Mayors of Wadena, Park Rapids and Bagley had U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s attention for about a half hour on Wednesday, Feb. 16, as they shared about their major infrastructure needs via a Zoom meeting.
Klobuchar, D-Minn, who briefly spoke about the ramping up of arms in and around Ukraine, said that it was the infrastructure law passed in November 2021 that she was most excited to talk about as it meant communities would be able to fix issues too costly for most rural areas to handle on their own.
Klobuchar noted that the infrastructure law went through, noting that 17 Republicans senators – such as North Dakota’s Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven – supporting the legislation.
The $1 trillion deal signed into federal law in November 2021 aims to rebuild America’s roads, bridges and rails, expand access to clean drinking water and improve access to high-speed internet, among many other things. …
Klobuchar noted that Wadena and Hubbard counties are all but 5% served by broadband internet access but she looks forward to seeing that reach 100%.
The main point Klobuchar wanted to get across was that the money is coming and cities should be ready to make plans if they don’t already have them.
Each mayor gave an update on how things are going in their town. In Wadena they are concerned about utilities and water. In Bagley they are also looking at water and sewers and are concerned at the increasing costs. In Park Rapids, the mayor noted that lake cabin owners were moving to the area permanently due to the pandemic and thanks to broadband…
In terms of the economy, Leckner reported that Main Street is “thriving.” He commented that, since the pandemic and remote technology advances, more lakeshore owners have moved into their cabins full time to work and live year’round.