Governor Walz signs bonding law

Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Includes critical funding for transit, wastewater, regional parks investment

Gov. Tim Walz has signed a nearly $1.9 billion bonding bill into law, providing critical funding for metro area investments in rapid bus lines, grants to address clean water in the wastewater system, and grants for regional parks and trails.

The law includes $1.377 billion in general obligation bonding, the largest general obligation authorization in state history. Among allocations for Met Council activities:

  • $55 million to construct the METRO D and B lines, providing rapid bus service

  • $5 million for grants to municipalities to address inflow and infiltration, which is clear stormwater and groundwater that enters the wastewater system

  • $5 million for regional parks and trails grants

  • $28.5 million in pass-through grant funding for the 10 regional parks implementing agencies throughout the region

“We’re grateful the legislature and the governor have supported our requests for funding these important infrastructure needs,” said Charlie Zelle, chair of the Metropolitan Council. “In particular, the funds for transit will provide the critical final piece to complete two lines that have been designated for development for many years.

“This milestone is a credit to our partners and advocates throughout the region. We’re so grateful to keep this important investment in our region’s economy moving, particularly as it directly benefits two corridors that have been significantly affected by the unrest in our community this summer.”

New lines will serve two of region’s busiest transit corridors

Metro Transit’s METRO B and D lines will provide a higher level of service in two of the region’s busiest bus corridors. The D Line will serve the corridor currently served by Route 5, between the Mall of America and the Brooklyn Center Transit Center, through downtown Minneapolis. It will run primarily on Chicago and Emerson/Fremont avenues.

The B Line will serve the corridor currently served by Route 21, between Uptown Minneapolis and downtown Saint Paul along Lake Street and Marshall and Selby avenues.

Funding to reduce inflow and infiltration

Inflow and infiltration (I/I) creates wastewater system overloading and can cause costly sewer backups into homes and buildings. It can also cause overflows into rivers and lakes. The Met Council has provided grants to local governments to address I/I issues in local wastewater collection facilities.

Regional park agencies get funds to acquire and develop parks

Regional parks funding will be used for the regional parks implementing agencies to acquire and maintain facilities. The bonding law also includes funding for specific projects managed by each of the 10 implementing agencies:

  • Anoka County, Rice Creek North Regional Trail: $500,000

  • Carver County, Lake Waconia: $2.5 million

  • Dakota County, Veterans Memorial Greenway: $5 million

  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Mississippi River Trail Connection at 26th Ave. N.: $3 million

  • Ramsey County, Battle Creek Winter Recreation Area: $1.8 million

  • Saint Paul, Como Zoo: $1 million

  • Saint Paul, Wakan Tipi Center: $1 million

  • Three Rivers Park District, Mississippi Gateway: $5 million

  • White Bear Lake Communities, Lake Links Trail: $3.6 million

  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, North Commons Improvement Project: $5.125 million

Posted In: Council News

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