August 28, 2020

A Time to Lead

2020 has been a year exceptional challenges- some we can control and many we cannot. The 2020 legislature's principal task within its control was to pass a capital bonding bill - the legislative equivalent of simple blocking and tackling. Bonding bills represent the fundamental aspects of what we expect from our government institutions. They provide necessary funding support for community services like clean drinking water, the maintenance and improvement of public buildings, and road and bridge construction.  

It would be convenient to say the pandemic got in the way of legislative process and tripped up passage of the 2020 bonding bill, but three special sessions and a summer of well-worn partisan sniping has revealed failed leadership from all sides while sadly missing the opportunity to restore confidence in government functionality by investing $1.7 billion into our communities and economy.

AGC of Minnesota has been a persistent advocate for getting a bonding bill passed. Our engagement has been focused through leadership of the Building Jobs Coalition (BJC). This week, the BJC released a letter signed by more than 60 organizations urging legislative leaders to come together in September, and get a deal done on the bonding bill before the opportunity fades into the looming election abyss. With everything 2020 has thrown at us, it does not seem too much to ask our elected representatives to do their jobs and to adequately fund our capital infrastructure needs. The bargain we strike when we go to the polls is to dutifully elect fellow citizens to serve and to govern in a manner that advances collective societal interests. No one casts a ballot to elect a status quo, get-nothing-done government. It is past time for leaders to lead. Passing a well-funded bonding bill would be a nice accomplishment and much needed economic stimulus.  

Enbridge Line 3 Delayed...Again!

Earlier this month, another review hurdle and delay was thrown in front of the project to replace the aging Enbridge Line 3 pipeline across northern Minnesota.The Department of Commerce decided to appeal the project's approval by the independent Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The PUC has twice previously ruled the pipeline replacement project has met all legal requirements. The review initiated by the Commerce Commissioner has become embroiled in larger politics surrounding the governor's emergency powers and the legislature's role in that process. 

At what point has the established bar for public works projects been cleared and the rightful approvals granted? Delays and endless appeals/approvals like this erode confidence in our public institutions and our elected leaders while costing thousands of construction jobs. Again, it is beyond time for leaders to lead and restore confidence in the public process.

Tim Worke
See You at the Sporting Clays Fundraiser Next Month!

Shooter spots are now filled for next month's Sporting Clays Fundraiser, which 
benefits the AGC of Minnesota Foundation by providing scholarships to students pursuing a degree in the construction industry. 

There are still opportunities to be a station sponsor or donate to the silent auction! Register hereContact Lisa Larson with any questions.
STP Registration Open for September-October

AGC is offering two units of the 6-unit Supervisory Training Program (STP) in September/October.  Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, in-person seats are limited.  Register at the links below.

Unit 4: Contract Documents
Five consecutive Wednesdays, beginning September 23

Unit 5: Improving Productivity and Managing Project Costs
Five consecutive Thursdays, beginning September 24
Interactive Map of CHASE Level 3 Projects 

We're very proud of our CHASE contractor members, who have safety incident rates 50% lower than the Minnesota industry average.  CHASE Level 3 projects set the safety bar highest, with superior health & safety programs.  

Now it's easier to view all the Level 3 projects from the past few years, including photos, with our interactive map!

Now in its 17th year, and boasting 45 members, CHASE is the largest and longest-running cooperative partnership with Minnesota OSHA.
Public Facilities Authority Announces $122 Million in Project Funding 

The Minnesota Public Facilities Authority (PFA)  announced $122 million in loans and grants in the first half of 2020 for water and infrastructure projects in 24 communities throughout Minnesota. The PFA administers and oversees the financial management of three revolving loan funds and other programs that help local units of government construct facilities for clean water, drinking water, and transportation infrastructure projects. 

The round of PFA funding awards announced today includes $63 million from the Clean Water Revolving Fund, $47 million from the Drinking Water Revolving Fund, $4.4 million from the Water Infrastructure Funding program, $4.2 million from the Point Source Implementation Grant (PSIG) program, $1.8 million from the Transportation Revolving Loan Fund, and $2.1 million from legislative appropriations. Additional funding was provided by the USDA Office of Rural Development, the DEED Small Cities Development Program, and local sources. Total funding from all sources for these projects was $133 million. 
For the project list, visit and click on the city name on the right of the screen for additional information.
Nominations Open for 2020 AGC
Recognition Awards

Nominations are now open for AGC's Lifetime Achievement and Skill Responsibility & Integrity (SRI) awards.

Since 1995, AGC of Minnesota has recognized Minnesota construction industry leaders through the presentation of two individual awards.  The Skill-Responsibility-Integrity Award (SRI) is given to those who have consistently demonstrated these core AGC values throughout their careers.  Lifetime Achievement Awards have been presented to exceptional individuals whose careers have been distinguished by outstanding leadership, extensive industry knowledge, and a strong commitment to enhancing the future of the industry. 

More information coming soon on how we will be honoring our award winners this year.
Construction Safety Week: September 14-18, 2020

Construction Safety Week is coming up quickly in September! Find resources and templates here for use at your firm. Do you have some great photos of employees representing best safety practices on your job sites?  Send them to Renee for inclusion in our Safety Week promotions!
Deep foundation drilling shafts for I-74's new eight-lane bridge over the Mighty Mississippi 

The new bridge will replace two-lane westbound and eastbound bridges from 1935 and 1960. As one of North America's largest deep foundation drilling companies, Michels' scope was to install 242 7-ft to 10-ft outer diameter permanently cased drilled shafts to support the 28 piers spanning the 3,370-ft section of the Mississippi River. The piers will support a basket-handle, true-arch twin bridge. Learn more
Brian Koch, Special Projects Manager, Foundations Operations, Michels Corporation
AGC Members: Apply for AGC of America Awards

The AGC of America awards programs recognize the nation's most pioneering projects as well as talented and community-minded contractors, student chapter achievements, and contractors implementing outstanding safety programs.

AGC member companies who meet the competition requirements are encouraged to apply online for some much-deserved recognition.  Deadline: October 21, 2020.

Below: four AGC of Minnesota members receiving their awards at the 2019 AGC of America Annual Convention.  Click thumbnails for larger versions.

JE Dunn Construction and C.S. McCrossan, Inc. receiving their
Construction Safety Excellence Awards (CSEA).

Mortenson and Ames Construction receiving their Build America Awards.



Associated General Contractors of Minnesota 

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