After working diligently with members of the Senate’s Finance Committee late into the evening Wednesday, Sen. Kathy Sheran today announced that the Mankato Civic Center project has been included in the Senate’s Capital Investment (bonding) bill, with a “placeholder” funding line in the bill.
Sen. Mike Parry agreed to propose the amendment in Finance Committee at the request of Mankato City Administrator Pat Hentges, although Sen. Parry did say he is not committed to supporting local projects for bonding in the final bill.
Sen. Sheran introduced the original legislation for the $14.5 million in bonding funds for the Event Center/Arena improvements and expansion. The project is estimated to have an annual $50 million economic impact in Mankato and will create 450 construction jobs, with a resulting $84 million construction economic impact.
Two other local civic center projects were included in the $496 million bonding proposal, but Mankato was not included.
Sen. Sheran and City Administrator Hentges testified about the Mankato project to the Capital Investment Committee on Wednesday, reiterating that the project had been included in past bonding bills, but had been vetoed by former Governor Tim Pawlenty. Governor Dayton did include the project in his 2012 bonding package.
“This amendment allows continued considering of the Civic Center and Arena,” she said, “We are by no means there yet, but I plan to apply continued pressure and will work with my Senate colleagues and the Governor about the importance of this project. I appreciate all the hard work and diligence from the people of Mankato who have worked with me on this issue.”