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 Rochester and Southeast Minnesota. These projects will help improve the region’s infrastructure, provide resources for law enforcement and other emergency responders, expand access to broadband, and increase workforce development opportunities.
“This federal funding will have a real impact for Rochester and Southeast Minnesota. From making infrastructure improvements to expanding access to broadband and workforce development programs, these projects will address key issues impacting Minnesotans on a daily basis. I am proud to have worked with leaders from across Rochester and Southeast Minnesota to secure the resources for these projects, and I look forward to seeing all the good they will do,” said Klobuchar.
“These projects will be transformational for communities in Rochester and Southeast Minnesota,” said Smith. “This funding will take huge strides towards improving public safety, expanding access to broadband, supporting quality job training, and upgrading our infrastructure. I am particularly proud of our work to secure investments that will directly improve the lives of Minnesotans.”
“From modernizing our wastewater infrastructure to improving our public safety and creating more workforce development opportunities, this funding will help ensure Rochester remains one of Minnesota’s fastest growing cities,” said Rochester Mayor Kim Norton. “We are so grateful to Senators Klobuchar and Smith for their efforts to secure these much-need resources and for championing Rochester’s priorities in Washington.”
“This funding will make a real difference for our community, helping to strengthen our water systems and protect our local businesses from disruption,” said Zumbrota Mayor Todd Hammel. “Thank you to Senators Klobuchar and Smith for their work to secure these resources.”
“Expanding access to broadband is key to the long-term success of our county. These resources will enable our rural communities to access the opportunities that high-speed internet provides. Thanks to Senators Klobuchar and Smith and Representative Craig, families across Goodhue County will be better connected to their businesses, schools, and healthcare,” said Scott Arneson, Goodhue County Administrator.
“Our students of today are our leaders of tomorrow. By providing the resources to enable clinical-based experiences and training initiatives with community partners, this funding will ensure our nursing students are better prepared to enter the workforce. As these past two years have shown, we have a dire need for more nurses, and thanks to Senators Klobuchar and Smith’s leadership, this funding will strengthen the future of our state’s nursing workforce,” said Dr. Marsha Danielson, President, Minnesota State College Southeast.
Funding secured by Klobuchar and Smith will help further the following priorities:
- Addressing water and wastewater infrastructure systems
- $935,000 for the City of Rochester to replace 40-year-old unreliable water reclamation plant equipment and provide treatment to meet new regulatory requirements. The proposed project will increase the efficiency of the existing wastewater system and help decrease energy costs.
- $560,000 for the City of Zumbrota to provide a critical watermain crossing of US Highway 52 and protect existing local business from disruption due to watermain failure.
- Supporting educational and workforce development opportunities
- $2 million for Minnesota State College Southeast and South Central College to expand access to high-quality training for rural manufacturing employees.
- $825,000 for Minnesota State College Southeast to enhance the campus’s modern learning space for nursing students, which will continue to support local partners and local workforce needs.
- $750,000 for the City of Rochester to address barriers to entry and advancement for women of color within construction and related fields, enabling the City of Rochester will design short-term strategies for increasing workforce participation in Destination Medical Center (DMC) projects and long-term pathways for industry participation.
- $84,000 for Red Wing Ignite to pilot the Youth Coding Leagues program in the seven school districts of Goodhue County, enabling elementary and middle school students to develop the digital skills necessary to join the competitive digital workforce in the future.
- $19,000 for Red Wing Ignite to increase woodworking educational opportunities.
- Improving public safety
- $500,000 for the Rochester Police Department to adopt a Records Management System (RMS) that integrates the agency’s mobile video and digital storage technologies into a cloud-based report writing and storage solution.
- Expanding broadband access
- $3.2 million for Goodhue County to provide broadband coverage to multiple rural unserved and under-served areas.
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). Throughout 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.