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Civic Center on Governor's Radar

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MANKATO, Minn. -

An additional bonding bill that could include funding for the expansion of Mankato's civic center wasn't mentioned in last night's State of the State address.

But Governor Dayton's Office says it's still on his to-do list. 
Dayton's office renewed their support for an additional bonding bill in the neighborhood of $500 million, saying a proposal should come sometime in March, after the February economic forecast is released.

And Chamber of Commerce groups from Rochester, St. Cloud and Mankato will work together to make sure their civic center expansion plans are included.
Mankato City Manager Pat Hentges says, "What do civic centers do for the local economy, do from the regional economy and what's the value with the overall state economic picture."

Mankato representatives will be at the Capitol on March 20th and 21st, personally lobbying lawmakers to get behind the civic center project.

With or without bonding support, Mankato will replace the ice system at the civic center this summer, at an expected cost of three million dollars.

If the bonding bill is passed before May, and the civic center is included, they may be able to get matching funds for the project.

As for the bigger picture, the city is looking forward to having more options for their main facility.

Hentges says, "It's a balance. You can't do one without the other. The economics change. If you fully dedicate it to hockey, you lose out on some of the other opportunities."