Legislative Session Provides Brooklyn Park Millions in Funds for Several Projects
Brooklyn Park city leaders say they’re grateful for several million dollars in earmarked money from the state after a whirlwind legislative session wrapped up last month.
Mayor Hollies Winston’s term was less than a day old when state lawmakers gaveled in the session in January.
“We got a little bit of a late start when it came to the legislative agenda this year,” said Winston, who won office in November. “[This year] we’re going to get an earlier start.”
Still, state lawmakers are sending money to the city in chunks designated for projects Winston believes are crucial to the overall growth, development, and safety of the city and its 80,000 residents.
Community Activity Center: $5 million
The city’s long-standing Community Activity Center will get money Winston said is needed to increase and support programming that keeps a lot of the city’s younger population engaged in activities, sports, and other programming.
“What we’re seeing with youth, we need to invest a lot more, to make sure they have positive places to go, positive things to do,” said Winston.
Mississippi Gateway Regional Park: $3 million
Regional leaders helped break ground on new projects at the park along the Mississippi River earlier this month, and Winston said he wants the city to continue to find ways to showcase the park and bring more people to it and the city.
“It’s right by the Mississippi, and it’s perfect,” he said. “But we’ve been under-investing in it as a region.”
Public Safety: More than $5 million
Public safety investments include $1.15 million for the design of a new central fire station and nearly $4 million from the public safety bill.
“That could help us be more competitive in terms of getting more police officers,” Winston said of the public safety money. “It can help with our violence interrupters–there’s a number of ways we can use that to get ahead of (crime).”
For Winston, the time between now and the next legislative session will be spent helping city leaders and staff craft a new legislative agenda–and a chance to reach out to other cities.
“At a regional level, we’re beginning to understand that we need to work together to address these issues,” he said. “We can get the investment we need as a region, not just as Brooklyn Park.”