Project is on the U of M Board of Regents' priority list.

    As the third leg of the Minnesota Senate Bonding Tour kicks off, Capital Investment Committee members will be making their way into the northwest corner of the state this week.  Many of the stops will be in parts of Senate District 1, represented by chairman of the committee, Sen. LeRoy Stumpf (DFL-Plummer).  The tour runs from October 29-31.

    The University of Minnesota Crookston is seeking funds for the construction of a $15 million Wellness Center on campus. The project this fall has been listed as #3 on the U of M Board of Regents' list of the five highest-priority projects being asked of the legislature for funding.
    A committee spokesperson tells the Times that the committee is expected to be on the UMC campus shortly after noon on Wednesday, Oct. 30 for lunch, a tour, and to hear presentations for other projects for much of the afternoon.

    After spending Tuesday in St. Cloud, the committee will start Wednesday with a project tour in Moorhead of flood mitigation efforts.  The Minnesota DNR is requesting $25 million total for all flood hazard mitigation efforts statewide. The City of Moorhead needs $7.2 million to completely finish their years-long flooding prevention projects which include land acquisition, levee work and internal drainage.

    Also on Wednesday, committee members will take a project tour of the Aviation Maintenance Facility at Northland Community & Technical College in Thief River Falls.  The school is requesting $6.3 million to build an expansion of its aviation maintenance facilities which will include a multi-use training center for future aviation maintenance workers. Later Wednesday evening, the City of Thief River Falls will present its bonding request of $1.9 million for a public infrastructure project. The city hopes to use the money to design and build a sanitary sewer system, and utility improvements for a regional development center.

    One of the last project tours of the trip, on Thursday, will include a stop at the Heartland Trail Extension. The Heartland Trail is a 50-mile ribbon of pavement connecting Park Rapids with Cass Lake.  The scenic trail runs through prime land and pines country and is one of the first rail-trail conversions in the country.  The Minnesota DNR is requesting $2.5 million to help extend the trail by 7.5 miles from Detroit Lakes to Frazee.  Additionally the DNR is asking for another $800,000 to create a one-mile loop called the Steamboat Loop..