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Gov. Dayton flies to D.C. to discuss federal funding of Lewis & Clark water project

The governor will meet with federal officials and state lawmakers to discuss funding for the water pipeline system in southwestern Minnesota.

Gov. Mark Dayton is in Washington D.C. Wednesday to discuss federal funding for the Lewis & Clark water pipeline system in southwestern Minnesota.

The Lewis & Clark system would provide fresh water for 300,000 people in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota. The project will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and the states and local entities have ponied up their shares for the construction. Minnesota’s share is $77 million.

But officials on the project say: “Unfortunately, recent federal funding has not been enough to even cover the inflation, let alone allow the project to make any meaningful construction progress.” Hence, the meeting.

Dayton is scheduled to meet on the matter Wednesday afternoon with  U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken, Congressmen Collin Peterson, and Tim Walz. The meeting is closed to the press.

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Dayton will stay in D.C. through Thursday, meeting with state business leaders and White House officials about the state’s economy, and then attending the celebration at the White House honoring the Minnesota Lynx for winning last season’s WNBA championship.