House Capital Investment Committee

City staff and District 55A Rep. Brad Tabke, D-Shakopee, present to the Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee at Huber Park in Shakopee on Oct. 10, 2019.

Gov. Tim Walz included two Shakopee projects in his proposal for a $2 billion state bonding bill that would invest in community infrastructure projects across Minnesota.

In October 2019, the Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee toured the southwest metro as part of its statewide tour to learn about regional public works projects that need state funding, including a stop in Shakopee to learn about its grant proposals. Here’s more information about the two Shakopee projects that made their way into the state bonding bill proposal:

1. Minnesota Riverbank

The land between County Road 101 and the Minnesota River is rich with culturally-sensitive land, Shakopee City Developer Michael Kerski said, and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux’s three largest native burial grounds lie on this corridor. But because of river flooding and erosion, this historical piece of land is in danger.

“This impacts the oldest cultural resources that are left in Minnesota,” Kerski has said.

The city’s sanitary sewers also become inundated with water when the river floods, which means emergency repairs for 40 sanitary sewers would become difficult.

Last spring, the river was flooded for three months and is again starting to hit flood levels, causing concern again among city officials.

The concept plan for this problem would be to lower the river bank so it floods naturally. This means the Huber Park land along the riverbank would be positioned in a downward slant to allow water levels to rise up and down naturally. When water levels are lower, the river bank will be walkable, and when they are higher, that area would be designated for flooding.

The cost for this project would be in the neighborhood of $11.73 million.

2. Highway 169 overpass

The city proposed a $3 million project to build a bike bridge overpass over Highway 169 that would connect Shakopee’s Southbridge to Quarry Lake Park and the County Highway 101 trail, opening up more opportunities for bikers to commute to work. Right now, there is only one bridge that allows pedestrians and bikers to safely cross the highway, and it’s a trail underneath the highway on Canterbury Road.

About the bill

Mary Murphy, chair of the House Capital Investment Committee, said the committee generally looks to fund issues involving wastewater and aging infrastructure, and “local things that have no glamour but are absolutely necessary.”

In order for the bonding bill to pass, there must be a super-majority in the House and Senate. In 2019, the Senate never performed a hearing on the bonding bill, so it never passed. This year, with the 2020 election on the horizon, District 55A Rep. Brad Tabke, D-Shakopee, said the absence of a bonding bill is unlikely to happen.

Minnesota Management and Budget vetted all the proposed projects in May 2019, deeming them eligible or not eligible. Shakopee would need to match 50% of all approved state grant requests.

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