With arrival of spring, session is heating up [UPDATED]Published 10:20am Thursday, April 25, 2013 Updated 12:23pm Thursday, April 25, 2013
All the signs of spring are here with the exception of our weather. The birds have migrated to their northern nesting areas only to find ice and snow. The legislative session is heating up with a flurry of spending, taxing, and bonding proposals and lots of debate.
So spring must be here.
RTC could get
Fergus Falls has a very important RTC Grant Extension bill (HF 1622) that has been introduced by Representative Bud Nornes and Representative Jay McNamar. HF 1622 extends the time line for processing and expending the RTC redevelopment bonds and gives the city more flexibility in how they are used. This gives the city and developers more time and opportunity to phase in viable re-development projects rather than demolishing this Kirkbride building. The grant would be extended to Dec. 3l, 2016.
HF 1622 has been heard and approved by the House Capital Investment Committee and is included in the House Bonding Bill. We expect the same support will be included in the Senate which has been authored by Senator Bill Ingebritsen. We are greatly encouraged by this legislative process and the fact that Colliers International (our marketing firm) has located and brought interested developers and investors to the city to present project proposals for re-development and preservation.
Coalition of Cities
lobbies for local
The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities is lobbying Gov. Dayton and the legislatire to increase funding and improve the formula for allocating LGA to Greater Minnesota cities. Keep in mind that LGA is the vehicle that enables cities with a low tax base to provide cost effective services such as police and fire protection, water and sewer infrastructure, street maintenance and repair, and libraries.
Please contact as many legislators as possible to support this important improvement to LGA which is the most effective tax relief that we have. LGA keeps rural communities strong.
Jobs, economic development
We are all aware that Greater Minnesota and the entire state must create jobs and grow more businesses if we are going to support a fragile economy and remain competitive with our neighbors.
CGMC is working with the Governor and legislature to enact their jobs and economic development initiatives which will strengthen the economy, create a skilled work force and grow jobs if we are going to move our State forward.
The CGMC initiatives include: Internship Tax Credit Program that offers businesses tax credits to hire interns from our 2 and 4 year colleges .
Expand the Angel Investment Tacx Credit. 95 percent of the $12 Million allocation now goes to the metropolitan area. GM investors deserve more than 5 percent. Let’s be fair and that ratio.
Business Development Public Infrastructure Grants stimulate jobs and economic development through infrastructure investment in industrial park development and business expansion.
These initiatives are having a difficult time being considered in the House of Representatives in particular.
We have to contact our legislators and convince them that these measures are essential if we are going to strengthen our economy, create a skilled work force, attract investment, and grow jobs in Greater Minnesota and the entire State.
Contact your legislators.
Hal Leland is the mayor of Fergus Falls.