Governor Walz tours infrastructure investments on the Iron Range

Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 4:55 PM CDT
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CHISHOLM, MN. (Northern News Now) - On June 1, Governor Tim Walz signed the largest infrastructure bill in state history.

The $2.6 billion bill provides funding for hundreds of projects statewide.

Governor Walz visited the Iron Range Wednesday to check on two of the projects that received funding from the 2023 Minnesota Infrastructure Bill.

Walz first visited a manufacturing plant in Hibbing and then went to the site of a new public safety building in Chisholm.

Walz toured the construction grounds for the new public safety building, which broke in June.

Chisholm Mayor Adam Lantz said the investment is long overdue.

“Our building that we’re currently in was built for 1906 standards,” said Lantz. “Pulling that emergency apparatus out onto a busy intersection with children all around, it’s not a safe environment. We have our gear stored behind our vehicles, so every time we start them up, if you’re not there with your gear on, your gear is getting filled with carcinogens.”

The $11.9 million project will house the Chisholm Police Department, Fire Department and EMT Services.

“We have firefighters that are EMTs,” said Lantz. “We have EMTs that are firefighters. Not all are crossed right here but it gives a nice locally centralized place for everyone to respond out of it gives everybody an up-to-date facility with proper ventilation.”

There has been a need for a new building for decades, but Walz said constructing this new facility is strengthening the foundation of the whole town.

“It’s not just a building,” said Walz. “It represents a community’s commitment to one another to make sure folks are kept safe and it makes a commitment of the state to say this region matters.”

Mayor Lantz agrees receiving state funding is reassurance for the community.

“It means that they’re willing to contribute as much as the citizens of our area,” said Lantz. “Having everybody from around the state, representatives from Minneapolis supporting this, it means a great deal knowing that individuals from all over see the emphasis on emergency services and updating our infrastructure.”

Chisholm received $3 million dollars from the 2023 Infrastructure Bill signed by Governor Walz for that update.

$1.9 million dollars are coming from taxpayers while the rest is from other federal and state funding.

Mayor Lantz believes the new building will be ready for use by June 2024.

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