Melrose Asks for Bonding Money for Downtown Fire Recovery
MELROSE -- Governor Mark Dayton is lending Melrose a helping hand after a devastating fire destroyed a portion of the city's downtown and to help with building an electrical substation to expand business operations to the east side of the city.
As part of a list of recent bonding projects, Governor Dayton is in support of giving Melrose just under $4 million.
City administrator, Michael Brethorst says $2.95 million of the funding would go toward building an electrical substation on the east side of the city to support Jennie-O Turkey's relocation to the east side as well as future businesses moving into the area.
"Now we are committed to providing support for them as well as providing growth for other infrastructure in the community as a whole but we can't quite do this on our own and so we are looking to the state to help fund this substation because it is regionally significant."
A portion of the funding would also go toward rebuilding part of their downtown that was recently destroyed by a fire.
"The city has asked for $900,000 specifically for municipal infrastructure costs, this is going to cover our 1st Street project which is the road immediately abutting our 400 block fire site this would include new curbs, gutters, storm sewers, water, sidewalk and road work."
Brethorst says the reconstruction of the downtown area would not have been necessary if the fire hadn't happened.
Another fire last year at St. Mary's Church in Melrose also has left the town with many decisions to make. Brethorst says because St. Mary's is private property it will be up to the church on how to move forward with either rebuilding or restoring the church. So far the church is discussing both options and hasn't decided which course to take.
The community is gathering Friday at 7:30 p.m. for a prayer vigil on the steps of the church to show support of restoring St. Mary's.