Mankato Back In Bonding Bill 30 Mar 12

The proposed expansion of the Mankato Event Center was revived on Thursday after being left out of Senate Republicans Bonding Bill proposal this week. The Senate Bonding Bill had included civic center funding for Rochester and St. Cloud, but not Mankato. This led to criticism from Mankato Democrat Senator Kathy Sheran, who said that failure to fund the project would be a major blow to the area’s economy. But when the bill arrived at the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday, $250,000 had been added through an amendment offered by Waseca Republican Senator Mike Parry. Mankato had been asking for $14.5-million in state funds towards the $31-million expansion and upgrade to the arena, but Perry calls the inclusion in the Senate bill a “Placeholder” that allows Mankato to compete for funding in the eventual House-Senate compromise Bonding Bill that will be negotiated. Governor Dayton reportedly supports full funding for the civic center improvements in all three cities.