by Mike Knaak
Legislators passed an $825 million bonding bill in the final hours of the session that ended May 21 but none of that money is coming to St. Joseph.
The city had asked for $3.8 million for three different projects. The city intended the money would help finance the Jacob Wetterling Community Center, East Park and a CR 75 underpass.
Mayor Rick Schultz said the city will “wait until next year” to try again for state funding.
With city council approval, the requests could be resubmitted. City officials will talk to legislators and its lobbyist about what else can be done to secure the money.
Schultz said the city wrote letters and talked to Gov. Mark Dayton and his staff, but the requests were not included in the final bonding bill. Dayton hasn’t promised to sign it but the measure was supported by Republicans and Democrats.
Rep. Jeff Howe (R-Rockville) sponsored bills for all three projects in the House of Representatives. In the Senate, Michelle Fischbach (R-Paynesville) authored similar bills for the projects.
Schultz pointed out that other cities received approval for similar local projects.
The city will “try again,” Schultz said.