Technical fix to language in bonding bill concerning Austin’s wastewater treatment facility renovation project approved during legislative session

The Minnesota Senate adjourned a special session earlier this week, as Republicans stated that they carried the special session over into this week to review Governor Tim Walz’s cabinet appointments, some of whom had been serving without being confirmed by the Senate.  The city of Austin had been seeking a technical fix to language from a bonding bill passed during the 2020 legislative session that would allow funds left over from phase one of the city’s wastewater treatment facility renovation and expansion project to be utilized toward the project moving forward, and Austin City Administrator Craig Clark told KAUS News that the technical fix was finally approved at the end of the regular legislative session…

Clark stated that he was disappointed that the city’s request for an additional $13 million in bonding dollars toward the project be included in a small-scale $24 million bonding bill for this legislative session did not come to fruition….

Clark went on to state that even if the $14.5 million bonding request for the 2022 legislative session is approved, water and sewer customers in Austin will still see a significant jump in rates for 2023….

Clark added that if the city’s bonding request is not approved in 2022, water and sewer rates could go even higher in 2023.  There was speculation that that Republicans carried the special session over into this week because they were upset that the Democrat-controlled House, in a last-minute move before adjourning, restored a limited number of the Governor’s COVID emergency powers, even though the peacetime emergency officially ended July 1st at 11:59 p.m.