City Wants Bonding Money For Industrial Park

City Wants Bonding Money For Industrial Park Click to Enlarge Photo: City of Becker

(KNSI) - Two state lawmakers are asking for $20.1 million in bonding money for an industrial park in Becker to attract new businesses like Google.

Senator Andrew Mathews (R-Milaca) and Representative Shane Mekeland (R-Clear Lake) introduced legislation.

Mathews was a guest of KNSI's Ox in the Afternoon and says sewer improvements are needed to attract new businesses to the area, including the proposed $600 million Google data center.

"What Becker needs is some waste water infrastructure upgrades, they basically need a larger transmission pipe from where this industrial site will be, over to where their waste water treatment plant is."

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) says it would be one of the largest private economic development projects in Minnesota in years, with nearly 2,000 construction jobs in Sherburne County and 1,300 additional jobs statewide.

The data center, if built there, would need 50 full time workers.

Mathews says with the Sherco power plant downsizing in the next couple of years Becker is preparing for the future.

"They want to try to have other businesses in place that can help provide some of these jobs and we hope Google becomes one of the first ones to pick this spot as their new home."

Excel Energy, the owners of the power plant, would sell Google the land and power the facility through renewable energy sources.

Becker is in competition with other locations around the country, and the infrastructure improvements are essential to competing not only this project, but also attracting other businesses to the park.

Xcel Energy has requested a decision on the proposal by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) by June 30.

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