North Mankato Mark Dehen said a lot of thoughtful reflection and conversations with family led to his decision about his future in local government and, “After that conversation and a number of people coming up and talking with me I’ve decided that I will run starting in August.” Dehen made the announcement on KTOE’s The Morning Blend with Don and Dan.
Dehen said exciting things are ahead for the community and the region, including the Corridors of Commerce funding that is awaiting the governor’s signature. “I’ve been serving on the Corridors of Commerce leadership board for the eight years that I’ve been mayor,” he explained, “And we’re really thrilled to see that they have approved the dollars to get it done from Owatonna to Dodge Center – that’s a major piece. We’d like to get that other piece done, from Nicollet to New Ulm, but to get this chunk done finally would be a huge deal.”
The legislature passed a bonding bill that includes $400 million for the Corridors of Commerce program, and it directs the Minnesota Department of Transportation to send those funds to Greater Minnesota projects that scored well in the process. It’s expected to fully fund the expansion of Highway 14 to four lanes from Owatonna to Dodge Center.
Another bill waiting for Governor Mark Dayton to sign it would partially fund the levee project and Dehen said that is, “A big issue to both Mankato and North Mankato and we’re pleased to see a chunk of those dollars coming in from the state to help offset that cost, and once we finally get that figured out then I think Mankato and North Mankato can sit down and figure out how we’re going to subdivide the rest.”
The bill would provide over $1.8-million in funding to raise the levee near Highway 169 in Mankato, which carries a total price tag of $2.8-million.
Officials are pushing to complete the project this summer before FEMA publishes new floodplain maps in 2019. The fix would avoid a concern that homeowners and businesses in the area would need to purchase flood insurance.
MnDOT says work on raising the levee will begin in July or August, with completion sometime in November.