The Minnesota Senate and House passed a $1.37 billion Capital Investment Bill today that provides critical funding to move Minnesota’s economy forward by putting more people to work, making critical investments in state-owned infrastructure, roads and bridges, and investing in higher education. The bill passed today will finance $1.87 billion in statewide public projects, once other funding sources are counted. There were $5 billion in bonding requests to improve crumbling public buildings and infrastructure across our state.
After advocating and working across the aisle to bring major funding for his district forward, Senator John Hoffman (DFL-Champlin) was pleased a number of important projects for residents of Champlin, Brooklyn Park, and Coon Rapids were included in the bill that is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz.
In response to the bill passing, Sen. Hoffman released the following statement:
“This an important and robust bill that is long overdue. Working with both parties and between the House and Senate, I’ve brought more than $35 million to invest in our communities. These investments ensure access to safe drinking water, housing that is affordable, public safety, and upkeep for the higher education institutions that prepare our future workforce in all four corners of the state. It will not only get people back to work during the pandemic but makes vital safety improvements to local roads and interchanges, provides more accessibility to Mississippi Point Park, Three River’s Park, Rice Creek Regional Trail, and updates the Nursing and Business Building on the Coon Rapids campus.
I have been a strong advocate for improvements to Champlin’s Mississippi Point Park for many years. In fact, I am the chief author of this provision to make the park more ADA accessible through a better boat docking system, improved grading to create usable open space and improved drainage. I am pleased the 2020 bonding bill includes funding to upgrade the picnic pavilion, stabilize the shoreline, provide improved and more accessible parking, and add to the Mississippi River Trail system. It also contains funds to expand and make more accessible to the Brooklyn Park Three Rivers Park District – Mississippi Gateway Regional Park and Rice Creek Regional Trail system. These investments in our communities will expand opportunities for all citizens to enjoy and learn about nature.
As we all know, the heavy traffic volumes and signals at Fairoak Avenue and Thurston Avenue, U.S. Highway 10/169 contributes to severe traffic back-ups, travel delays, and more than 100 crashes per year with at least one crash during a peak period, resulting in delays stretching for miles. Pedestrians also cross U.S. Highway 10/169 at unsignalized and unmarked locations because of delays or inconveniences at signals. Also included is funding for important rail grade separations for safety and ease of traffic flow. Funding these projects in the 2020 bonding bill will reduce traffic crashes, improve efficiency, relieve congestion, and provide pedestrians with safer walkways to local destinations.
There is funding for the design and environmental documentation for a full access Interchange for Hwy. 610 at East River Road. Currently, only westbound on-ramps and eastbound off-ramps to and from Hwy. 610 exist at both East River Road and Coon Rapids Boulevard. This bonding project funding will allow full access to Hwy. 610 from East River Road. There is also funding for the Coon Rapids Recycling Center to expand its operations to recycle more with more efficiency for the city of Coon Rapids.
Anoka-Ramsey has been seeking funding to complete the modernization and expansion of the Nursing and Business building on the Coon Rapids Campus for several years. Funding this project will modernize, enhance and repurpose classrooms and labs to increase enrollment and provide flexible learning options for one of the largest nursing programs in Minnesota as well as enhance their physical therapy assistant program. North Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park will receive nearly $1.2 million in HEAPR funds to replace a roof at the main campus building and $1.9 million to replace a boiler at plant services.
For more information on these bills and others, please reach me by phone at 651-296-4154 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also mail letters or pay me a visit in the Minnesota Senate Building, Room 2231, right across the street from the Capitol.”