The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says it has received more than $288 million in requests for an economic development fund enacted into law last session. The total amount of the requests is more than six times the size of the $47.5 million available fund.
The projects vary in size and scope. The city of St. Paul is asking for $27 million to help build a minor league ballpark for the St. Paul Saints in Lowertown. Minneapolis is asking for $25 million to redesign Nicollet Mall. Rochester is asking for $25 million to expand the Mayo Civic Center. Two other cities, St. Cloud and Mankato, also asked for money to renovate and expand convention and civic centers. The city of Braham has the smallest request: $221,000 for sewer and water infrastructure.
DEED's commissioner Mark Phillips now will have to sort through the proposals and determine which communities should receive the funds. The department will use a set of criteria that relies on number of jobs created and the economic impact the project will bring to the state of Minnesota. Lawmakers authorized the $47.5 million in the $496 million bonding bill signed by Governor Mark Dayton last May.
DEED officials have said they'd like to appropriate the money by the end of the summer so construction could start this year.
(Will be updated)
Here's the list of requests: