U.S. Senator Tina Smith Secures $2+ Million in Federal Funding for Central Minnesota

WASHINGTON, D.C. [03/18/22]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) announced federal funding awarded to three projects in Central Minnesota. $2,000,000 will be provided to the city of Annandale to construct a roundabout at the intersection of Highway 24 and Hemlock Street. $193,000 will be provided to The Link of Northern Kandiyohi County for their food pantry. $14,000 will be given to Morrison County United Way to support their ‘Imagination Library’ childhood literacy program.

“These are three important investments that support communities in Central Minnesota. The Annandale roundabout project will make the community safer for children, seniors, and their families, who frequent the Highway 24 and Hemlock intersection to get to school and spend time with their loved ones at the assisted living facility,” said Sen. Smith. “With food insecurity being a persistent problem in rural areas across the state, the substantial investment in The Link of Northern Kandiyohi County’s food pantry will be a critical source of support for people in need. Additionally, the Morrison County United Way program is another important investment. They provide equal access to literacy learning by giving free books to families for the first five years of their children’s lives. Reading to young children is one of the best things we can do for them and I’m proud to support this investment to get more books into the hands of the littlest Minnesotans.”

Annandale Highway 24 and Hemlock Intersection

$2,000,000 awarded to the city of Annandale to build a roundabout to increase safety and lessen congestion around the assisted living facility and the Annandale elementary and high school campuses.

“The City is excited to be included in the Community Project Funding that will address significant safety improvements needed within our Community.  These funds will allow the City to move forward with the construction of a roundabout that serves a 40 unit Assisted Living Facility and the Annandale Elementary and High School campuses,” said Annandale Mayor Shelly Jonas. “This improvement will provide a safer environment for not only our seniors and School district families and students, but our entire community.  The Annandale Community appreciates the support from our Congressional leadership in allowing the City to have this opportunity for funding.”

The Link of Northern Kandiyohi County Food Pantry

$193,000 awarded to the nonprofit to better serve those facing food insecurity and strengthen the local community by creating a space where relationships can flourish across socioeconomic lines.

“The Link’s Board and staff are beyond excited to announce that we are receiving congressionally directed funding through Senator Tina Smith!” said Chasity Ommodt, Executive Director of The Link of Northern Kandiyohi Country. “This money will finally allow us to secure the purchase of The Link’s forever home in downtown New London. This has been The Link’s goal for over five years and wouldn’t be made possible without this funding. To say that this will bless our community and the people we serve is an understatement.

Morrison County United Way Imagination Library

$14,000 awarded to the organization to deliver age appropriate books to enrolled children from birth to five years of age. Participating children will receive 1 book per month until they graduate out of the program and move on to kindergarten. This project is in partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and serves all of Morrison County and three zip codes in Todd County: Staples, Grey Eagle and Burtrum.

“We currently have 913 children age 0-5 enrolled in the Imagination Library program in our service area and have graduated 4,373 children from the program. Based on community input, the board has decided that this program is our top priority and we do not want to have to limit the number of children that we can serve,” said Meghann Boser, Executive Director of Morrison County United Way. “This funding is making that all possible, we are so grateful for the work that Senator Tina Smith did on our behalf. This funding will have a huge impact in our area – it’s definitely a game changer for us and we can’t express how excited and thankful we are!”

Senator Smith has been an active advocate in pushing for these projects to be funded as part of the federal spending bill, which President Biden signed into law on March 15. Allocating funds to specific state projects like this has not been provided by Congress for the last decade, making this investment in Central Minnesota critical for supporting these communities.