WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that they have secured significant federal funding in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 federal budget to support local projects benefiting Moorhead and surrounding areas. These projects will help boost entrepreneurship, mitigate flooding in the Red River, increase access to affordable child care and expand economic opportunities for veterans, servicemembers and their families.
“From support for small businesses and flood prevention infrastructure in the Red River Valley to increasing affordable child care access and providing career pathways for veterans and service members, these projects will help address key issues impacting Minnesotans on a daily basis. I am proud to have worked with local leaders to push for this funding, and I know that these resources will make a real difference for so many communities across Moorhead and the surrounding areas,” said Klobuchar.
Fargo-Moorhead is an economic and educational hub in Minnesota and these projects are going to make a real, positive impact for the people who call this area home,” said Smith. “From supporting our littlest learners at the Detroit Lakes Boys & Girls Club, to connecting servicemembers and veterans to higher education and workforce opportunities, boosting community entrepreneurship, and making important flood mitigation improvements, these investments are going to be transformational for the Fargo-Moorhead community. I’m proud of the work we did to secure this funding.”
Klobuchar and Smith have secured federal resources to further the following priorities:
- $1 million to establish a City of Moorhead Community Center for Entrepreneurship that will serve as a business incubator to help develop small businesses, promoting job creation.
Strengthening flood mitigation infrastructure:
- $2.3 million for the Oslo Region Joint Powers Board to replace two bridges in the Red River channel that do not accommodate current flow rates with appropriately-sized bridges that allow the Red River to flow naturally.
Expanding economic opportunities for veterans, servicemembers, and their families:
- $2.25 million for Minnesota State University Moorhead’s Yellow Ribbon Advance program to support veterans and servicemembers as they earn degrees in critical industries that are experiencing a workforce shortage.
Increasing access to affordable child care:
- $300,000 for Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes to provide a high-quality preschool program for Detroit Lakes families, addressing current affordable child care shortages in the community.
“Tools for entrepreneurs were mentioned by Moorhead residents numerous times when we held community input sessions,” said Moorhead Mayor Shelly Carlson. “We are so grateful to Senators Klobuchar and Smith for recognizing this opportunity and including it in the federal budget. This addition will make the Community Center and Regional Library an even more important addition to our downtown and to our City.”
“Oslo Region Joint Powers Board is so excited to know that our senators are seeing the flood struggles in our part of NW Minnesota and going to bat for us. When these funds are received, they will be put to work for the benefit of residents in 4 surrounding counties, 8 border townships, the City of Oslo and 2 states. It has been a pleasure working with the offices of Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar,” said Oslo Region Joint Powers Board Representing Member James Bergman.
“As a yellow ribbon community, Minnesota State University Moorhead is proud to serve our veterans, service members, and their families with strategies to support career attainment and expand equitable outcomes for greater Minnesota,” said Minnesota State University Moorhead President Anne Blackhurst. “By partnering with regional industries, we are creating innovative workforce solutions for veterans who can contribute workforce-ready skills and desire to grow professionally in industries experiencing labor shortages.”
Klobuchar and Smith have been actively involved in securing federal funding commitments to enable projects benefiting communities across the state through a process called “Congressionally Directed Spending” (CDS). Throughout the CDS process, Klobuchar and Smith 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.