ST. PAUL - Legislation that would help construct the Health and Emergency Response Occupations (HERO) Center in Washington County is moving forward in the Minnesota House. The proposal is sponsored by State Representatives Tony Jurgens (R-Cottage Grove) and Keith Franke (R-St. Paul Park).
Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee members debated the proposal this week.
“Both Republican and Democratic committee members thought the presentation went well, and the fact that it’s shovel-ready always improves its chances,” Jurgens said. “After nearly eight years of working on this project, the knowledge and enthusiasm shown from our local testifiers was obvious and they did a great job.”
“This bill will reduce the burden on local taxpayers in training costs while giving our officers the tools and state-of-the-art facilities they need to be more successful in keeping our community safe,” said Franke.
Their proposal would allocate $9.7 million in state bonding proceeds towards the construction of the HERO Center. The rest of the cost would be paid for by the cities of Cottage Grove and Woodbury. The HERO Center would also include a gun range which would be open to the public.
In 2015, $1.45 million was secured for the project’s plan and design. With a site already selected, the lawmakers say construction could begin later this year if state bonding proceeds are secured.
The Hero Center proposal was held over for possible inclusion in the Minnesota House Capital Investment bill, which will be brought forward later this session.