ST. CLOUD - Governor Mark Dayton stopped at the River's Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud today (Thursday) to promote the bonding bill that he signed into law last month.

The bill includes $11.56 million to build a parking ramp in downtown St. Cloud, which will be attached to the Convention Center, completing that project.

Dayton says he pushed for bonding money for this project, as well as similar projects in Rochester and Mankato.

He says, "I grew up in a retail family. What my father and his brothers taught me is that economic development naturally occurs on the outside in the urban areas. So you have to give special attention to the downtown, and do everything necessary to keep them vital."

The Convention Center was expanded a few years ago, with St. Cloud opting to use it's own local food and beverage dollars to complete the project.

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis has said the decision to expand has paid off, with downtown store front at their lowest vacancy rates in decades.