As part of the second leg of a five-leg statewide senate bonding tour, the Minnesota State Capital Investment/Bonding Committee will be at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall today (Thursday).

As part of the second leg of a five-leg statewide senate bonding tour, the Minnesota State Capital Investment/Bonding Committee will be at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall today (Thursday).

In preparation for a major bonding year, the committee is traveling to hear testimony supporting bonding requests from around the state, including two from Montevideo: a request for funding for phase three of a 15-year flood mitigation project, and a request for funding of a veterans home in Montevideo.

“This is the time when (the committee) really wants personal time with people who can explain the requests,” said Angie Steinbach, Montevideo’s community development director. “This will be a very important meeting for both projects.”

Each request is expected to involve a quick meeting between the bonding committee and a few representatives who can explain the importance of the request. Montevideo will be sending Steinbach, along with Steve Jones, city manager, and Marv Garbe, city council president and veterans home chairman.

Flood mitigation
Ever since the 1997 flood, the city of Montevideo has been working to improve flood mitigation in the city through a 15-year plan. The efforts have not gone unnoticed; The Assoc­iation of Floodplain Managers awarded the city of Montevideo the National 2013 James Lee Witt Local Award for Excellence in Floodplain Management in May.

The project was split into three phases. Phase one of the project rebuilt and improved the levee along Highway 7 near city hall. Phase two raised the levee near the water treatment plant and raised Highway 212.

Phase three would finish the long-term goal of protecting Montevideo from flooding by raising the 1969 levee.

“The city of Montevideo has experienced more devastating flooding far too often. The (1969) levee is out-of-date and needs to be repaired and updated,” said Sen. Lyle Koenen in a press release.

Recent calculations from city hall show that the city needs another $3,153,750 to complete phase three.

Veterans home
Having already pledged $2 million to the project, the Montevideo community has been working hard to keep the dream of building a home for veterans on the minds of representatives in Minnesota. In the last year, community members have made trips to the state capitol to testify about the importance of such a project. In May, Garbe and Dennis Anderson traveled to the capitol and visited with Rep. Andrew Falk and others in hopes of pushing the project forward. The end result was bonding being committed to finishing a veterans home in Minneapolis, making hopes that an out-state project could come next year.

“They have again appointed a committee to study the need, but with close to 1,000 veterans needing a home, there is not much to study,” said Garbe in a letter to the editor.

Recently, Sen. Koenen joined Montevideo veterans, government employees, council members, county commissioners, and numerous community members in a packed American Legion Post 59 to talk about ways to help push forward a veterans home project for Montevideo. Sen. Koenen told the crowd about the value of calling and writing representatives, committee member and state officials.

Funding of $9 million is needed to help design, construct, furnish and equip the home.

“Our veterans are men and women who have given everything to protect our country.  They deserve a safe and welcoming place to help serve them back at home.  The Montevideo Veterans Home is a well-thought-out project and I can’t think of a more deserving population who will benefit,” said Sen. Koenen in a press release.

Other area projects
Representatives from Monte­video will not be the only group testifying to the bonding committee about desired projects during this leg of the tour.

The Minnesota Valley Region­al Rail Authority is requesting $10 million in bonding for environmental studies, design and rehabilitation of the railroad track that runs from Norwood-Young America to Hanley Falls. The project will be presented at 1:30 pm at Minnesota State University-Mankato on October 16.

For more on this story and others subscribe or pick up a copy of the Montevideo American-News.