ST. PAUL, Minn. – The East Side of St. Paul came away with significant wins following the release of the Senate’s Bonding Bill this week. The Senate Capital Investment Committee met on Tuesday evening and added an extra $500,000 to partially fund the Lower Phalen Creek-Wakan Tipi Center project that was missing from the original bill. Senator Foung Hawj (DFL-St. Paul) advocated on behalf of a number of projects including Metro State, the Hmong-Lao Veterans Memorial and the Lower Phalen Creek Project. Both Metro State’s request to build a new Science Education Center and the memorial project received full funding. The money allocated to the Lower Phalen Creek project is crucial to getting the project off the ground and will help fund planning and redevelopment of the site.
“I am so grateful to the Senate Capital Investment Committee for funding these vital projects for East St. Paul. Metro State desperately needs this science center to provide a dedicated science learning space for students, and the Hmong-Lao Veterans Memorial is a project that is deeply personal for the entire Hmong community,” said Sen. Hawj.
He added, “Likewise, I am a strong supporter of the Lower Phalen Creek-Wakan Tipi Center project, which is located at the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. While I would have liked to see it get the full $3.5 million request, the $500,000 will help get the project started, and that’s very important to me. This way we can come back next year and help better explain the project and what the money will help provide for the community.”
The Director of the Lower Phalen Creek Project, Dan McGuiness added that he’s very grateful to both the House and Senate for considering and funding the project.
“The East side community is very appreciative of Sen. Hawj’s leadership on this project. We look forward to redeveloping this site, creating the Wakan Tipi Center and revitalizing our community,” said Director Dan McGuiness.
Metro State received $35.865 million and the Hmong-Lao Veterans Memorial received its full ask of $450,000. The next step is bringing the Bonding Bill to a vote on the Senate Floor.