Senate Committee to learn about BDPI grant program successes

The Senate Capital Investment Committee will be “on the road” next week in southeastern Minnesota. On Monday, they will head to Claremont to visit the Al-Corn Clean Fuel ethanol plant where GMNP Executive Director Dan Dorman has been invited by the committee to present information on the Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure (BDPI) Grant Program. The city of Claremont received a $500,000 grant from the BDPI program in 2016, which in part helped expand the Al-Corn facility.

This session, the GMNP is seeking $20 million in bonding for the BDPI program. Since its inception in 2003, the BDPI program has awarded millions of dollars in grants to more than 200 Greater Minnesota communities to help them pay for public infrastructure needed to promote private business growth. For more information, please read this information sheet on BDPI.

Article shines light on Greater Minnesota communities’ legislative priorities

A MinnPost article published this week about rural priorities for the upcoming legislative session highlights many of the legislative goals for the GMNP and our sister organization, the the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC), including the need for more Local Government Aid funding, a robust bonding bill, city-street funding, workforce housing and solutions to Greater Minnesota’s child care shortage.

CGMC Executive Director Bradley Peterson and GMNP Executive Director Dan Dorman were both interviewed for the article and shared information they have been hearing from city and business leaders about the top issues impacting Greater Minnesota communities. As the article notes, some progress was made during the 2017 legislative session in the areas of LGA, water infrastructure funding and transportation. However, as Peterson and Dorman emphasized, the Legislature and Gov. Dayton still have a lot of work to do in 2018 to continue to build on those modest successes and keep Greater Minnesota communities strong.

Apply now for a BDPI grant

Does your community have a business looking to expand? Is a new business considering locating in your area? If so, you may want to apply for a grant under the Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure (BDPI) Grant Program.

The BDPI program provides up to 50 percent of the cost of the public infrastructure needed to expand existing businesses or accommodate new ones. In the past, for example, cities have used these funds to build infrastructure for industrial parks, upgrade utilities to allow a business to expand, or build street infrastructure to accommodate a new business. The bonding bill passed last session included $12 million for the program, so there are currently funds available.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) accepts applications for BDPI grants on an open basis. Click here to find eligibility requirements and application materials.

Governor Dayton releases his capital investment proposal

On Tuesday morning, Gov. Dayton unveiled his $1.5 billion bonding proposal that would invest mostly in infrastructure projects thoughtout the state. A “snapshot” of his plan can be found here.

There are several notable things in this proposal, including:

It’s size. The proposal calls for issuing $1.4 billion of state general obligation bonds and $150 million of other bonds. General obligation bonds are backed up in full by the State of Minnesota. General fund dollars are used to retire this type of debt and the bonds are limited to projects owned or sponsored by the state or a local unit of government. The other bonds are mostly revenue bonds, meaning a specific revenue stream is identified and is the only revenue that must be used to pay the back. Continue reading