ST. PAUL, MINN. – The much-anticipated $1.165 billion Senate Bonding Bill was released Monday to a wide range of reactions. The City of Duluth made several bonding project requests focusing on the Spirit Valley corridor including the Wade Stadium, Spirit Mountain and the Lake Superior Zoo. Rather than excitement however, there was disappointment from Senator Roger Reinert (DFL-Duluth) upon hearing that most of his high-priority projects got little to no funding.
“I am not thrilled with the current shape of the bonding bill; we had a very reasonable package of small, but important, bonding requests. While I am pleased to see UMD and Lake Superior College receive funding, as well as the NorShor Theatre, the projects focused on the Spirit Valley corridor were either missing or underfunded in the bill,” said Sen. Reinert.
The Senate’s $1.165 billion bill included $1.5 million for UMD’s Chemical Sciences and Advanced Material Building, $5.26 million for Lake Superior College’s Allied Health Wing revitalization, and $6 million for the city’s NorShor Theatre. However, the city’s request of $5.7 million for Wade Stadium repairs was left completely out of the bill, and Spirit Mountain’s request of $3.4 million for a new water system was only allotted $500,000. In addition, Lake Superior Zoo only received $200,000 for planning purposes versus the nearly $2 million needed to replace the vacant polar bear exhibit with a new amphitheater.
“Both Wade Stadium and Spirit Mountain have been working on these requests for years and state money is crucial for these projects to move forward. While the bill still must go through Conference Committee, if funding remains as-is, Duluth will have to re-group and decide how to move forward with these projects without state help.”
To view the entire Senate’s Bonding Bill spreadsheet visit: http://build.mn/spreadsheet/