SAINT PAUL, Minn. – This morning, the House Capital Investment Committee discussed a pair of bills authored by Rep. Kelly Morrison (DFL-Deephaven) to make infrastructure improvements in the Lake Minnetonka region.
“I’m proud to advocate for these needed investments in critical water and transportation infrastructure in Excelsior,” said Rep. Morrison. “Excelsior is the downtown of the South Lake Minnetonka area. Access to safe drinking water and transportation is a basic necessity and will improve the quality of life, health and safety of residents and visitors.”
The first bill contains $2.4 million in funding for the replacement of an aging water main, sanitary sewer, and stormwater infrastructure. The city’s water pipes are over 100 years old and their sewer and stormwater infrastructure needs updates to increase resiliency through improved capacity that can accommodate increased precipitation. The city has previously issued municipal bonds to help fund their infrastructure needs and their levy was increased 30% over the past seven years to pay for those bonds. Likewise, utility rates have increased significantly over the past 12 years. The city receives no Local Government Aid or Municipal State Aid and 45% of property within city limits is tax exempt.
The second measure includes $3.9 million worth of investments to reconstruct the St. Alban’s Bay Bridge in Greenwood. The St. Alban’s Bay bridge connects the communities of Excelsior and Greenwood across Lake Minnetonka at the St. Alban’s Bay access channel. It is currently structurally deficient and certain truck traffic is restricted due to its condition. If it is not fixed within the next five years, restrictions on the bridge will need to increase. Detours to avoid the bridge are over five and a half miles.
Both bills are being considered for possible inclusion to a larger Local Jobs and Projects bill. Next week, the committee will consider legislation to rehabilitate Third Street and Center Street to improve traffic flow and pedestrian access in and near downtown Excelsior.