With nearly $1.6 billion in state and federal funding for water and sewer improvements entering the coffers of cities and rural water systems, engineering and contracting firms in the state are bracing for impact.
In Crookston, the multi-sport facility is proposed to be built on school property, officially ending the district’s reliance upon the University of Minnesota Crookston football and track facilities. Once UMC dropped its football program, the football stadium started to deteriorate; the school district could fix it, but it doesn’t make sense to invest district dollars into property it doesn’t own.
What does make sense is to build new on school property.
The current framework for the bonding proposal would put $1 billion toward state agency projects with an emphasis on preserving existing assets. Local projects would get $400 million. But with just hours before a deadline to pass any bills, no proposal had fully materialized.
Earmarks have been absent from spending bills since the early years of Barack Obama’s presidency. Now they're back under names like "congressionally directed spending" and "community project funding." In the past week, Minnesota Democrats have put out statements touting millions in direct funding they obtained for Minnesota. All but two members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation had their names attached to some earmarks.