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Legislative bonding bill includes funding for Cyrus fire hall

MORRIS – Funding for a new fire hall and community center in Cyrus was included in a bonding bill passed by the Minnesota House and Senate before the legislature adjourned last Friday night.

Both the Minnesota House and Senate included $225,000 for the project, which will improve the safety and usability of the Cyrus Fire Department’s existing fire hall.

Rep. Jay McNamar and House Majority Leader Erin Murphy came to Cyrus in April to share their support for the project.

In an e-mail to supporters on Friday, Cyrus Fire Chief Jeff Anderson also thanked Sen. Torrey Westrom and Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen and their staff for authoring bills to support the project.

“Thank everyone for your support and help getting this much needed funding,” Anderson continued. “It will improve and enhance the safety and community needs of the residents in and around the city of Cyrus.”

“This project is very meaningful to me,” said Westrom. “It has been an honor to work with Cyrus firefighters and supporters since introducing this legislation back in February. These renovations will improve and enhance the safety and needs of residents in and around the community.”

When Gov. Mark Dayton signs the bonding bill, which is expected soon, public works projects will receive $857 million obtained by the state selling bonds, with another $199 million coming from a state budget surplus. The Capitol building is the biggest single project, getting $126 million to finish a multi-year renovation project.

Higher education construction spending, divided among the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities campuses, totals $240 million.

The allocation includes $42.5 million statewide for University of Minnesota Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement, which would provide funding for University of Minnesota, Morris and the West Central Research and Outreach Center. Proposed local projects include $195,000 for HVAC improvements to the WCROC maintenance shop and $1.3 million in UMM campus building improvements in Blakely and Behmler Halls, the Humanities Building, and the Heating Plant. Blakely Hall will be made fully handicap accessible because of an elevator installation project.

“I have been talking about the need for a strong bonding bill since I arrived in St. Paul, and its good to finally get the ball rolling to create jobs and get funding to these necessary projects in communities all over Minnesota,” said McNamar, who serves on the House Capital Investment Committee. “This bill will have lasting impacts on our state because it will improve our infrastructure and positively impact Minnesota’s capacity to continue creating jobs.”