Klobuchar, Smith Secure Significant Federal Funding for Local Projects Benefiting Iron Range

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that they have secured significant federal funding for local projects benefiting communities on the Iron Range. These projects will help strengthen emergency services infrastructure, expand access to affordable child care, and enable key infrastructure improvements. 

“This federal funding will have a real impact for communities across the Iron Range. From investing in emergency response services and improving water infrastructure to increasing access to affordable child care, these projects will address key issues impacting Minnesotans on a daily basis. I am proud to have worked with leaders from across the Iron Range to secure the resources for these projects, and I look forward to seeing all the good they will do,” said Klobuchar.

“The Iron Range deserves strong federal partners and I’m proud of the work we did with local leaders to bring these investments here,” said Smith. “From making important water infrastructure improvements, supporting emergency response services, increasing access to child care, and expanding housing and shelter resources, these projects are going to have a real, positive impact on people’s lives.” 

Klobuchar and Smith have secured federal investments to further the following priorities:

Improving water infrastructure 

  • $4 million for the East Mesabi Water Project, which will strengthen water infrastructure in Aurora and other Range communities. 

Strengthening emergency response services

  • $1.3 million for the Ely Area Ambulance Service Joint Powers Board to build a centralized emergency response facility. 

Increasing access to affordable child care

  • $1.2 million to help United Way of Northeastern Minnesota construct two new child care facilities  in Chisholm and Ely, which will serve approximately 240 children across the Iron Range;
  • $350,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids to make improvements to their Greenway facility. 

“The federal funding for the Ely Area Ambulance Service and Ely Emergency Response Facility are greatly appreciated.  With the demands on the ambulance service and first responders continuing to increase and the costs for these services growing, the federal assistance greatly reduces the local property tax burden for these needed facilities to meet the public need,” said Ely Mayor Roger Skraba.

Klobuchar and Smith have been actively involved in securing this federal funding for projects benefiting communities across the state through a process called “Congressionally Directed Spending” (CDS). During the CDS process, Klobuchar and Smith have considered project proposals and advocated for funding in close coordination with leaders from across the state.

Projects are expected to receive funding over the next several months.