ST. PAUL – Legislation has been enacted clearing the way for wastewater projects in Marshall and Wood Lake to commence after being delayed in court along with other projects around the state.
A bill (H.F. 80) was approved by both bodies of the Minnesota Legislature this week and was enacted by Gov. Tim Walz, converting $98 million in bonding projects previously financed by Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources bonds to traditional general obligation bonds.
Marshall is set to receive a $7 million Point Source Implementation Grant from Public Facilities Authority funding in the bill. That is the maximum amount allowed under PSIG and the funds will be used to offset a majority of the $10.1 million in upgrades city officials say are needed to replace aging components that are entering a “critical stage.”
Wood Lake is scheduled to receive a $4.7 million in Wastewater Infrastructure Fund dollars from the PFA.
“The bottom line is important projects in our state were on hold and some of them are in urgent need of completion,” said Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent. “We needed to find a solution to get this work going as the case plays out in court and this was the best way to make that happen. I am pleased that we found resolution so work on these projects can begin to help the people of Marshall and beyond.”
Lawsuits filed by numerous environmental groups challenged the initial LCCMR funding plan, which received bipartisan legislative support on its way to being enacted by Gov. Mark Dayton last year. Minnesota Management & Budget put the projects on indefinite hold pending the outcome of the case.
Swedzinski said he still believes the original funding source falls within constitutional guidelines, but indicated legislative action was needed now to avoid further delays as the court case unfolds.