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Reinert: Compromise bonding bill agreement struck

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A compromise bonding bill agreement has been struck in St. Paul today, according to Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth.

He said the bill would fully satisfy the city’s requests for funding of the NorShor Theatre renovation and for a new water line to supply snow-making machinery at Spirit Mountain. However, it would provide just a little more than half of what was requested to fix up Wade Stadium, a crumbling brick edifice built by the Works Progress Administration in 1941.

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While Reinert acknowledged the $2.3 million earmarked for Wade falls well short of the $4.42 million the city of Duluth sought, he said the funds should be sufficient to shore up the stadium’s brickwork, improve drainage on the playing field and update lighting at the historic sports venue in West Duluth.

“It addresses the most pressing needs, versus the nice-to-haves,” he said.

If approved, the compromise bill will provide $6.95 million for the NorShor Theatre project and $3.4 million for a system that would allow Spirit Mountain to draw water from St. Louis Bay and pump it to snow-making equipment on the slopes.

Reinert also said the prognosis remains good for the city’s request to renew a half-percent local tax on sales of food, beverages and hotel/motel accommodations. That sales tax, included in both the House and Senate tax bills, would generate an estimated $1.25 million per year.

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