WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 23, 2011, 10:55 AM

Minnesota House fails to pass bonding bill

Moorhead, Minn. (WDAY TV) - Flood prevention projects in the Red River Valley are taking a major hit. The Minnesota House failed to get enough votes to pass a 47-million dollar bonding bill. More than half of that money was slated for flood project here. Now, the leaders of the communities that were in line for the money are trying to figure out what to do.

This temporary levee here along I-94 is one that the city was hoping to turn into a permanent one with using funds from the state in the bonding bill. The city has now put grass seed on these temporary levees to hold them until their fate is determined.

This levee on the north side of Moorhead along 15th Avenue is also one the city had slated to make permanent with part of the 16 and a half million dollars the city would have received under the bonding bill.

Moorhead Mayor Mark Voxland testified on the bills behalf way back in February.

MAYOR MARK VOXLAND – Moorhead: “The talk then was they were going to move this bill quickly though. Here it is now 2 or 3 day before the end of the session, they're finally getting around to voting on it and it doesn't quite pass.”

And Voxland thinks completing flood projects now will save the state money in the end.

“We're trying to get out of needing to have the state help us every year because of floods.”

Moorhead will likely move ahead still on some projects if the money from the state does not come through.

Smaller communities like Georgetown that is hoping to get 3 million from the state for flood prevention won't be able to move on permanent protection their own.

MAYOR TRACI GOBLE – Georgetown: “Not without the bonding bill. We're just going to have to keep doing what were doing I guess. Putting it up, taking it down, putting it up and taking it down. It doesn't make any sense.”

Mayor Goble was assured by the governor they would get state funding.

“I am still holding Governor Dayton to his promise and his hand shake. I'm not going to hang my hat yet and he better not either.”

Projects in both cities may still get funding when a final deal on the state budget is reached.

“And I have a feeling it is going to be part of this end game that's being played with the Governor the House and the Senate and there will be some sort of a bonding bill for flood relief.”

Now the bonding bill needed a super majority of 81 votes and failed by just 5. Many Democrats voted against it because they wanted a larger bill that included more projects in more communities.