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Douglas County joins 72 others in seeking more transportation funding

More than 70 counties from across Minnesota, including Douglas County, have passed resolutions supporting a comprehensive transportation funding package in 2014.

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That’s according to Move MN, a statewide coalition of more than 140 organizations advocating for making transportation an urgent funding priority this legislative session.

“Without immediate action on transportation, Minnesota will lose its best talent, our businesses will experience higher costs, and we will fall further behind,” said Toni Carter, Ramsey County commissioner and president of the Association of Minnesota Counties. “Just counting the boarded up storefronts on main streets across the state quickly shows the need we have, not simply to support specific modes of travel – but to ensure that Minnesota is a leader in job growth and economic development for years to come.”

In 2008, the state received an increase in transportation funding that helped fuel economic recovery. Today, funds are nearly exhausted.

Minnesota will not have enough funding to maintain the current transportation system or fund improvements or expansions for the next 20 years, according to Move MN.

By 2030, Minnesota is expected to add more than 350,000 new jobs and by 2040, the population is expected to grow by nearly 1 million people. As demand continues to increase, the shortcomings of the transportation system will be exacerbated, according to Move MN.

“Simply put, transportation is about opportunity and access – connecting families to schools and health care, connecting consumers to businesses, and connecting our region’s farms to the global marketplace,” said John Schueller, Redwood County commissioner. “Lack of investment in our local infrastructure stifles economic growth in Redwood Falls and lessens our ability to meaningfully contribute to Minnesota’s economy. It is crucial the state provide us with the lifeline we need to succeed.”

Counties passing resolutions include: Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carleton, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Koochiching, Lac qui Parle, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, Martin, McLeod, Mille Lacs, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Roseau, Sibley, St. Louis, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Waseca, Watonwan, Wilkin, Winona, Wright and Yellow Medicine.