ST. PAUL – A $3.6 million bonding appropriation for the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area next door to Crosby and Ironton is included in a $798 million capital investment package the Minnesota House put forward Wednesday.
Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, authored the Cuyuna bonding proposal over a year ago, which includes a phased upgrade to the mountain bike trail system and other improvements to the state recreational area.
The Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail System has rapidly attracted international attention as one of the very best in the world. The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) has designated the Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail System as a “Ride Center,” an elite designation shared with only 26 other trail systems in the entire world.
“This project adds additional value to the impressive range of outdoor recreational activities available in our area,” Lueck said. “We are rapidly moving up from a day stop to a full-fledged recreation destination that will attract and hold people for several days to enjoy world-class mountain biking, fishing, camping, kayaking, scuba diving, local historical sites and many other activities.”
Lueck cautioned the final appropriation amount may change as the proposal works its way through the legislative process. The original bill requested $4.3 million and the project was included in a previous Senate bill at $1.9 million. The current level of $3.6 million still has to compete with other state park and recreational area bonding proposals right up to the point of final passage by the House and Senate.
“The hard work by the local community that went into hosting both the House and Senate bonding committee tour last year is paying off,” Lueck said. “The committee members gained a clear picture of the value of this project and the long term positive economic impact it will have on our area.”
The House's bonding bill also includes $227 million for local road and bridge projects, $130 million for water infrastructure projects, and $137 million for maintenance of our higher education facilities.
Gov. Mark Dayton and the Senate both have proposed bonding bills in the range of $1.5 billion.