Saints Ballpark, Light Rail Compete for Remaining Bonding Money
If at first you don't succeed, go to extra innings.
That might be new motto for the City of St. Paul and the St. Paul Saints ball club. They were unsuccessful in convincing the legislature to grant them $27 million for a new stadium in the bonding bill, which funds public building projects around the state. However, they're about to get a second chance.
The bonding bill did set aside $47.5 million that will be distributed by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The agency will grant money to projects that meet several criteria, including job creation, how much they add to the local tax base and how much private investment is generated.
The City of St. Paul will apply for $27 million for the stadium project that could create hundreds of construction jobs. The "Lowertown Ballpark" would be built in downtown St. Paul along the Central Corridor light rail line. The city would kick in another $17 million and the Saints would pitch in $10 million.
Speaking of light rail, they'll be competing with the Met Council, which is looking for up to $15 million for the Southwest Light Rail line that will extend to the western suburbs. The total budget would be much higher, with money also coming from the federal and local governments. That project could create 3,800 construction and engineering jobs between 2015 and 2018.
Several other communities around the state are also expected to apply. The deadline to apply is June 26. DEED will make final decisions in August on how the money will be distributed.