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Dayton dislikes 'back-door' grant program

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Gov. Mark Dayton said he will meet next week with his economic development commissioner to discuss a new grant program that he is not very enthusiastic about.

Lawmakers passed a bonding bill earlier this month that created a $47.5 million fund for local economic development projects. Mankato, Rochester and St. Paul are among a growing list of cities lining up for grants after having their projects rejected from inclusion in the broader bonding bill.

Dayton told reporters today that he thinks the new fund is a "back-door" approach and saddles the commissioner with a process that is "not well-advised."

"It just puts him in a very, very awkward situation of having to say no again to a lot of projects. There will probably be ten-times the number of dollars requested as there are available," Dayton said.

Under the bonding bill, applicants can seek grants for a wide range of local projects, including those related to waste and drinking water, utilities, telecommunications and road and bridge work.