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Minnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL)

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Tuesday, February 01, 2011
ST. PAUL, MN – An infrastructure bill proposed by Governor Mark Dayton this week would invest $16 million for the installation of a gate at the Coon Rapids Dam designed to prevent the northern migration of Asian Carp. The project could create as many as 200 local jobs. State Rep. Denise Dittrich (DFL – Champlin) and state Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL – Brooklyn Park), applauded Governor Dayton today for making the project a priority. With almost 6,000 residents of Coon Rapids, Champlin, and Brooklyn Park out of work, Dittrich and Hortman say this effort to repair the Dam and provide jobs is the right thing to do. “These repairs are vitally important to preventing the northern migration of Asian Carp, and protecting recreation sites and private property along the Mississippi River," said Rep. Hortman who authored the legislation (HF153) this year. Currently, the Coon Rapids Dam is the one of the state’s last lines of defense against the migration of Asian Carp in Minnesota lakes and streams. If the Carp are allowed to move northward past the dam, it could affect Lake Mille Lacs and other northern Minnesota lakes. “With interest rates at rock bottom, and Asian Carp continuing to make their way north, now is the time to make this happen,” said Rep. Dittrich who co-authored the bill and represents hundreds of residents who live along the River. According to Dittrich and Hortman, the project would take three years to complete. A final report about the proposal will be presented to the legislature next month. Until then, Dittrich and Hortman will be working closely with Governor Dayton and legislative leaders to secure funding for the project this year. Also included in Governor Dayton’s bonding proposal is $5.3 million for renovating the Fine Arts Building at the Coon Rapids Campus of Anoka-Ramsey Community College.