Where has the money gone locally?
By Starrla Cray
Since Minnesota voters passed the Legacy Amendment five years ago, more than $1 billion has been raised through a three-eighths of a percent sales tax increase.
By the time the amendment expires in 2034, it will have generated an estimated $7.5 billion all dedicated to outdoor heritage, clean water, parks/trails, arts/cultural heritage, and environment/natural resources.
More than 40 percent of those who voted for the tax increase indicated that cleaning and preserving Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and streams was the primary reason for their vote, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Over the life of the amendment, one third (about $2 billion) will be spent on clean-water efforts.
One example of a clean water project (about $1 million) is helping low-income property owners upgrade or replace non-compliant septic systems.
Another clean water project ($1,615,000 for the groundwater portion) is the creation of county geologic atlases, to convey geologic information to government units. Additional project dollars are allocated for the creation of other parts of the atlases.
Other project examples
In the arts and cultural heritage fund, one project example ($500,000) is a survey of historical and archaeological sites in certain counties, including McLeod.
Minnesota’s 12 regional public library systems (a total of 350 libraries) also receive arts and cultural heritage funding.
From 2010 to 2013, a total of $6,348,800 from the parks and trails fund has been allocated to the rehabilitation of state trail bridges. There are more than 300 existing bridges on state trails, and one-third of them are at least 100 years old.
Here are a few close-to-home Legacy grant projects. Amounts may not be all-inclusive, and some may include multiple years of funding. For details on all projects funded through the Legacy Amendment, follow the link at www.dasselcokato.com.
A total of 703 projects are listed under “Wright County” on the Minnesota legacy website. Below is a small sampling:
• $42,140 Delano Village Hall, first floor restoration.
• $26,592 Wright County Agricultural Society.
• $98,781 Wright Soil and Water Conservation District (2012).
• $10,000 Howard Lake Community Education (2012 and 2013).
• $1,090 Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Middle School, artist in residency.
• $10,254 Cokato Historical Society (2010).
• $6,000 Dassel-Cokato Community Education.
• $5,000 Cokato Elementary, artist in residency.
• $4,950 Delano Middle School, artist in residency (sculpture by Zoran Mojsilov).
• $5,536 General Federated Women’s Club.
• $2,000 Delano-Franklin Historical Society.
• $5,760 Delano Community Education (2010).
• $1,920 Delano Council for Arts and Culture, for the Old Fashioned Christmas event.
A total of 170 projects are listed under “Meeker County.”
Below is for the Dassel area:
• $3,112 Dassel Area Historical Society (DAHS) for the a fence mural project in 2010.
• $ 7,416 DAHS for mural project in 2011.
• $469 DAHS To add 17 rolls of microfilmed newspapers to broaden public accessibility to primary records.
• $4,000 Dassel-Cokato Community Education for “Arsenic and Old Lace” community theatre production.
• $8,161 DAHS for arts organization development and equipment.
• $318 DAHS for a member to attend the Rural Arts and Culture Summit.
• $1,190 Dassel Elementary for the Art of Poetry project.
A total of 83 projects are listed under “McLeod County” on the Minnesota legacy website. Below is a small sampling:
• $7,783 McLeod County Fair.
• $24,470 McLeod County Agricultural Association.
• $104,254 McLeod County Historical Society, to upgrade lighting, add 63 rolls of microfilmed records, and purchase shelving.
• $3,384 Winsted Arts Council (2013 amount, for development/equipment).
• $4,900 Minnesota Pottery Festival.
• $20,465 Crow River Area Youth Orchestra.
• $2,000 Prairie Arts Council.
• $20,000 RiverSong Music Festival.