investment Committee, of the $825 million bonding proposal released Wednesday. House Photography file photo

Two days before a public hearing on its proposal, the House majority has unveiled its 2018 bonding proposal.

Heavy on asset preservation, the package checks in at $825 million in general-obligation bonding, slightly more than half of the $1.5 billion plan proffered by Gov. Mark Dayton in January.

“Minnesotans expect us to maintain public infrastructure, following the simple notion that we should take care of the property we own,” Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City) said in a statement. "We are addressing the important needs of our cities and state, while respecting the taxpayers. This is a sound bill with good geographic balance and I look forward to bipartisan support."

MORE See the spreadsheet

The House Capital Investment Committee, which Urdahl chairs, is scheduled to hear HF4404, as amended, at 9 a.m. Friday.

(Watch the hearing here)

Traditionally, the second year of a biennium is focused on capital investment; however, a nearly billion-dollar package was enacted last session.

The 2018 proposal includes $153 million for water and conservation projects —including $30 million for wastewater projects, $25 million to improve drinking water and $20 million to match federal grants for qualified water improvement projects.

Road and transportation infrastructure is funded to the tune of $120 million, including $91.2 million “for construction and reconstruction of local roads with statewide or regional significance … or for grants to counties to assist in paying the costs of rural road safety capital improvement projects on county state-aid highways.”

Other proposed spending includes:

  • $80 million for higher education asset preservation evenly split between the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State system;
  • $35 million for Rural Finance Authority to, in part, help beginning farmers and restructure other farm loans;
  • $30 million "to demolish the existing visitor center and renovate, construct, furnish, and equip facilities, including landscaping and wayfinding, to support visitor services and history programs at Historic Fort Snelling";
  • $30 million for Department of Natural resources asset preservation;
  • $25.1 million for regional mental health crisis center grants;
  • $25 million in school safety facility grants;
  • $22.8 million for the demolition of four buildings and construction of a central chiller plant and Endicott Hall addition at Rochester Community and Technical College;
  • $22.5 million for public safety centers in Cottage Grove, Inver Grove Heights and Marshall;
  • $20 million for Department of Corrections asset preservation;
  • $20 million for flood hazard mitigation;
  • $18 million to construct a statewide Second Harvest Heartland charitable food facility in Brooklyn Park;
  • $15 million for the City of Minneapolis Upper Harbor Terminal Redevelopment;
  • $10 million in asset preservation at the Minnesota Zoo;
  • $10 million for Capitol Complex security upgrades;
  • $8.1 million to construct a new National Eagle Center in Wabasha;
  • $3 million to construct a regional charitable food warehouse, distribution, and office facility in Crookston; and
  • $900,000 to refurbish and equip the White Earth Opiate Treatment Facility on the White Earth Reservation.

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