Lakeville, Minn. – In preparation for a bonding bill-focused legislative session, Senator Matt Little (DFL-Lakeville) organized a Senate District 58 bonding tour Monday to meet with local leaders and tour several locations and projects that will be seeking state funding in the 2020 session.
“I am proud of the work that has been done in past sessions to secure bonding money for my district and am eager to advocate for more projects our community needs funded this upcoming session,” Senator Little, DFL-Lakeville. “We have been able to secure funding for Dakota County parks, to improve both the Byllesby dam and the Dennison sewer system, and allow for construction on the Dakota county SMART center. I want to build on these successes and ensure that more projects that benefit my neighbors are prioritized at the Capital. This is why we organized a district 58 bonding tour, to highlight the projects we need: Renovations to the Ames Ice Arena, expansion of the Kenrick Ave park-and-ride, and construction of a wastewater treatment facility in Randolph.”
The first bonding project (SF1018) grants funds to the city of Lakeville to make updates and improvements to the Ames Arena. This project would allow for replacement of an ice
plant, dehumidification system, roof replacement, and replacement of ice floor systems. The arena is a regional asset that is used by not only residents of Lakeville but also by folks in surrounding areas and visiting hockey teams from across the state.
“When I met with the managers of the Ames Arena,” Sen. Little noted, “they told me that the current machinery they have is one small malfunction away from making the arena unusable. The Ames Arena is used by hockey players, figure skaters, and even those learning to skate for the first time. This helps build up the strong sense of community we have in the area. Additionally, bonding money for this project, from the state, will help free up local tax dollars in Lakeville for other city needs and improvements.”
The second project Senator Little toured was at the Kenrick Avenue park-and-ride facility. Senator Little has authored a bonding bill, (SF2858), that would allow for the park-and-ride facility to be expanded to increase the capacity of the facility. Currently, the park-and-ride is used by residents of Lakeville, Farmington, and cities as far south as Faribault. Of the 750 spots at the park-and-ride, less than 100 spots are currently available.
“If something unexpected were to happen, like an increase in gas prices, we would see a large increase in the use of the Kenrick Avenue park-and-ride and there is just not the capacity to accommodate an increase like that,” said Senator Little. “Lakeville is growing quickly, and so even with no unexpected changes, we are seeing a need to expand the facility to keep up with our city’s growth. Allowing for as many folks as possible to use the park-and-ride helps decrease congestion for commuters and has major benefits to our environment.”
The last location Senator Little visited was the land where the town of Randolph hopes to build a much needed municipal wastewater collection and treatment facility (SF0809). Half of the septic systems in the town are currently failing or in critical condition and expected to fail soon. Moving to a municipal sewer system would help improve the water quality in the area, which is threatened by failing septic systems. The project would help homeowners retain the property value of their homes, and it would allow for hundreds of affordable homes to be built in the area.
“We need to be investing in towns like Randolph to keep small town Minnesota alive,” Senator Little commented. “This bonding request is not only an infrastructure investment. It is also an investment in affordable housing and an investment in our water quality and environment. We need to show up for small towns in Minnesota by funding the wastewater collection and treatment facility this upcoming session.”
Over $5 billion in requests have been made to the state for bonding projects, and Senator Little committed to working with his colleagues in the legislature to see these Senate District 58 projects included.
“I look forward to working with bipartisan coalitions to support these bonding projects, and by building off our previous victories we will continue to make District 58 a spectacular place to live,” concluded Senator Little.