Lawmakers earmark over $16M for Brainerd, CLC in bonding bill

Aitkin, Cass and Morrison county projects also receive funding

FSA minnesota minn capitol
The $2.6 billion bonding bill passed Monday, May 22, 2023, by the Minnesota Legislature includes over $16 million in finding for the city of Brainerd and Central Lakes College.
Forum News Service

The city of Brainerd is in line for $5 million and Central Lakes College is in line for $11,591,000 in a state bonding bill passed Monday, May 22, by state lawmakers on the final day of the legislative session.

The funding will provide for improvements at Brainerd’s water treatment facility and renovations at Central Lakes College classroom building renovations.

The $5 million for a grant to the city of Brainerd will be used to design, construct, and equip a new backwash collection, detention, and reclaim system for the city's municipal water treatment facility.

The $11,591,000 million to Central Lakes College will be used to design, renovate and equip the student services, academic support areas and athletics space of the Central Lakes College Brainerd campus.

This bill was focused on the sorts of projects that Minnesotans depend on like providing clean water, flood mitigation, and maintaining roads and bridges
Rep. Josh Heintzeman

The two projects were part of a $2.6 billion bonding bill agreement reached Saturday between Republicans and Democrats on infrastructure projects around the state. The bill now goes to Gov. Tim Walz for his signature.


“Clean water and education are two of the core functions of government,” Sen. Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids, said in a news release. “I am glad we were able to persuade our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to work together to address these core needs. These infrastructure bills became significantly stronger with bipartisan support and bipartisan involvement, and all of Minnesota comes out better for it.”

Rep. Josh Heintzeman, R-Nisswa, said it was important the bill placed a heavy emphasis on meat and potatoes infrastructure projects to keep rural communities strong.

“This bill was focused on the sorts of projects that Minnesotans depend on like providing clean water, flood mitigation, and maintaining roads and bridges,” Heintzeman said in a news release. “I am glad that we were able to secure funding for the improvements needed at the City of Brainerd’s water treatment facility to make sure that folks in our area can continue to have access to clean and safe drinking water now and into the future.”

Headline News from the Brainerd Dispatch

Heintzeman also noted part of the package includes a separate $300 million in emergency funding for nursing homes. All session long, House Republicans have been pushing to make sure the crisis impacting rural nursing homes was adequately addressed.

“Finally, it was good that we were able to secure this emergency funding for nursing homes so that they can continue to provide outstanding care to our seniors. Nursing homes have faced a funding crisis in recent years, accelerated by the COVID-19 shutdowns. I am glad that Democrats joined us in doing the right thing for seniors and the men and women that provide care.”

Other area bonding projects

The bonding bill also includes funding for projects in Aitkin, Cass and Morrison counties.


Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls, noted funding was secured for four major projects — $2 million for Aitkin County Health and Human Services Building, $5,700,000 for Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley, $3 million for the Lake Shamineau High Water Protection Project and $700,000 for the Morrison County Weyerhaeuser Museum bank erosion project.

“Across the district, these projects will greatly improve the economic vitality of the area and preserve valuable assets for generations to come,” Kresha said in a news release.

In a year of uncertainty with a competitive environment for securing projects across the state, Kresha said he worked with local stakeholders and legislative leaders to advocate for District 10A.

“I am proud to be able to bring these projects back to the people of District 10A so that we can get these projects started,” Kresha said “These projects were in the capitol investment bill that passed Monday night with bipartisan support. I look forward to seeing the projects completed and improving quality of life for the people of Minnesota.”

Also listed in the bonding bill was $2,900,000 for East Gull Lake for improvements to its water treatment plant; $2,500,000 for the National Loon Center in Crosslake; $353,000 for the East Gull Lake Trail; $1,400,000 to Hackensack for water main infrastructure improvements; and $24 million for the Leech Lake Wellness Center in Cass Lake.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

Hi, I'm the Brainerd Dispatch. I started working a few days before Christmas in 1881 and became a daily paper two years later. I've gone through a lot of changes over the years, but what has never changed is my commitment to community and to local journalism. I've got an entire team of dedicated people who work night and day to make sure I go out every morning, whether in print, as an e-edition, via an app or with additional information at News, weather, sports — videos, photos, podcasts and social media — all covering stories from central Minnesota about your neighbors, your lakes, your communities, your challenges and your opportunities. It's all part of the effort to keep people connected and informed. And we couldn't do it without support.
What To Read Next
Get Local