Below is a statement from CGMC President and Willmar City Council Member Audrey Nelsen on Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan’s plan to invest $200 million in Public Facilities Authority (PFA) grant and loan programs for water and wastewater infrastructure:
“The Governor’s proposal is great news for Greater Minnesota. Hundreds of Greater Minnesota communities are currently facing issues with aging water treatment facilities and the need to make expensive upgrades to combat water pollution. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s plan to invest $200 million in bonding for clean water infrastructure grants and loans shows that they are committed to helping cities make these necessary improvements—without forcing the entire cost burden on local residents and businesses.
“Water infrastructure funding needs to be the cornerstone of this year’s bonding bill. We have heard from many legislators on both sides of the aisle who recognize that this is a problem that needs to be addressed now. Our communities cannot continue to hold off on repairing and upgrading their facilities. The Legislature should follow Governor Walz’s lead and include the same $200 million in PFA funding in the final bonding bill.
“While water facilities improvements are a top concern for many Greater Minnesota cities, they are far from the only pressing infrastructure need. Our communities continue to struggle with crumbling streets, a lack of child care centers and trying to foster new economic development. We urge the Governor and Legislature pass at least a $1.5 billion bonding bill this year that addresses these and other critical infrastructure issue impacting our state.
The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization that represents cities outside of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The Coalition educates legislators about issues important to Greater Minnesota. Visit the CGMC online at greatermncities.org and follow us on Twitter @greatermncities.