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      Albert Lea’s Fountain Lake to Benefit from Environmental Improvements

      Posted on June 13, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      Governor Dayton joined with legislators, advocates, and community members for the signing of the 2014 Jobs Bill 

      Today, overlooking beautiful Fountain Lake in Albert Lea, Governor Dayton was joined legislators, community members, and advocates for a ceremonial signing of the 2014 Jobs Bill. The legislation, signed into law by Governor Dayton last month, invested $7.5 million in environmental improvements for Fountain Lake aimed at improving water quality, fishing, and recreational opportunities. 
       
      Fountain Lake, which spans 555 acres, is a popular summertime destination for boating, swimming, water skiing, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking; activities that have an important impact on the City of Albert Lea’s economy and tourism industry.
       
      This project will benefit the people that live here and visit this area, as well as the kids who will benefit from the soccer complex and from better lake conditions,” said Governor Mark Dayton. The bonding bill is where we make investments in the future of Minnesota – from buildings, education facilities, and our natural resources.  So it’s a very, very good project and I am very glad to have been part of it.

      “Fountain Lake is a gem that defines who we are in Albert Lea,” said Mayor Vern Rasmussen, Jr. “The restoration project is of great importance to the area. We appreciate all the work that has been done in the community and state to make this a reality.”
       
      The Shell Lake Watershed District, community leaders, and other partners have been proactive in their efforts to improve water quality in Fountain Lake. In addition to stabilizing upstream creeks, repairing septic systems, and managing fish populations, these collaborative efforts have actively promoted responsible conservation that will supplement the environmental improvements funded in this year’s Jobs Bill.
       
      "It is rewarding to have the funding in place to complete the Fountain Lake Restoration,” said Sen. Dan Sparks. “A lot of work has gone into this project, and the environmental and economic benefits are going to make a big difference to Albert Lea and surrounding communities."
       
      "The Fountain Lake cleanup will have a significant impact on our region,” said Rep. Shannon Savick. “A cleaner lake will mean more visitors in our area and a better habitat for the wildlife that make outdoor areas so appealing and valuable for communities like ours. Local officials have put in an incredible amount of work to move this project forward. It was an honor to be able to help provide the last push needed to get the state funding needed to complete the project." 
       

      Other Critical Investments in the Albert Lea Area
      Overall, the 2014 Jobs Bill signed by Governor Dayton invested more than $22 million in the Albert Lea Area. In addition to the Fountain Lake, the Jobs Bill made needed investments in the restoration and construction of area trails, higher education, and public safety infrastructure. These projects will create new jobs in the Albert Lea Area, promote tourism, and support future economic development in the region. 
       
      Minnesota State Academies, Faribault 
      The Jobs Bill enacted by the Legislature and Governor Dayton included fundingto replace dormitories for students on the campus of the State Academy for the Deaf (MSAD). The building was constructed in 1967 and is deteriorating. This new investment will help bring these residences up to standard. The State Academies also received funding for projects focusing on energy savings, infrastructure replacement and restoration, and security upgrades. 
       
      Military Affairs: Owatonna Armory
      The Jobs Bill also includes funding for the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs to renovate and expand the Owatonna Armory.
       
      Blazing Star Trail
      The Jobs Bill provided funding to acquire land and develop four miles of the Blazing Star Trail between Myre-Big Island State Park and Hayward.
       
      Shooting Star Trail
      The Jobs Bill included funding to help acquire land and develop 11 miles of the Shooting Star Trail from Rose Creek to Austin.
       
      Mill Towns Trail
      The Jobs Bill included funding to help acquire land and develop the Mill Towns Trail from Faribault to Dundas.