EDITOR’S NOTE: Letters will be accepted for the Open Forum for publication in the next available issue after receipt. Letters may be sent to Forest Lake Times, 880 SW 15th St., Forest Lake, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should not exceed 250 words and must be signed with the writer’s name, address and telephone number. Deadline is noon Monday. The newspaper reserves the right to edit letters and assure that rules of libel and good taste are not violated.
Upon seeing in the Forest Lake Times that there is an ongoing effort to develop a long-term plan for the Forest Lake park system, I was expecting to see an obvious oversight in the previous plan addressed.
It would seem that a joint workshop consisting of City Council members, Planning Commission members, city staff and landscape architects from Bolton and Menk certainly would see the elephant in the room; the elephant being the total lack of a decent picnic shelter in this town. The blue triangular “sails” at Lakeside Park do not consitute a shelter.
The joint workshop members seem to be focused on upgrading what already exists and do not see what is missing. There are plenty of ballfields and playgrounds but not one place for an old-fashioned family picnic or reunion, including the elderly, that is sheltered from possible rain showers or a hot sun.
What is needed, preferably at Lakeside Park, is a shelter able to accommodate 20-30 people with picnic tables and a place for grilling. Most cities and towns have such minimal facilities. This shortcoming should have been noticed by someone on this committee. Hopefully it is not too late to fix this oversight.
Where’s the Outrage?
When it comes to the question of hauling sand from the site formerly known as John’s Black Dirt, the answer should not be about which neighborhoods should endure the ridiculous and unsafe parade of trucks. Will it be the north-side residents on their narrow, residential roads or should it be the south-side residents on their narrow, gravel roads?
What the goal should be is to end negotiations for the interim use permit and start proceedings to revoke the conditional use permit still in place.
Two members of the Columbus City Council were thanked in last week’s Forest Lake Times for stopping a business proposal that would have brought too much large-truck traffic to the Columbus business district. Where is the concern and the outrage from residents and council members when they want to allow fully-loaded belly-dumper trucks at the rate of one every six minutes for eight months – and every year for five years – in a rural residential area?
These roads were not meant for large trucks to run on them and pass cars safely. This holds true for bicyclists, pedestrians and school buses, too.
The mayor of Wyoming saw how this affected his residents and took action. Although his actions have had serious, negative consequences on my south-side hauling route, I applaud him for listening to his citizens.
I ask Columbus citizens to please get involved. Contact our city and City Council members. Attend the council meeting on March 19. This involves our homes, our families’ safety and our way of life.