ST. PAUL – A group representing Greater Minnesota is presenting Rep. Dean Urdahl with an award in recognition of his work on the environment.
Officially, it is the Distinguished Service Award, issued by the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities. Urdahl, R-Acton Township, chairs the Legacy Division, which appropriates funds generated by the three-eighths of 1 percent Legacy Amendment sales tax voters approved in 2008. A significant portion of the roughly $270 million Urdahl's committee appropriated this year will go to environmental projects.
"The Legacy bill I authored is important to maintaining habitat and clean water," Urdahl said. "I also sought fairness in park and trail funding for all of Minnesota."
During the last biennium, the parks and trails portion of Legacy Funding was divided between dedicated shares for DNR state parks and Twin Cities-area parks, with a competitive grant program for the entire state. Urdahl's recently approved appropriations include $38.6 million for parks and trails, with one-fifth of that pool dedicated specifically for outstate entities. The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities is recognizing Urdahl for helping outstate groups have a better chance at receiving Legacy Amendment funds.
“Representative Urdahl went to bat for our parks and trails in Greater Minnesota," said CGMC Executive Director Tim Flaherty. "Through his efforts the final bill treated all parts of the state fairly. People who use and enjoy Greater Minnesota parks and trails owe Representative Urdahl a ‘thank you’ for his advocacy.”
Dean Urdahl represents District 18B in the Minnesota House of Representatives. The district includes most of Meeker County and a portion of Wright County. This is Urdahl’s fifth term in the Legislature after being elected in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010.