Updated: 01/13/2014 7:24 AM
Created: 01/12/2014 9:27 PM KSTP.com
By: Jay Kolls
It's bonding season, and most cities are making their priority lists.
St. Paul has already finished its wish list.
Gov. Mark Dayton has hinted he might be willing to approve a $1 billion bonding bill this year, so cities across Minnesota are lining up and writing down their lists of priority capital projects they would like to do with the taxpayer-financed bonds.
St. Paul approved a list that includes about $75 million in requests with most of the money centered on downtown projects. But, at least one city council member would like to see more development projects done in neighborhood business districts.
Longtime city council member Dan Bostrom tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the city's bonding list includes good projects, but he says more should have been done to pump some economic development projects into neighborhood business districts such as Payne Avenue.
Bostrom says there are too many vacant businesses along Payne even though things have gotten better there over the last decade. Bostrom says neighborhood districts "are critical to keep people living in the city and to attract new people here and bring a broader tax base for us." Bostrom says he supports this year's bonding list, but will fight harder next year to get some money for neighborhood projects.
Among the bigger requests by St. Paul is the Dorothy Day homeless shelter. The city would like $22 million in bonds to improve the shelter. Also on the bonding list: $14 million to expand the Minnesota Children's Museum and $9 million to improve facilities at Minnesota Public Television.
The St. Paul City Council has approved its bonding priorities and now the legislature and Governor Dayton will decide which, if any, of those requests are granted in 2014.