Bill calls for upgrade of Mayo Civic Center

Published 8:30 am Sunday, February 24, 2013

Column: Capitol Comments, by Shannon Savick

The House has now passed its first couple bills of the session and I’m excited to get the ball rolling. I’m working on some major projects in my committees that will have a big impact on our district.

Shannon Savick

Shannon Savick

One of the biggest bills in the Jobs and Economic Development Committee would provide $37 million in bond proceeds for renovation and expansion of the Mayo Civic Center. It would help make the current civic center into much more of a convention center that could host a wider array of events. Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede presented to our committee and said “the economic impact of this project is $372 million over 10 years.” If we support this project, I think we could see more living wage jobs, more tourism dollars into the region, and more capacity to host large events. It’s a great investment for southern Minnesota and it has bipartisan support, so I’m optimistic that we can get it passed.

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The other bill that’s likely to come up soon in committee would allow $7.5 million in bond proceeds to go toward sediment removal and cleanup of Fountain Lake. It will benefit our economy by bringing tourism dollars to the district, and it will help keep our waters clean and safe for us and our visitors.

Rep. Bob Gunther, a Republican from Fairmont, has signed on as an author and we will work together to get this bill passed.

Lastly, I want to congratulate Jacob Jensen of Albert Lea for being named one of the top volunteers in the state by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Jacob, 15, helped organize a MobilePack event for the organization Feed My Starving Children to bring together 500 volunteers to package meals for starving children throughout the world. He’s a great example of the kind of impact we can have if we work hard to improve the lives of others.

Congratulations again to Jacob.

If you know anyone like Jacob doing great things for the community, or if you have any ideas or concerns, let me know on my Facebook page ( I’ll be posting updates there throughout the session, but I also want to hear from you and stay connected.


Shannon Savick, DFL-Wells, is the state representative for House District 27A.