MERIT Center amendment in House bill defeated

MARSHALL – An amendment to the House construction package that would’ve meant the inclusion in the House bill of $1.5 million in bonding for expansion at the MERIT Center was defeated Thursday.

The amendment was carried by District 16A Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent.

It’s unfortunate it didn’t pass, we’ve done a lot of work with it,” Swedzinski said. “But we’ve really stepped up the conversation more.”

Similar projects in Cottage Grove and Maplewood did make the House’s original proposal.

Cottage Grove’s Health and Emergency Response Occupations Center ($1.46 million) is in the predesign stage.

“We’ve really tried to keep it even with rural versus metro,” Swedzinski said. “We have kind of a united plan about what we feel would be best to prioritize for bonding projects for both Democrats and Republicans.”