Three big projects in the Douglas County area are included in the Minnesota Legislature’s $1.9 billion jobs and projects bill that was approved by the House on Wednesday, Oct. 14 and the Senate on Thursday, Oct. 15.

The bill was sent to the governor's desk after months of debates and several unsuccessful efforts to get a proposal across the finish line

The projects in the Douglas County area include:

  • $5.6 million for a long-awaited expansion of the Runestone Community Center in Alexandria. It would add a third floor on the southwest side of the facility that could be used for ice and dry-floor events. This is the fourth or fifth time the legislation has been proposed. The total cost of the project is estimated at $8.8 million. Private funds, raised by groups that use the facility, would cover about half of the remaining amount and the city would provide between $2 million and $2.5 million, most likely through tax abatement bonds.

  • $5 million for an expansion of the Pope-Douglas Solid Waste Management property. This would include a new organics composting facility in Douglas County, a new environmental learning center in Alexandria, and replacing outdated public facilities and infrastructure.

  • $4 millon for Todd County to expand its solid waste facility transfer system and renovate its household hazardous waste facility.

The bill is commonly referred to as the bonding bill. It proposes to update wastewater infrastructure, rebuild roads and bridges and fund improvements to university classrooms and labs.

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For more details of the Legislature’s special session, read this story from the Forum Communications Company’s Capitol reporters.