September 12, 2012
Mankato learned this week that the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development gave Mankato’s Civic Center expansion project a low ranking… meaning the project has a poor chance of receiving funding. The city is not giving up.
City Manager Pat Hentges told KTOE’s Pete Steiner on Talk of the Town that the civic center is a major component of the area’s growth and stability... and, Hentges said, "clearly it has changed the complexion of Mankato and the business comunity, and our ability to recruit employees and have a stable environment. Lots of times bureaucrats don't get that."
Hentges says they are preparing some carefully worded letters to the Governor and the the Commissioner of DEED. He protested the low ranking that was made without even looking at the civic center, and protested DEED even being involved in the grant process.
In a press release issued yesterday the city stated “Plain and simple, DEED got it wrong in its project scoring ...our project couldn’t be more shovel ready.”
“Grant awards should be based on development merit and original criteria, rather than lobbying.”
Governor Dayton is expected to announce the winners of the grant money today or tomorrow.
Link to the Civic Center Expansion Proposal: http://www.mankato-mn.gov/upload/images/CC%20Bonding%20Doc%202012%20-%20REVISED.pdf