Governor hopes to repair state buildings with money from bonding bill

Gov. Mark Dayton is asking for more than $450 million to fix several dilapidated buildings across the metro, including sites at Fort Snelling and the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Faribault.

These projects are just a portion of the legislature's annual bonding bill and with other worthy projects to compete with, it seems likely that sum will be reduced somewhat during negotiations once the legislature starts its session in two weeks. Still, many are hoping for a large sum to combat what the state has identified as "serious" infrastructure needs over the next few years.

Perhaps no single building represents this need better than the lab at Fort Snelling where the state archeologist operates. It's an historic building with a roof that's certainly showing its age, a tarp stretched like a band-aid over a persistent wound that won't heal.

“We’ve had leaking and flooding in this building almost from the first day it opened," state Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans said. "It’s not in the best condition for people to work.”

A tour of several other state buildings yields similar scenes--collapsing ductwork at the Faribault prison, water damage on the Centennial building roof near the Capitol in St. Paul and various other problem areas Frans said could use some serious rehabilitation.

These projects are just a small amount of the $1.5 billion bonding bill set to come in front of the legislature, which will likely be pared down as negotiations continue.