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Minnesota Ag News Headlines
Package to Improve Water Quality and Infrastructure
Minnesota Ag Connection - 01/13/2020

Governor Tim Walz announced the second of four packages included in his Local Jobs and Projects Plan, focusing on improving water quality and infrastructure across the state. The proposal invests $300 million to replace aging infrastructure and upgrade water treatment facilities to protect public health, the environment, and the economy of local communities. This proposal includes $293 million in General Obligation Bonds.

"Every Minnesotan deserves access to clean, safe water," said Walz. "Yet aging infrastructure threatens the safety of our drinking water, the vitality of local communities, and the quality of the lakes and rivers we treasure as Minnesotans. This investment will allow communities across the state to repair infrastructure, prepare for severe weather events, clean up existing water contamination, and upgrade facilities to prevent pollution from happening in the first place."

The water quality and infrastructure package will help cities -- many of them small, outstate communities -- that cannot afford to upgrade water systems needed to clean pollutants from their water without increasing residents' water bills. This funding will help cities and other local governments construct wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects, which range from replacing aging infrastructure to upgrading treatment facilities. These water infrastructure systems are essential to protect public health and the environment while sustaining the economic vitality of communities. It will also improve climate resiliency in communities across Minnesota by helping them prepare for extreme weather events as a result of climate change.

"There is nothing more frightening than not being able to trust the water coming out of your faucet," said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. "That's why our Local Jobs and Projects Plan is focused on protecting Minnesotans and their loved ones from health crises caused by water pollution or property damage caused by burst pipes."

Responding to urgent requests from communities in every corner of Minnesota, Walz's capital investments proposal includes more local projects than any bonding bill in state history. Yesterday, the Governor announced proposed investments in safe and affordable housing. In addition to improving water quality and infrastructure, the Local Jobs and Projects Plan will also bolster public safety and invest in higher education institutions to prepare Minnesota's future workforce.

Walz knows that local projects mean local jobs. That's why he believes we need to make these critical capital investments in communities across the state and ensure all Minnesotans enjoy a high quality of life, regardless of race or zip code.

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