In recent weeks, the Bollig Engineering team has had the privilege of working closely with seven cities to ensure that key Minnesota State Representatives and Senators understand the importance of needed infrastructure improvement projects. Sometimes “Seeing is Believing,” and we appreciate leaders from the Minnesota State Capitol having the willingness to travel to Greater Minnesota so they can see these projects and communities first-hand.
Understanding Bonding Tours
A bonding tour is an opportunity for city officials, state representatives, and key stakeholders to get together to tour existing or proposed infrastructure projects either at project sites or nearby. This can be a vital step in securing legislative funding, as it allows decision-makers to witness firsthand the need for these projects and understand the potential impact on the community.
Our Role as the Municipal Engineering Firm
The bonding tours are all about the City’s needs, how those needs affect the people in the city, and what is needed to get the job done. We work closely with city staff to help them gather and present essential information and showcase the significance of proposed infrastructure projects. This includes:
- Visual Aids: Our team helps provide visual aids, such as presentations and briefing sheet handouts, to help convey the importance of the project. We assist in creating project documentation, including previous efforts and proposed improvements, project cost estimates, and capital budget requests.
- Key Speakers: Knowledgeable representatives from within the community who may speak might include city officials, public works employees, community leaders, and residents. Having community members who can speak to the human aspect of affordability helps tell the story of a community.
- Site Tours and “Show & Tell”: In some cases, an onsite tour or seeing and touching actual materials can help demonstrate the state of deteriorating infrastructure, emphasize the urgency of the projects, and provide a deeper understanding of the issues being addressed.
The Proactive Approach
By showcasing the pressing needs and potential benefits of infrastructure projects, cities can be proactive in their approach to secure funding more efficiently and address critical issues before they become crises. At Bollig Engineering, we empower our clients to take this proactive stance by encouraging cities to apply for capital budget requests and then guiding them through the bonding tour process.
Planning for Success
Let’s face it, making a capital budget request to the Minnesota Governor’s Office, getting invited to do a bonding tour, and presenting the information in a meaningful way is no easy task. Laura Ostlie, Funding Program Manager at Bollig Engineering, helps Bollig clients pursue funds for projects, as well as organizing and attending bonding tours together with the city officials. She points out, “Community members sharing their stories and shaking hands with legislative leaders provide an impactful opportunity that can set their project apart from the others. These bonding tour stops have allowed Minnesota decision makers to put a face to the ask.”
“Community members sharing their stories and shaking hands with legislative leaders provide an impactful opportunity that can set their project apart from the others. These bonding tour stops have allowed Minnesota decision makers to put a face to the ask.”– Laura Ostlie, Funding Program Manager
Gratitude to State Legislators
Bonding tours can serve as a bridge between vision and reality. Bollig Engineering is proud to be a part of this process, helping communities prepare, present, and secure the necessary funding for infrastructure projects. On behalf of the communities we represent, we would like to express our gratitude to the Capital Investment Committee members, along with our communities’ local Senators and Representatives who attended these bonding sessions in greater Minnesota. We believe in the power of collaboration, and it is great to see state leaders on a mission to build stronger and more resilient cities, gain understanding of local infrastructure needs, and advocate for funding in greater Minnesota.
Does your City have Questions or Need Funding Help?
Bollig Engineering helps small cities with their unique municipal engineering needs, including obtaining funding (such as the recent SCDP grants) and legislative appropriation when necessary. If you would like to learn more, please reach out to us via this online form or at 320-235-2555.
The City of Lake Lillian, Minnesota was one of the cities requesting money from the State of their infrastructure project. The Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee tour of Lake Lillian was covered on the cover of the West Tribune article on October 13, 2023 here.