By Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
Officials from Ramsey County have responded to Gov. Mark Dayton’s deadline for stadium proposals.
The governor sent letters to Minneapolis and Ramsey County Thursday. Both are bidding to host the Minnesota Vikings with a replacement for the Metrodome.
Ramsey county board chairman Rafael Ortega says the county already has a complete package to offer. County officials struck a deal with the team in May to build on the site of the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition plant in Arden Hills.
“We’ve been at this for a year. We’ve been vetted by everybody. We have a purchase agreement with the federal government. We have site control,” Ortega said. “Our focus has been those 500 acres of polluted land — a great opportunity to finally do something with them. We create jobs and we put 170 acres back on the property tax rolls.”
State officials rejected a sales tax proposal to help pay for the project. County officials have offered a 3 percent bar and restaurant tax instead.
Dayton asked local officials to include as much detailed information as possible, including the proposed means to financing a local share of the project. The proposals should include details about the Vikings’ proposed share of the stadium financing. Dayton is collaborating with the two key stadium bill architects, Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, and Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont.
Dayton expects that the comparison of proposals will advance the stadium process.