mixed bag for Duluth projects
Mark Dayton unveiled a proposed $1.5 billion public works bill Tuesday that contained funding for some significant Northland projects, but others didn’t exactly make the cut. And it’s clear to me that Gov. Dayton is really prioritizing catching up on state and university funding and then doing some affordable housing. So once I started looking through what he’s focused on in this first step of the bonding process, I wasn’t actually all that concerned.”
Larson noted that few other city projects from elsewhere in the state were singled out for funding either.
Sen. Erik Simonson, DFL Duluth, who also serves as CEO of the Lake Superior Zoo, said: “It is very early in the process.”
“When you look at the governor’s recommendations when they first come out, it’s important to kind of look at what he or she is trying to globally achieve, and this looks to be focused on higher education and then water infrastructure types of projects with more statewide impact. There’s hardly any local projects from anywhere,” he said.
“I’m not disheartened at all. I’d be a little bit worried if we weren’t showing up on a supplemental list, but I feel very good about where we are today, as much as I did yesterday,” Simonson said.
During a Tuesday morning teleconference, Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans said the governor remains supportive of Duluth’s requests, as well as other worthy projects.
“It’s not the end of the ball game at all. We firmly believe that the $858 million list of local projects is something that should be on the table. We should look at all of them,” he said.