St. Joseph Disappointed But Not Discouraged by Bonding Proposals
ST. JOSEPH -- With both the Minnesota house and senate revealing their bonding proposals, it looks like, for now, St. Joseph has been left out this year.
City leadership, however, is not discouraged.
After hiring the lobbyist Chris DeLaForest, St. Joseph was looking for $3.8-million for three different projects. The projects are the Jacob Wetterling Community Center, County Road 75 Pedestrian Crossing and East Park.
Some of the local projects included in the Senate's proposal include:
-- $4.45 million for the St. Cloud Armory
-- $5 million for the Waite Park amphitheater
-- $4.5 million for the Cold Spring water treatment facility
-- $1.2 million for the Foley Highway 23 safety improvements
-- $3.3 million for the Becker industrial park improvements
-- $16.2 million for the St. Cloud prison
Mayor Rick Schultz says they've been talking with DeLaForest about what can be done in the final weeks of the legislative session. He says they're still happy with the investment they made.
"Even though there was some trepidation about hiring a lobbyist, I think [this year proves], without having someone down there, visible and promoting what we're trying to do, there's even less chance at getting bonding help."
Schultz says because of St. Joseph's size they need bonding help on almost any major capital investment they make. He says while they didn't make the cut as of now, it's their first try, and they're not overly worried moving forward.
"The requests we're putting in are very similar to other requests put into the bonding bill this year. So we're not far off, I think we have a lot of potential to see some positive steps to getting these requests fulfilled."
At a council meeting last May, St. Joseph committed $6-million to the Wetterling Community Center, which will feature gyms, community rooms, and a memorial to Jacob. Community groups are trying to raise the other half of the funds.
The County Road 75 pedestrian crossing was the subject of a study to see how they could connect the north side and south sides of town in a better way. Several crossings are being considered.
The 90-acre East Park is undeveloped now, and while part of it would remain untouched, the city would like $300,000 to develop part of it into either a camping or a community area.