To the editor:
Please join me on November 6 voting yes to both economic development projects to be supported with a local option sales tax. The Southwest Minnesota Regional Amateur Sports Center (SMASC) and the Minnesota Emergency Response and Industrial Training Center (MERIT) are two projects that will continue Marshall's growth and development as the Regional Center of Southwest Minnesota.
Both projects are well-planned, and the sales tax will not only construct the projects, but also when combined with user fees will cover the operating costs. Both projects will likely benefit from state bond grant funds. The MERIT Center project currently has $1 million already allocated toward the project. SMASC is poised as the top bonding priority for the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission, which has the potential to add an additional $4 million of state bond grant funds into Marshall.
The SMASC and MERIT projects have been led by an outpouring of grass roots leadership, which speaks highly of these projects as well as the future leadership for Marshall.
Marshall is experiencing growth and development that is not seen in much of the rest of greater Minnesota. Our population has grown 7.4 percent in that last decade. According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, retail sales in Marshall have grown by 69 percent in the past 20 years. Marshall's building permits for this year have topped $30 million to date. Over half of that total is new investment in residential, commercial and industrial properties.
The SMASC and MERIT Center are two projects that will continue Marshall's growth and development. Join me in voting Yes for SMASC and MERIT.