MARSHALL (KMHL) – Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday that he will include money for a renovation project at the Marshall Readiness Center in his proposal for a bonding bill during 2020 legislative session.
Walz, who was in Marshall to tour the facility on Tuesday, said the project is important to more than just the Minnesota National Guard.
“I’m asking them to build a coalition. If I come to a community and the mayor’s not supportive of it, the city council’s not supportive of it, the chamber of commerce isn’t supportive of it, that’s probably not going to make the list,” said Walz. “But when I come here, the mayor of Marshall is here, saying this is an asset to our community, it makes sense, it has matching federal dollars, we should do it.”
The Minnesota National Guard is seeking just over $2 million from the state to combine with federal dollars for a project just north of $6 million to upgrade the Marshall Readiness Center to better serve the needs of the soldiers’ of today. The project would add between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet to the facility and renovate existing space inside the center.
Walz said the state has received more than $5.7 billion in bonding requests for the legislative session and acknowledged that it will be a tough conversation with so many requests.
House Democrats have said they intend to request a $3.5 billion bonding bill, while Senate Republicans have said they’d prefer an amount around $1 billion.
But Walz said it’s time for Minnesota to make a robust investment in its infrastructure.
“If you’re doing a home equity loan and you can historically low interest rates, you don’t let the roof fall in, you don’t let the windows fall out,” said Walz.
The legislative session begins in February, and a bonding bill is on the top of the agenda for lawmakers.