Bill aims to fund new regional wastewater facility for smaller communities

(ABC 6 News) – A group of small communities is coming together to propose a bill to the Minnesota legislature to fund a new wastewater facility.

Pine Island, Zumbrota, Goodhue, and Wanamingo are the four communities coming together to fund the project.

Pine Island Mayor David Friese spoke in front of the House Capital Investment Committee on Wednesday.

Pushing lawmakers to give his city funding for a project he says his city can’t afford.

Representative Steven Jacob is the author of the bill and spoke in front of the House Capital Investment Committee to propose the $95 million project.

He is requesting that the state pays for half of it.

Mayor Friese said the communities involved will cover the other 50% with 25% of the cost coming from taxpayers.

“That other 50 percent is gonna be coming both from our local funding and also from grant money that we been able to seek out and secure,” Mayor Friese said.

The proposed wastewater treatment plant would be located just north of Zumbrota with it being approximately seven miles from neighboring communities.

Another community that will benefit from this is the Prairie Island Indian Community, as they have been dealing with flooding from the buildup of waste.

Supporters of the bipartisan bill are hoping that this bill makes it through the legislature and hopes this could serve as a model for other smaller communities.

“If these five communities all did this individually it could potentially cost twice as much money as the five communities working together,” representative Steven Jacob said.

The proposal has been heard from both the House and Senate Capital Investment Committee, and now we will have to await any further hearing from the legislation.