Senator Wiger comments on Governor Dayton’s $1.4 billion bonding proposal

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Friday morning Governor Dayton unveiled his robust $1.4 billion bonding bill. The bill placed heavy emphasis on higher education and clean water infrastructure projects. Both of these categories included local project requests from the White Bear Lake area. 

Requests from Sen. Chuck Wiger’s (DFL-Maplewood) district include a project to help augment White Bear Lake, and both an asset preservation ask and a $5.5 million request to build a new engineering and applied technology center at Century College. Finally, the city of White Bear Lake in partnership with White Bear Lake Public Schools made a request to help build a new community achievement center.

“I was pleased to see that the governor favors having Century College receive $2.546 million in asset preservation funding to replace an aging roof, restore crumbling exterior walls and replace fire control equipment. Repairing existing buildings is of utmost importance, so I’m happy to see that. While the college’s $5.5 million request for a new engineering and technology center was not included, I also know the final bill is many months away from being put together. With that in mind, I’ll continue advocating for this project and working with my Senate and House colleagues for the best possible outcome,” said Sen. Wiger.

Neither the White Bear Lake augmenting project or the city and school district partnership to build a new achievement center were included in Gov. Dayton’s bonding proposal. Wiger says the Governor has indicated he is interested and supportive of the White Bear Lake project and is awaiting final cost estimates, which are expected soon.

“I am certainly encouraged by the Governor’s interest in the future of White Bear Lake. This has been a nearly decade-long problem, and now that we are getting close to final cost estimates on a real solution – I’m really looking forward to the prospect of getting our low lake levels under control,” said Sen. Wiger. 

On the prospect of getting bonding funding for the White Bear Lake Area Community Achievement Center, Sen. Wiger says he applauds the great collaboration between school district, city and county as well as the regional impact the project could have. He adds that frequently, bonding proposals must go through several bonding cycles before they receive funding.

“This is clearly a visionary project, and I stand firmly behind these project leaders. I will continue to advocate for this achievement center during the 2016 legislative session, and on into the future if we are not successful in getting any money allocated to the project this time around,” said Wiger. 

Both the House and Senate will put together their own bonding proposals in the coming months. The bonding bill must get a 3/5 vote in order to pass in either body.

To view the Governor’s complete bonding proposal visit: http://www.mn.gov/governor/images/2016_jobs_bill_spreadsheet.pdf

To view the Governor’s bill by county visit: http://www.mn.gov/governor/images/2016_01_15_snapshot_jobs_bill_by_county.pdf

Senator Chuck Wiger
Chuck Wiger represents District 43, which includes portions of Ramsey and Washington counties in the northeastern Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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