SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Governor Dayton said "yes" to funding for a new Saint Paul Saints ballpark in Lowertown and "yes" to continuing funding for the Southwest Corridor light rail project. However, Dayton said "no" to more than 80 other projects requesting funding around the state.
When the GOP controlled Legislature turned down Dayton's much larger bonding bill request, they did approve $47.5 million in bonding that the Department of Employment and Economic Development would recommend to the Governor. DEED applied a complicated formula to the 90 applications including economic and jobs impact.
Thursday morning, Dayton announced $25 million of the money for the new ballpark. Saint Paul had requested $27 million. "I would say they came out well with $25 million out of 27 requested," said Dayton.
"We may need to seek funds from some other sources," said Aron Kahn, Saints' consultant. "Those decisions have not been made yet."
In Mayor Coleman's absence, Deputy Mayor Paul Williams celebrated at 5th and Broadway near the site of the new ballpark on an old factory site.
Speaking for the Metropolitan Council, Regional Administrator Pat Born was very happy. "We are so grateful and appreciative the Governor could make room at this point for this money. It keeps this project (the Southwest Corridor light rail) in line to be eligible to receive a significant amount of money from the federal government, half the project cost, which is $625 million."
Also funded were 8 other projects. Relocating sanitary sewer lines in Litchfield gets $2.3 million. A kosher and Halal beef producer in Hector got $1.1 million. A business park in Lonsdale gets $1.5 million. Infrastructure for processing recyclables gets $1.89 million in Redwood and Renville County. Hutchinson gets $763,000 for a business incubator. Duluth gets $8.5 million for a parking ramp and Wadena gets $4.2 million for a public health and wellness facility.
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