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MnDOT, DEED call for cities to apply for infrastructure grants

Minnesota cities, counties and other government entities can apply for matching funds for transportation infrastructure projects that support economic development.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation and Department of Employment and Economic Development's Transportation and Economic Development infrastructure programs are designed to help meet the state's transportation and economic development needs by creating and preserving well-paying jobs and leveraging private and local investment in transportation infrastructure, a MnDOT news release said.

An open house on the MnDOT TED program is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon on June 15 at the Baxter MnDOT District 3 Office.

Refinements were made to the application process for 2017 and applicants are advised to review the new guidelines, which are posted on MnDOT's website and DEED's website.

Information sessions about the application process will be held in eight locations throughout the state.

Funding available under MnDOT's program can only be used on trunk highway eligible projects. Funding under DEED's portion of the program can only be used for infrastructure not on the state's trunk highway system. The application deadline for this year's program is Sept. 15, 2017.

A total of $18.4 million is available in this year's solicitation for trunk highway eligible project components, and $4.2 million of DEED general obligation bond funding is also available. The funding will be split between projects in Greater Minnesota and the Twin Cities' seven county metropolitan area.

"This partnership between DEED and MnDOT recognizes the economic value of improved bridges, roads and highways in Minnesota," said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. "Quality transportation infrastructure is a tool that communities can use to attract businesses and a talented workforce."

"There's been a great amount of economic development throughout the state because of this program," said MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle. "Transportation investments can support businesses expanding with new jobs and spur economic growth in our communities."

The program specifically targets transportation improvements that will lead to measureable economic benefits. To be eligible, projects must contribute to job creation or retention or another measureable economic outcome.

MnDOT will select projects on the basis of transportation benefits, economic benefits and project readiness, the release said.

The TED program has provided more than $103 million in grants to 36 projects throughout Minnesota since 2011. This investment leveraged $226 million in local government and private funds.

Applications can be submitted electronically to Ken Buckeye, MnDOT Office of Finance, by 5 p.m., Sept. 15. Applications are on MnDOT's TED solicitation website.

Questions about the solicitation may be directed to Kenneth.Buckeye@state.mn.us or Jeremy.Lacroix@state.mn.us.

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