Minneapolis and St. Paul officials were quick to praise Gov. Mark Dayton’s bonding bill, which includes projects like a downtown ballpark in St. Paul and repairs to the Plymouth Avenue bridge in Minneapolis.
Both cities’ mayors applauded the bonding bill proposal in press releases sent out within 90 minutes of Dayton’s press conference.
But the GOP-controlled Legislature might not go along with the plans. Republican leaders said it’s the wrong time to use the state’s credit card to fund projects that might take years to complete. One GOP lawmaker said bonding should be reserved for emergencies.
Here’s a rundown of what’s in Dayton’s bonding proposal for each of the cities:
St. Paul: $20 million for a new regional ballpark where the St. Paul Saints would play
Minneapolis: $8 million for capital improvements to the Target Center; $7 million to repair Plymouth Avenue bridge; $5 million to construct phase 2 of Granary Road near TCF Bank Stadium and the U of M Transitway
St. Paul has been talking about building a downtown ballpark for more than 10 years. Voters in 1999 rejected a sales tax to pay for a stadium. The city and Saints have pledged $10 million each for a stadium this time around, but if the other $20 million doesn’t come through in a bonding bill, officials would have to figure out another way to pay for it.
In Minneapolis, the Plymouth Avenue bridge seems to be the most urgent of the three projects. That bridge has been closed to vehicle traffic since October after inspectors found corroded cables.
The city has said the bridge could be closed until early 2012, depending on whether officials can find money for the needed repairs.