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Editorial: Entire area will see bonding benefits

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On Tuesday's opinion page, we made note that the City of Worthington -- by means of $800,000 in grant money for work at the former Campbell Soup Co. site -- is a big winner in the 2008 bonding bill.

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In fact, it should be duly noted that southwest Minnesota wins with this legislation. Several other projects in our area are funded as part of the investment package; all are noteworthy in their own right.

Perhaps the most important of these projects is the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System, which receives $5 million. It's clear to many -- except President Bush, who removed all federal Lewis and Clark funding this past year, leaving Congress to push for it anew -- that development of this system is critical for meeting residential, agricultural and business water needs over the long term. Without it, future growth and prosperity in our region is probably out of the question.

The bonding bill also includes $1 million to support bioscience facilities in Worthington, going toward a proposed testing center with laboratories, classrooms and offices. Given the collaborative efforts between Minnesota West, the University of Minnesota, Prairie Holdings Group, Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp., and others, we're hopeful this testing center will assist in luring enterprises to Worthington's developing bioscience park.

Money for work at the Windom Dam in Cottonwood County, the acquisition of land for the Des Moines River Forest Prairie Complex in Jackson County, and the field house on Minnesota West's Worthington campus is also extremely beneficial. Kudos to our legislators for their efforts.

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