The jobs bill Governor Mark Dayton proposed last month will make critical investments in infrastructure projects statewide, including key projects across Minnesota's Iron Range - investments that will add value to our communities, and build on the momentum of our state's growing economy. In total, the Governor's bonding proposal would invest $986 million in infrastructure improvements statewide, creating 27,000 jobs.
Governor Dayton has recommended funding the following projects that will benefit communities across the Iron Range and northeastern Minnesota:
- Chisholm-Hibbing Airport. The Governor recommends investing $5 million in the Chisholm-Hibbing Airport to expand the passenger terminal. An important destination for commercial and leisure traffic, the airport has seen a steady rise in its number of passengers. The 6000 sq. ft. expansion will accommodate a growing number of passengers with a new walkway and a new indoor baggage carousel.
- Northern Heights Industrial Park. While some travelers fly up north to vacation, improvements to the airport also will accommodate business travelers. To support business development and job creation, the Governor's bonding proposal recommends $1.5 million to expand the Northern Heights Industrial Park in Virginia. These new resources will help expand the park and update its storm water system. Making these improvements will help the North Heights Industrial Park attract new businesses and create new jobs for Minnesotans.
- Chalet at Giants Ridge. Long a destination for conferences, weddings, and other weekend getaways, the Giants Ridge chalet serves as a home base for skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and then becomes a place to relax after a round of golf during summer months. The jobs bill recommends investing $5 million for the reconstruction of the chalet. The project will preserve the chalet's rustic charm, but also make the building more energy efficient. Along with insulation improvements designed to stave off cold winter air, the project would include solar panels to help bring the chalet's heating system into the 21st Century.
- Range Mental Health Center. A non-profit, the Range Mental Health Center provides counseling and other services to clients across northeastern Minnesota. Governor Dayton's bonding proposal allocates $10 million to relocate the center into a new space in Virginia, so it can better tend to its expanding group of patients.
- Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency. To stretch resources further the Range Mental Health Center will be sharing its new space with the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency. This important agency provides vital support to workers across northeastern Minnesota. The agency helps coordinate rides to work sites, and provides job training courses. In addition to supporting working age adults, the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency helps cultivate future generations by running its own Head Start early education program.
- Northeast Higher Education District. The Governor's jobs bill recommends the investing $3 million for improvements on the NHED campuses in Itasca, Hibbing, Rainy River, and Vermillion. These resources will be used to construct classroom and laboratory space - helping students in northeastern Minnesota develop the skills they need.
- Voyageurs National Park. The system of lakes in Voyageurs National Park has long offered canoe and kayak enthusiasts the opportunity for a scenic getaway. Governor Dayton's bonding bill proposes $8 million to construct new sewage treatment facilities to ensure these bodies Voyageurs National park remain clean.