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Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities backs $128 million for clean water projects

ST. PAUL — The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities is supporting bills in the 2019 legislative session to provide $128 million for clean water infrastructure projects, officials said this week.

According to a press release, the bipartisan bill the coalition is supporting would help cities offset the growing demand for projects to upgrade and rebuild water treatment plants and other infrastructure. The legislation, authored by Sen. Gary Dahms, R-Redwood Falls, and Rep. Jeanne Poppe, DFL-Austin, provides $128 million to general appropriation bonds.

“Cities are the front line of protecting our lakes and rivers from pollution, and making sure residents have clean water,” said Ron Johnson, Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities president. “We are proud to play a role preserving Minnesota’s clean water legacy, but simply don’t have the resources to make the necessary improvements to their water facilities without assistance from the state.

The funding is especially critical this year, the release states, as several cities have been forced to put important projects on hold after funding in the 2018 session was delayed because of a lawsuit challenging the funding mechanism.

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