Dayton says he’ll pick projects for $47.5M fund

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton plans to make the final call on construction projects benefiting from a $47.5 million development fund that sparked intense competition.

The Democratic governor said Wednesday that he will review recommendations from the Department of Employment and Economic Development before making his choices.

Ninety Minnesota communities put forward proposals valued at $288.4 million. The Legislature established the fund in a departure from normal practice of designating where the construction dollars go.

Proposals include $27 million for a minor-league ballpark in St. Paul. St. Cloud, Mankato and Rochester asked for millions to improve civic centers.

DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips says his agency will narrow its list by the end of August after weighing each project’s potential for job creation, return on investment and criteria like geographic balance.