Proposed bonding bill contains nearly $125 million for northeastern Minn.

WDIO-TV and The Associated Press
Updated: October 14, 2020 11:00 PM

A bonding bill being considered during a special session of the Minnesota Legislature includes nearly $125 million for projects in northeastern Minnesota.

The list, which totals $1.37 billion statewide, includes dozens of projects ranging from water systems to public safety to parks. Major pieces of funding for the Northland would include $13.5 million for work on the Duluth seawall and Lakewalk, $11.5 million for a new water treatment plant in Two Harbors, and $9.5 million for a regional public safety center and training facility for police and fire in Virginia.

The bill also contains a provision authorizing the Duluth School District to issue $31.5 million in general obligation bonds for construction of new facilities if it decides to sell Historic Old Central High School, also known as the Central Administration Building.

The bonding bill requires a 60% supermajority to pass. Leaders of the House Democratic majority are gambling that they'll pick up the six Republican votes that would be needed for approval if all Democrats vote yes.

If the bill clears the House, the Republican-controlled Senate could take it up Thursday.

The bonding bill is the biggest piece of unfinished business left over from the 2020 regular session. House leaders say it could create thousands of jobs. 

Here is a list of northeastern Minnesota projects included in the bill, sorted by the location of the project:

Aurora, Hoyt Lakes, Biwabik, Town of White:
$5 million for the East Mesabi Joint Water System

$10.194 million for phase 2 of the water treatment plant
$2 million for the Northwest American Indian Center

$1.5 million for wastewater, clean water, and sewer infrastructure

Carlton County:
$2 million for design of a regional corrections facility for female offenders

$1.91 million to construct a new public safety facility for police and fire

Deer River:
$4 million for sewer and water system improvements

$13.5 million for seawall and Lakewalk improvements
$6.75 million for the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District
$4.4 million to renovate A.B. Anderson Hall at UMD
$1.5 million for exterior renovation and life-safety elements at the St. Louis County Heritage and Arts Center (The Depot)
$204,000 for design of a renovation of the main building at the Lake Superior Zoo

$1 million for improvements to the city hall/police station, library, fire/ambulance hall, Hippodrome ice arena, and city auditorium

$2 million for stabilization ponds

Grand Rapids:
$5 million for improvements to the IRA Civic Center, including replacement of the roof and ice-making system

$1.3 million for the mine view facility

Hill Annex Mine State Park:
$2 million for design and engineering of projects to respond to rising water levels at the Canisteo and Hill Annex Mine complexes

International Falls:
$1.8 million for reconstruction of the runway, taxiway, and apron at the International Falls/Koochiching County Airport

Koochiching County:
$3 million for a rail grade crossing separation where County State Aid Highway 24 crosses railroad tracks near International falls and Ranier

Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park:
$5 million for the Soudan Underground Mine shaft rehabilitation
$5.8 million for Lake Vermilion State Park development

$750,000 for engineering on a regional wastewater treatment system to serve the communities of the East Itasca Joint Sewer Board

Pine City:
$635,000 to Pine Technical and Community College for an addition of the technical trade and applied learning labs and renovation of the main building allied health space

$500,000 for a new salt shed

Red Lake:
$5.575 million for a family and child services building

Rice Lake:
$1 million for sewer and water extension to a commercial and industrial park on North Rice Lake Road

St. Louis County:
$950,000 for right-of-way acquisition and construction of Voyageur Country ATV Trail connections in the Orr, Ash River, Kabetogama Township, and International Falls areas
$1.365 million for a regional behavioral health crisis facility

Silver Bay:
$1.1 million to design and construct a multimodal trailhead center, including a wayside rest area

$2.6 million for a new sewer treatment system at the Minnesota Correctional Facility

Twin Lakes Township:
$7.5 million for a water distribution system along Highway 210

Two Harbors:
$11.5 million for a new water treatment plant

$9.5 million for a regional public safety center and training facility for police and fire

Willow River:
$1.877 million for communications equipment at the Minnesota Correctional Facility


WDIO-TV and The Associated Press

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