House Committee Passes Bonding Bill, Local Projects Up For Grant Money
The Minnesota House Ways and Means Committee approved the omnibus capital investment bill in a 17-10 vote Tuesday. It includes several projects in the northwest suburbs that would get funded if the bill is eventually signed into law. The bill now awaits action by the full Minnesota House.
Projects Included in Bonding Bill
The North Metro Range in Maple Grove would receive $6.5 million for an expansion. Once completed, the facility plans to offer more training in areas such as police officer deescalation education and how to interact with people in crisis. There’s a catch to get the funding however. For the North Metro Range to get the money, it would need to secure at least the same amount from other sources.
Golden Valley is up for $6 million for its Douglas Drive and Highway 55 project, which will see nearly two miles of Douglas Drive rebuilt and improved. Bike lanes, trails and sidewalks will be added north of 55. South of the highway, a roundabout will join an extension to the frontage road.
Close to that project, Perpich Center for Arts Education stands to get $5 million to pay for continued maintenance and upgrades of the school building.
Plymouth would get a $500,000 grant to enhance its Plymouth Creek Center. The grant covers the first phase of the project, which will renovate the center’s building and parking lot, as well as prepare for future construction.
North Hennepin Community College is up for a major improvement. It plans to replace its Fine Arts Center building with a new Center for Innovation and the Arts at its Brooklyn Park campus. The college is slated to get just under $6.6 million from the state to help pay for the project.
Public Transit Projects
Public transit in the northwest metro would look forward to improvements under the bill. The D-line Bus Rapid Transit line is among several metrowide in a $70 million funding package to design and build BRT lines. The D-line would run between Brooklyn Center and Bloomington.
All of these funding grants are not guaranteed. The bill must eventually be voted on by the full Minnesota House and Senate. House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt has said he plans to block the House vote as long as Governor Tim Walz’ state of emergency regarding COVID-19 is still in place.