Olmsted County’s Legislative Priorities

On January 10 the County Board met with the area legislators to tell them about our four priorities for state funding.

  1. Graham Park Multipurpose Expo Building.
    1. Olmsted is requesting $12.5 million dollars (to be matched with $12.5 million from the County) to build a multipurpose expo building in Graham Park.  This will provide a year-round venue to host events for people in the county and region.  The expo building will anchor further renovations to the fair grounds.
  1. Highway 14 and County Road 104 intersection design Phase 1
    1. The intersection at Highway 14 and County Road 104 is heavily used and dangerous.  Olmsted is asking for $3.5 million from the state and will contribute another $1.5 million for right of way acquisition and design and engineering work for future construction of a modern and safe interchange.
  1. Materials Recovery Facility Design Phase 1
    1. $300,000 is needed from the state (which will be matched with $300,000 from Olmsted) to design a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at the Waste to Energy site.  The MRF will allow the county to separate recyclable and recoverable materials before they enter the burners at the Waste to Energy facility.  This will  allow Olmsted to capture revenue for the recyclable market, burn less material, decrease the ash that must be buried, and reduce the emissions from the burner.
  1. Pathway to Prosperity Pilot Project
    1. Pathway to prosperity is a project that is designed to launch dependent families onto a pathway that that will help them to become independent and reduce or eliminate dependence on county assistance.  In order to start this project with Dakota and Olmsted counties, Olmsted is asking the state to invest $1 million for each of the next three years to be matched by $2.8 million from private sources to fund the project.

Other Priorities include:

  • Increasing support of statewide transportation infrastructure bonding: funding is needed for local bridges, roads, and wetland replacement programs.
  • New Revenue for Transportation funding:  The current revenue derived from a gas tax is not keeping up with future infrastructure needs.  New revenue must be established.
  • Housing Capital Investment:  Support for Capital investment for housing for the homeless, seniors, and workforce is needed.
  • Polluted Property Clean up:  Funds are needed to assist counties to clean up polluted and blighted properties that are abandoned by land owners and forfeited to the county.  Support to amend current laws and provide clean up funds are needed.
  • Remove Compensation Limits:  In order for Olmsted County to compete with private industry and the Metro Area for top administrative personnel, Olmsted is asking for compensation limits to be exempted or removed.
  • Probation Reform:  Olmsted supports legislation that will reduce probation time for certain felony offenses.  This will allow the probation agency to focus on high-risk offenders, be more efficient, improve recidivism rates, and keep the county safe.