Open Forum for Aug. 31, 2017

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, 146 N. Lake St., Suite 125, Forest Lake, or by e-mail to [email protected] 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. Letters by the same writer will not be published more than once per calendar month.

A marked improvement

I am a Forest Lake High School student, and I wanted to say thanks to everyone who helped make the high school construction happen. A renovated parking lot coupled with a new math and science wing make up the majority of the improvements so far. Existing hallways have been improved by adding places for students to spend time. With the changes, the experience of going to Forest Lake High School is completely different from last year.

Elliott Krohnke

Let them know

The City Council, and mayor of Columbus are working hard to allow an asphalt plant to be built in the southeast corner of Columbus. Thinking nobody lives in this area, they feel it’s a good match. Unfortunately, they didn’t take into consideration the many of us who actually do live in this area. These officials are jeopardizing the health and well-being of the residents of Columbus, Lino Lakes, Hugo and Forest Lake. The emissions from this asphalt plant are toxic to you and your family. Depending on which way the wind blows, it could affect everyone within a six-mile radius.
This plant could also affect the groundwater in this area. There are two drainage ditches located nearby; the water runs into Rice Creek. Eventually, it could affect the wells of the residents living around the asphalt plant.

Our roads will become dangerous with asphalt fumes and traffic from 500 plus dump trucks per day coming and going on West Freeway Drive and 20th Avenue. This one road (name changes at Columbus/Lino Lakes border) is the only way for the trucks to get to Interstate 35. Five hundred trucks travelling these roads over the course of an eight-hour shift is approximately one truck per minute.

Please let the city of Columbus officials know you are opposed to this type of business being built in our family-oriented neighborhood.

Dennis and Marlene Nelson

A tireless servant

We are lucky to have Congressman Rick Nolan as our congressman! He works tirelessly to help communities in the 8th District secure grants and loans to improve their communities. A classic example is in Pine City, where his work with the Army Corps of Engineers has secured a large part of the funding for the city’s sewer and water line replacement under the Snake River. This will save local taxpayers lots of money and help the city move forward on this much-needed infrastructure project.

His efforts can be seen across the district. In Itasca County, Congressman Nolan and our U.S. Senators helped get grants and loans to replace three miles of wastewater pipe that is falling apart. Similar efforts resulted in millions of dollars for the Sky Harbor in Duluth for a runway and funding for the Bemidji airport to build new hangars.

Congressman Nolan says Minnesota is a donor state. We send more to Washington in taxes than we get back, while some southern states get more than $6 back for every dollar they send to Washington. Nolan is working to change that ratio by working to get more money back to Minnesota for these much-needed infrastructure projects!

Charlie Rike
Pine City