During tough economic times, one of the best ways to keep people off the unemployment rolls is through some labor intensive projects that will also add some value to city infrastucture, especially when the private capital is dried up like it is now. Like the Recovery Act, which we’ve seen signs for all over the northern part of Minnesota, these sorts of projects put a floor down where there would otherwise be free fall. Further, when done right, they can create a thriving community around them. Which we can also see in St. Cloud with the gorgeous, and I mean gorgeous, new library.
This past legislative session another such public project was among the things vetoed by Gov. Pawlenty in the bonding bill. The project, proposed by Rep. Larry Haws, would have renovated the St. Cloud Civic Center, providing some much needed jobs in an area of the state that sorely needs them (The 6th Congressional District which houses St. Cloud has the highest foreclosure rate in the state). These sorts of projects are even more important when they’re located in regional centers like St. Cloud, as the surrounding areas all benefit from the investment too. In a community that has already seen what smart investments can do with their new library, this project would have also helped St. Cloud thrive even during tough times.
We cruised by the Civic Center to check out the scene, would have looked nice with some folks getting to work…
To see where we’re going and where we’ve been on the Make Minnesota Thrive Drive, visit http://allianceminnesota.org/ThriveDrive.