Call Rep. Connie Ruth and Sen. Dick Day

The legislative special session will give Sen. Dick Day and Rep. Connie Ruth another chance to correct the tax exemption bill for Simon Industries power plant. They can fix this by naming Blooming Grove Township as a necessary party to approve of the exemption and by mandating a Host Fee Agreement for both the County and Township.

Call Sen. Dick Day at (651) 296-9457 and Rep. Connie Ruth at (651) 296-5368 and tell them to represent their constituents and fix the language of their bill to include the Township and a Host Fee Agreement!

Hard work is recognized

Here is a tribute Nancy Prehn, from the Editorial Board of the Waseca County News, for her work on the Waseca area power plant, where she was successful in advocating for a Resolution from both Waseca County and Blooming Grove Township, securing their rights to negotiate a Host Fee Agreement with Simon Industries, as other communities have done.

It only takes one persion

It is worth noting that individual citizens can alter public debate.

We have three examples right in Waseca where a citizen, later joined by like-minded residents, has raised questions about public policy that would otherwise have gone unasked.

While the outcome does not always match the desires of the protesters, we should not undervalue the role they play.

When a plan to build a new road and trail around Clear Lake was proposed, Waseca resident Andy Miller raised questions that led to the formation of an advisory committee. The result was another look at the plan, and revisions that addressed some, if not all, of the trail opponents’ issues.

When a new and bigger Wal-Mart was proposed, then mayor Tom Hagen began a debate about the value and effect of the larger big box store in Waseca. While the council ultimately approved the plan, the debate was public and two-sided. Raising the questions also resulted in a study that looked at the future of the city and what the larger Wal-Mart might mean.

When the Waseca County Commissioners approved a power plant north of Waseca, it would have been a done deal with no public scrutiny or township involvement had not resident Nancy Prehn voiced her concerns.

Prehn’s dogged pursuit of the plan’s details, and her willingness to put herself on the front of the issue, led ultimately to the inclusion of Blooming Grove Township in future negotiations with power plant owners.

It is not easy to be the focus of a public discussion and it requires exceptional commitment. But sometimes it takes only one person to bring a debate into the light of day.

In the same edition of the Waseca County News is an editorial from Kimber Prehn:

Thanks to County Commissioners

Here’s Kimber Prehn and Mike White of Dahlen-Berg, when Kimber and Nancy toured the Faribault plant to get an idea what they could expect across the road from them if the Simon plant is built.

Prehn & White at Faribault Plant.jpg

The people in the community who have been working so hard on this issue appreciate the efforts of their local officials who represent them. They listened and got the job done!

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