Saint Paul, Minn. –The Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee continued its statewide tour of Minnesota, visiting sites – including one in Apple Valley and another in Rosemount – with proposed investments in regional economies. Reps. Robert Bierman (DFL – Apple Valley) and John Huot (DFL- Rosemount) hosted the committee as they learned about proposals for improvements to the Minnesota Zoo and updates to the Rosemount Readiness Center.
“It’s always an honor to partner with the Minnesota Zoo when we’re looking to make long term investments into regional community assets across the state,” said Rep. John Huot. “The Zoo has been a responsible steward of public COVID relief dollars and has put those funds to good use during these challenging times. I have full confidence in the Zoo’s leadership team and employees to keep the Zoo operational and safe for everyone moving forward.”
The Zoo’s animal hospital was built in 1975 and predates the opening of the Zoo. Their request of lawmakers is $8 million to renovate the animal hospital to meet industry standards for animal care. To replace the aging infrastructure of Lakeside Plaza and to ensure full ADA accessibility to the Zoo’s entrance, the Minnesota Zoo is also seeking $17 million. Additionally, after being closed for 10 years, the Nocturnal Trail needs updates to connect the exhibit to accommodate more guests. The $6 million request would reopen a long-closed portion of the Tropics Trail to add immersive exhibit space, including amenities such as a kids’ area, much-needed family restrooms, and a stage for animal encounters and volunteer space.
“Our Minnesota Zoo has not only the leadership to thrive again post pandemic, but also the visionary plans in place to expand the experience and participation of visitors,” said Rep. Robert Bierman. “Investing in the Zoo helps support our health and well-being. It’s an investment for all the residents of our state, and the world, to enjoy and benefit from the learning and health we receive from the good stewardship of our natural world. Right here in our community.”
Committee members also visited the Rosemount Readiness Center, which has requested $10.5 million in funding for overdue interior updates for window replacements, floor repairs, electrical wiring and HVAC systems. This is the Minnesota Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ top capital investment priority.
The 2022 legislative session is scheduled to begin on January 31.