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State Capital Investment Committee to tour Armory

     Members of the Senate Capital Investment Committee will be reviewing capital investment projects next week during a three-day bonding tour running Oct. 29-31.

     The Senate Committee visit and tour is part of the legislative process for S.F. 117, a bill introduced in the State Senate on January 24, 2013. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee for action in the 2014 session which opens on Feb. 25, 2014.

  The intent of the bill is to appropriate state funds to be granted to the City of Park Rapids Economic Development Authority for the purpose of acquisition, renovation, redevelopment and operation of the former National Guard Armory building as the Upper Mississippi Center for the Arts. The Senate Finance Committee is in the due diligence process of visiting projects around the state to evaluate the merits and public benefit of proposed projects. It is a competitive process, as more projects are proposed than can be funded.  (Other communities around Park Rapids such as Bemidji and Wadena have been successful getting state funds granted to their community projects in the past).

     The presentation of the project, reception and tour of the armory for the Senate Finance Committee members and staff is open to the public. Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to RSVP to Shai at the Hubbard County Regional Economic Development Commission at 732-2256.

     The Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council member organizations will also be attending, providing public information on their activities and programs for the Senate Committee and the public.

     Senator LeRoy Stumpf (DFL-Plummer) who chairs the Capital Investment Committee will be leading the tour throughout the region.  The tour will hear presentations from cities and organizations who have requested funds through the 2014 bonding bill at local MNSCU locations.  State legislators from the region will also be along to highlight projects in their districts.  The Capital Investment Committee is on its third of six regional and metro tours of the entire state.

     “The Committee has heard from more than sixty projects over the past two tours and at each stop we have been met by communities and organizations that are dedicated to and enthusiastic about their proposed projects.  Meeting with each group is an important part of the bonding process,” Stumpf said. “This is the best way for Committee members to understand and evaluate each project fully in order to make well-informed funding decisions that will benefit the greatest number of Minnesotans.”

     Two more sets of regional tours will happen in the next few weeks with the final tour wrapping up in the first week of December.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561