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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Olmsted County Board today voted to approve plans for spending just under $20 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Just over $16 million will be directed to affordable housing-related programs throughout Olmsted County that include a $10 million appropriation to the Rochester Area Foundation for a five-year investment in affordable housing. Another $5 million is being allocated to an Olmsted County program to create affordable homeownership opportunities.

Funding from the federal initiative will also provide about $1 million for the purchase of a building at 105 N. Broadway in downtown Rochester for transitional housing for homeless individuals.

“Affordable and diverse housing opportunities have long been an important priority for Olmsted County and our residents,” according to Olmsted County Board Chair Stephanie Podulke. “We have heard from the community that we need to focus on this area. These funds, and our prioritization of them, are essential steps in the right direction.”

Almost $4 million is being directed to address various other priorities identified by the county and community partners. That includes $1.2 million to complete the new nature center at Oxbow Park.

Oxbow Zoo Nature Center rendering
Oxbow Zoo Nature Center rendering

Olmsted County received nearly $31 million through the American Rescue Land Act. The remaining $11 million will be reviewed and allocated by the County Commissioners next spring.

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