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Dayton releases construction project list

Published 1:55pm Monday, April 8, 2013

Fountain Lake dredging funding not included in proposal

Albert Lea’s request for $7.5 million to dredge Fountain Lake was not included in Gov. Mark Dayton’s bonding proposal Monday, though local officials said they are optimistic it will be included in the House proposal Tuesday morning.

Dayton’s wish list included substantial funding for new labs at public universities, a new building on the Minneapolis Veterans Home campus and civic center improvements in Mankato, Rochester and St. Cloud. He also committed $109 million in funding for improvements to the Capitol.

In all, he would finance $812 million worth of projects, relying on more than $720 million in state borrowing.

Local leaders have lobbied the dredging project would increase economic development for Albert Lea and the state through increased tourism, spending and strengthening the economy of southern Minnesota.

The dredging project has been gaining momentum since the Shell Rock River Watershed District last fall purchased a 2010 IMS 7012 HP 51-foot Versi hydraulic dredge for about $340,000, along with the pipes, pumping and other equipment necessary to pump the dredge material away from the lake for $435,000.

Officials have stated the entire project is estimated at $15 million, with half of the cost coming from a local options sales tax.