ST. PAUL — District 39A State Rep. Bob Dettmer, R-Forest Lake. joined a bipartisan group of House Capital Investment Committee members touring several northern Minnesota sites this week being considered for inclusion in a 2014 capital spending bill.
Stops on the three-day tour were in Fridley, Blaine, Champlin, Anoka, Ironton, Brainerd, Park Rapids, Bemidji, Red Lake, Crookston, Moorhead, Detroit Lakes and Little Falls.
Among hundreds of projects seeking state funding, the group visited the Elm Creek and Rum River dams, Anoka Technical College, Ironton City Hall, Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, Maplewood State Park and the State Veterans Cemetery.
“I enjoyed visiting with local officials at each stop on our tour and learning more about these proposed projects for state funding,” Dettmer said. “As lawmakers, we have an obligation to perform our due diligence on these project requests and then make the best decisions for spending limited taxpayer dollars in the future.”
Dettmer was pleased to see many available details of various funding requests during the committee’s trip.
Legislators will examine bonding requests when they return to the State Capitol for the 2014 session beginning Feb. 25. Dettmer has indicated support for some infrastructure projects seeking funding, but has not indicated what specific projects he thinks should be in bonding legislation next year. Dettmer said he supports several of the projects that maintain roofs and utility services for facilities the state has already helped build.
On the second day of the trip, legislators visited Bemidji State University, Dettmer’s alma mater, for a presentation from school officials.
“It was a real pleasure to return to Bemidji and see how much the campus where I earned my undergraduate degree has changed but also how it has stayed the same,” Dettmer said.
The trip was Sept. 17-19. Committee members will tour sites in northeast Minnesota next week.