Olmsted County seeks community help to advance bonding projects

Olmsted County logo
Members of the Minnesota State Senate toured Olmsted County on November 6, 2019, to learn more about our area’s bonding requests. Olmsted County is requesting bond funds from the State of Minnesota to help pay for much-needed enhancements to our community. 

State officials are now seeking public feedback on local government bonding requests and Olmsted County encourages its residents to get involved in the process. To comment on Olmsted County’s bonding requests, visit the online portal launched by the Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) department.

Olmsted County’s proposed bonding projects are: 

Graham Park Regional Multi-Purpose Expo Building

State bond funds would help Olmsted County build a regional multi-purpose expo building at Graham Park, which will be the cornerstone of a renovated park designed to meet regional and community needs year-round now and into the future. Olmsted County is requesting $12.5 million state bonding dollars to be matched with $12.5 million in county funds to construct the expo building.  

“Graham Park is a valuable gathering place that provides learning opportunities and experiences to individuals and families throughout southeast Minnesota and the entire Midwest region,” said Olmsted County Commissioner Sheila Kiscaden. “Olmsted County’s Graham Park Master Plan is centered on features to revitalize this gathering space while preserving a place for the Olmsted County Fair. New and improved facilities, like the multi-purpose expo center, will increase the park’s flexibility to accommodate a wider range of events and activities.” 

Proposed Interchange at County Road 104 and Trunk Highway 14 – Engineering and Right of Way Acquisition (Phase 1)

State bond funds are being sought to begin design work and to buy the needed right of way for a proposed interchange at County Road (CR) 104 and Trunk Highway (TH) 14, with overall objectives to increase safety and access. Olmsted County is requesting $3.5 million state bonding dollars to be matched with $1.5 million in county funds for this project.

“This stretch of Highway 14 is heavily traveled, and for this particular intersection, safety has been a concern for decades,” noted Olmsted County Board Chair Jim Bier. “We see at least a dozen accidents a year at this intersection and there are plenty more near-misses. This proposed interchange project is essential and will allow us to make much needed safety improvements.”  

Materials Recovery Facility (Design Phase)

Olmsted County is seeking state bond funds to help design a materials recovery facility (MRF) – a facility that will separate recyclable materials to be used to make new products. The MRF would be co-located with the Olmsted Waste-to-Energy Facility (OWEF). The objectives of this initiative are to remove recoverable and noncombustible materials from the waste stream for further processing and increase capacity and efficiency of the OWEF. Olmsted County is requesting $300,000 state bonding dollars to be matched with $300,000 in county funds for the design phase of the project.  

“As our community grows and as the recycling industry moves toward clean, well-sorted material, Olmsted County is looking for ways to improve our infrastructure to meet these demands,” said Olmsted County Director of Environmental Resources Tony Hill. “This investment will improve both the quality and quantity of our recyclable material while cleaning up our waste stream. There's still an active market out there for recycling, but we need the capability to produce clean, separated content for the various recycling industries. This facility will allow us to deal with the demands of recycling in the 21st-century instead of relying on 20th-century infrastructure.”

More Information

See the MMB site for more information about bonding projects being considered by the State of Minnesota. Type “Olmsted” into the Entity column to view the projects specific to Olmsted County.