Right now, communities all across Minnesota are reeling from the impacts of COVID-19. From health care to education to retail and manufacturing, local economies are struggling to provide critical services while keeping people safe. Every tool available needs to be brought to bear to get us all through this tough time.

That’s why it’s so frustrating that partisan gridlock is getting in the way of needed investments in our area. The main job of the legislature this year was supposed to be a passage of a capital bonding bill.

Yet after months of hearings, meetings and a Legislature special session, no agreement has been reached on a plan that would allow for improvements that will not only create jobs right away but will leave lasting infrastructure that will benefit our communities long into the future.

Our area needs funding for our local roads and bridges.

Kandiyohi County has five deficient bridges that need replacement in the next two years as well as a RR/Highway grade separation project that is an important link to our industrial park as well as providing a safe route for heavy commercial traffic.

With being a rural county, we know how critical transportation is for our regional economy. which relies on connections to other parts of the state and beyond. Whether its rail, transit, roads or bridges, our future growth and development depend on safe transportation infrastructure.

Due to COVID-19, revenue from the gas tax and motor vehicle sales tax is expected to take a hit and local revenue dedicated to transportation will also see a decline.

State bond funds can help make up for that loss in revenue so local governments are in a position to maintain local transportation systems for residents.

People across Minnesota are making significant and important investments in their homes. It only makes sense for the state of Minnesota to keep our property safe and up-to-date with like investments, by approving a bonding bill.

We need our state legislators to make passage of a capital bonding bill a top priority and get it done in July so work can begin before the end of the year on some of these important infrastructure projects.

Roger Imdieke

Kandiyohi County Commissioner

New London