On Tuesday, members of the Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee embarked on a state-wide trip to visit different cities and hear presentations on proposed projects in various regions. The committee chair, Rep. Fue Lee, emphasized the importance of getting out into the community to understand the needs and stories behind these projects.
The committee made their fifth stop in Duluth, where they visited different organizations and heard about their future project ideas. One organization seeking state funding is the Duluth International Airport, which is hoping to rebuild its 70-year-old air traffic control tower. Tom Werner, the Executive Director of the airport, stated that the project will cost a total of $52 million, with a $38 million request for federal grant money. The airport is looking for the state to partner with them on this endeavor.
After the airport, the committee visited the public library and the DECC (Duluth Entertainment Convention Center). The DECC administrating staff discussed the improvements they are seeking to fund, highlighting the need for repairs that haven’t been addressed in over 30 years. Dan Hartman, the DECC Executive Director, mentioned two main focuses for this year: making the deck more accessible and implementing energy conservation measures.
The committee then headed to the Great Lakes Aquarium, where they spoke with staff members, including Jay Walker, the Executive Director of the aquarium. Walker discussed two projects that the aquarium is looking to improve, namely an education classroom and a filtration system. The aquarium aims to update its filtration system to reduce water usage and increase sustainability.
The committee’s Northeast tour will continue on Wednesday in Two Harbors before moving on to Ely.
This trip by the Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee is an excellent opportunity for local businesses and organizations to pitch their project ideas and seek additional state funding. It allows committee members to gain a better understanding of the needs and aspirations of the communities they represent. By hearing firsthand stories and seeing the projects in action, the committee can make more informed decisions when allocating funds.
The visit to Duluth showcased several exciting projects, such as the airport’s plan to rebuild its air traffic control tower and the DECC’s efforts to improve accessibility and energy conservation. The Great Lakes Aquarium also presented its goals of enhancing education facilities and implementing a more sustainable filtration system.
Overall, this state-wide trip serves as a valuable platform for communities to present their visions and demonstrate the importance of these projects. It highlights the collaborative effort between local organizations and the state government to improve infrastructure and support economic growth. Through these visits and conversations, the committee can assess the potential impact of each project and make decisions that align with the needs of the community.
As the committee continues its tour through Northeast Minnesota, it is clear that there are many innovative and impactful projects waiting to be realized. The state’s partnership and investment in these endeavors will not only benefit the local communities but also contribute to the overall development of the region.