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Dayton recommends funding for Hormel Institute

Gov. Mark Dayton, in a $775 million bonding list released Tuesday, recommends $13.5 million to expand Austin's Hormel Institute.

ST. PAUL — Mayo Civic Center and the Hormel Institute proved to be the big winners with both projects making Gov. Mark Dayton’s $775 million bonding list , released late this morning.

Dayton's proposal includes the full $35 million that the city of Rochester requested to expand Mayo Civic Center. The remainder of the $77 million price tag would be funded by a 3-percent increase in the city’s lodging tax.

The governor also included $13.5 million to expand the Hormel Institute in Austin, which would create an estimated 125 high-paying jobs. Representatives from the institute joined the governor at the Capitol for the bonding announcement. Dr. Zigang Dong, executive director of the Hormel Institute, reiterated how the expansion would boost efforts for cancer research and add jobs.

Overall, Dayton said his entire plan would create 21,700 jobs.

Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, said he disagrees with Dayton's philosophy, saying bonding shouldn't be a short-term jobs project.


Many communities are seeking money for projects. Bonding bills also will be presented in the House and Senate.

Jim Schowalter, Commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget, explained the bonding bill by calling it a "collection of compelling stories."

Notably absent from the governor’s list of bonding recommendations is $15 million for study and design work on a proposed high-speed rail line from Rochester to the Twin Cities. The Zip Rail proposal was Olmsted County's No. 1 priority.

Also failing to make the list is a request from the city of Rochester for $6 million to build an interchange at U.S. 52 and 65th Street Northwest.

There is no bonding money for a Minnesota Vikings stadium, though the bill includes funding for the St. Paul Saints baseball stadium in St. Paul.

Gov. Dayton's proposed bonding bill

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