he city of Ramsey continues to work with lobbyist and former Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg on securing funding for Highway 10 and railroad crossing projects.
The Ramsey City Council July 25 unanimously approved a 12-month contract extension, at a monthly rate of $3,300 and total cost of $39,600.
Ramsey has historically worked with Tinklenberg on six-month contracts with monthly rates being $5,000 when the Minnesota State Legislature is in session and $2,500 per month when out of session, according to City Administrator Kurt Ulrich.
The Highway 10 interchange at Armstrong Boulevard has been the largest project in Ramsey. Its bridge passes over the railroad tracks, and the city would like to get other grade separation projects completed at Ramsey and Sunfish Lake boulevards.
The bonding bill approved this past legislative session included funding for a new railroad crossing on Hanson Boulevard in Coon Rapids. Tinklenberg said the bonding bill included language that allows for leftover funds to be used for other grade separation projects in Anoka County. Ramsey Boulevard is one of those priority projects.
Tinklenberg has heard there could be another bonding bill approved in 2018, and he will be working on getting funding for construction a railroad underpass on Ramsey Boulevard. But getting funding for the planning work is a crucial first step, he said.
“Those planning dollars are critical,” Tinklenberg said.
Council Member Melody Shryock said Tinklenberg’s services have been valuable since it gives the city of Ramsey an ongoing presence at the State Capitol.
“We’ve gained some good footing, and I think he’s become a real asset to us on the Hill,” she said.
Tinklenberg’s new contract expires June 30, 2018.