State Representative Paul Torkelson from Hanska says Greater Minnesota’s share of funding from the state’s Transportation Economic Development Program has dropped significantly since the start of the decade, to only nine percent this year. Torkelson says MN-DOT “did make some changes in the way they expect people to apply and it seems to be working against Greater Minnesota, so we’d like to see kind of a re-evaluation of how they go about awarding these… grant funds.” He adds, “The criteria that the department currently uses really kind of seems to skew towards big business. I don’t have the particulars of exactly why that happens, but that’s what we’re observing.”
MN-DOT officials say across the broad spectrum of funding programs, more than half of state transportation investment is allocated to Greater Minnesota over the next four years. But they add they’d welcome the opportunity to collaborate with lawmakers on adjustments.
Torkelson says how funds are allotted for the state’s Corridors of Commerce highway program is also being re-evaluated.