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Bonding bill would help Rainbow Rider, Evansville

The Minnesota House bonding bill released this week (see above story) contains good news for those in the Douglas County region, according to Representative Jay McNamar, DFL-Elbow Lake.

Rep. McNamar
Rep. Jay McNamar of Elbow Lake listened as a House committee heard a public works project funding proposal last Tuesday. (Photo by Don Davis, Forum News Service)

The Minnesota House bonding bill released this week (see above story) contains good news for those in the Douglas County region, according to Representative Jay McNamar, DFL-Elbow Lake.

"This bill will help improve local infrastructure, put people back to work, and give a boost to the state economy," said McNamar, who represents District 12A, which includes part of Douglas County. "This is the time to make these investments because interest rates are virtually as low as they can go and we need to put people back to work in our communities."

Using the Associated General Contractors of America formula, it is estimated that the House measure would create 22,800 permanent, temporary and spin-off jobs, McNamar said.

McNamar listed several bonding projects that would directly impact District 12A:

  • $800,000 for the Rainbow Rider Transit System to construct bus garages in Elbow Lake, Morris, Wheaton, Lowry and Alexandria.
  • $990,000 for Higher Ed Asset Preservation Repairs at the U of M, Morris.
  • $3 million for a School Energy Efficiency Fund Loan Program to help schools across the state make improvements to their infrastructure.
  • The bonding bill will also makes funds available for clean water improvement projects that are likely to be funded across the state. Within District 12A that's likely to mean funding of $1.3 million for a project in Graceville and $1 million for a project in Evansville.

"These infrastructure projects are a wise investment," said McNamar. "When you put these off, they only get more expensive. I'm especially proud that my proposal to create an energy efficiency fund was included because it will help our rural schools make improvements to their buildings that can save them a lot of money long term."

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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