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Mankato criticizes state’s evaluation of bonding projects after it gets low rating

Mankato officials are very unhappy with the state’s ranking of projects that are eligible for a special $47 million bonding fund.

Teh city’s bid for $14.5 million to fund a civic center got a low ranking from the Department of Employment and Economic Development: 17th on the list.

And with St. Paul’s proposal for $27 million to build a new Saints ballpark getting the top ranking, it’s looking like there may not be much left for other projects.

Gov. Mark Dayton said he’ll announce the winning projects on Thursday.

After seeing the low score on the project rankings Tuesday, Mankato issued a press release saying: “Plain and simple, DEED got it wrong in its project scoring.”

Mankato, and other cities with low rankings, will seek public data “to determine what went awry with DEED’s scoring projections,” says the Mankato Free Press.

The paper also says that Mankato officials took a shot at St. Paul’s proposal, saying it lobbied extensively for the money.

And Mankato City Manager Pat Hentges said the whole process was wrong-headed:

“The Legislature inappropriately delegated funding decisions onto a government agency that has no knowledge of a project’s history, its merits, or the allocation of past civic center bonding. The agency was not asked to base funding decisions on equity, and it didn’t.”

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