by Dennis Dalman
Thanks to $5.5 million from the state bonding bill and about $900,000 from Sartell, construction will begin late this fall on road improvements near the health-care campus in Sartell.
The city’s portion of the funding was approved as part of the consent agenda at the Jan. 15 Sartell City Council meeting.
The project has been dubbed “Healthcare Hub Local Funding Project.” It will involve connecting Scout Drive to Dehler Avenue and connecting 19th Street S. to Scout Drive. About half of the city’s share of the costs will come from the street fund, the rest in about equal amounts from the water fund, sewer fund and stormwater fund.
At the Jan. 15 city-council meeting, Mayor Ryan Fitzthum and two council members praised lobbying efforts for the $5.5 million toward the project being included in the last state bonding bill. At that same meeting, Marty Seifert, a lobbyist, updated the council about efforts on behalf of Sartell made at the state legislature by the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities. Seifert is employed by the law firm of Flaherty and Hood.
The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities represents 100 cities in outstate Minnesota, all of them outside of the seven-county Twin Cities metro area.
Seifert noted Sartell received some of the highest amount of local government state aid last year of all Minnesota cities – a total of $393,000 compared to $324,000 the previous year.
Seifert said the legislative successes for Sartell were made possible largely through cooperation and constant input from the city’s mayor, council members and city staff. During the legislature’s special sessions, Seifert had long phone conversations, even on weekends and late at night, with Sartell’s mayor and other city officials and staff.
The council thanked Seifert for the hard work he did on behalf of Sartell.