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State bonding sought for local projects

By State Sen. Scott Newman
Over the last several days, the Capital Investment Committee and members have traveled across Southwest Minnesota to view potential project sites and hear various project presentations. This stretch of the bonding tour was be very similar to the previous three.
However, part of this tour took place in District 18, which I represent. Thursday, we started the day by taking a tour of a cheese processing plant located in the city of Litchfield. This plant is called the First District Association and is the largest milk processer in the Midwest. This dairy cooperative has partnered with Litchfield to power its extensive dairy operation. Here are several other projects that are located in or directly affect the district.
• City of Litchfield – Phase 2 Power Generation Improvements ($5 million): state bond funding to design and construct electrical generation improvements in the city of Litchfield to expand the current standby generation capacity to meet the expanding electrical demands in the city as a result of the continuous expansion of First District Association.
• U.S. Highway 212 (Carver County) – U.S. Highway 212 is a vitally important interregional corridor that connects our region to both the Twin Cities and South Dakota. This project is requesting a total of $28 million in bonding to construct two separate four-lane expressways along the corridor which will help increase mobility, improve traveler safety and help provide for economic growth across the region.
• McLeod County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 15 – Morningside (CSAH 15) Corridor Completion ($2.35 million): state funds requested to acquire land, design, and construct new urban street extension of CSAH 15, also known as Morningside within the city of Glencoe, and adjacent trail between 11th and 16th Street. Additionally, the project includes providing storm water and drainage improvements, which would provide flood mitigation for a significant portion of the community.
• Minnesota Valley Regional Rail Authority (MVRRA) — The MVRRA is requesting $22 million in bonding funds to help upgrade 26 miles of existing railroad track that was built in 1912. The stretch of railroad serves as a major artery for commodities to head to market or processing plants. The existing track is in such poor condition, trains are forced to go just 10 miles per hour. The replacement area is in Sibley and Renville counties and runs from west of Winthrop to Franklin.
As I have mentioned in the past, this is not a comprehensive list of projects that we were presented with during this stretch of the bonding tour, but it provides a better understanding of what we are seeing while traveling across the region.
For additional information regarding any of the bonding tours, please visit the Build.MN website. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.