Ag Innovation Campus: The power of the pen?

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

    The power of the pen, perhaps?

    A story reported by Crookston media last month on a glitch or possibly inadvertent omission in language regarding state dollars earmarked to help extend a new road from Ingersoll Avenue to the Ag Innovation Campus to be constructed on Crookston’s southern edge later this year caught the attention of District 1B State Rep. Deb Kiel of Crookston, and $50,000 in local savings is the likely result.

    CHEDA Executive Director Craig Hoiseth in December told his board that although it was great news that the Minnesota Legislature’s 2020 bonding bill includes almost $900,000 to help build the road, the word “design” was left out of the bill’s language as it pertained to the Crookston project, meaning local dollars would have to be found to come up with the cost to design the road, expected to be in the $50,000 range. At the time, he said he and City Administrator Amy Finch were working to identify the best place to come up with the money.

    Tuesday, Hoiseth said that might no longer be necessary.

    “Thankfully our media picked it up,” Hoiseth said of the story regarding the word “design” being omitted from the bonding bill language, a story that Kiel read. She subsequently contacted local officials, he said, indicating the possibility and even the likelihood that the language could be tweaked so that the funds could be spent on designing the road as well as constructing it.

    “We’re hopeful,” Hoiseth said. “We’re not there yet, but (Kiel) seemed pretty confident.”

    The plan is to break ground on the road as soon as the ground thaws, he added.