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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R)

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Update on MNLARS; Marshall gets grant

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Dear Neighbor,

In a recent email, I addressed the problem-filled rollout of the new Minnesota Licensing and Registration System, which has been a source of frustration for people all across our state.

Things don’t seem to be getting any better and, in fact, took a turn for the worse this week when the Minnesota Department of Public Safety had the nerve to ask for $43 million more from taxpayers to fix the failed system. We’ve already spent $100 million and $150 million in total is what the general ask is now.

I’m very disappointed in this and don’t know what the department has been doing, but we need to get to the bottom of this. The governor has had seven years to deliver a working product – but has failed.

Auto dealers, individuals, farmers and business owners have told us over and over what a complete and utter failure this program has been as far as getting titles and licensure for vehicles. This is completely unacceptable to taxpayers and the administration really needs to answer for this.

Minnesotans deserve a system that is able to process basic registration/title/other DMV-related transactions. House Republicans will work to protect taxpayers and hold the Dayton administration accountable for this debacle it has caused.

On another subject, I want to applaud Wednesday’s announcement from state officials that Marshall will receive a $2 million grant for industrial park development.

Specifically, a press release from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development indicates the funding awarded to Marshall will support development of a new industrial park to accommodate an expansion by Ralco Nutrition. The $5.15 million project will extend road, water main, storm and sanitary sewer service to a nine-acre lot. Initially, 20 jobs will be created.

Congratulations to those who were instrumental in submitting a winning grant application. This is an example of how public and private sectors can work together to build economic growth in Greater Minnesota. I look forward to seeing the new jobs and other benefits this project brings to our area.

The funding is a portion of $5.24 DEED approved for infrastructure projects in four Greater Minnesota communities. Royalton, Brooten and Luverne also have been awarded grants. Under the program, DEED awards grants for up to 50 percent of the cost of public infrastructure that supports economic development outside the seven-county Twin Cities metro area. Eligible infrastructure includes wastewater collection and treatment, drinking water, storm sewers, utility extensions and streets.

Until next time, please stay in touch.