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Higher ed takes biggest share of $500 bonding bill

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: July 19, 2011 - 10:04 PM

A $500 million bonding bill unveiled Tuesday evening gives a big boost to projects at the state's colleges and universities.

About 37 percent of the bill, which borrows money to pay for infrastructure projects, was allocated to the University of Minnesota and MnSCU system. Altogether, that amounts to $186 million.

That's good news for those institutions, which each saw a 10 percent cut from their current funding levels in the higher education budget released earlier Tuesday. The bonding bill sends $88 million to the U and $97 million to MnSCU.

A lot of that money, $55 million, will pay for Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR). Another $51 million goes to physics and nanotechnology at the U.

The Department of Natural Resources also received a substantial $100 million boost in the bonding bill. That agency faced a $30 million cut from forecasted costs in the environment and natural resources bill.

About $50 million of that will go toward flood hazard mitigation. Another $16 million will pay for renovation of the Coon Rapids Dam.

Other winners? The bonding bill sends $55 million to the Department of Transportation for bridge and road improvements. It allocates another $25 million to the Met Council for transit improvement.

See the full list of projects here.


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