Letter: Cuts are common - why not add HLWD?I am all for flood control and water quality improvement, but why does the Heron Lake Watershed District show blatant irresponsibility in their request for additional locally generated funding in order to expand their program?
By: Sandra Hartman, Okabena, Worthington Daily Globe
I am all for flood control and water quality improvement, but why does the Heron Lake Watershed District show blatant irresponsibility in their request for additional locally generated funding in order to expand their program?
This request comes at a time when:
l Our country’s infrastructure is crumbling;
l 130 Minnesota school districts voted on referendums because of financial reductions by the federal and state governments.
l Several post offices in rural Minnesota have been closed or will be closing.
l Additional financial burdens are being passed down from federal, state and county agencies to the taxpayers.
l One-sixth of our nation’s population lives at or below the poverty level threshold and will be increasing their demands upon already strained public assistance programs at the federal, state and local level.
l Every other public agency is being asked to conserve or to cut their staff and/or services.
I find it very concerning that the Heron Lake Watershed District, through the addition of the Water Management District funding mechanism contained within their proposed 307-page Water Management Plan can essentially increase the local financial burden to the watershed taxpayers by an additional $200,000 annually. (Incidentally, this plan was written by a consultant at a cost to the HLWD of approximately $15,000).
The HLWD has sent their Watershed Management Plan to the state Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) for their approval with no modifications (despite the objections raised by over 90 percent of the people who spoke at the public hearing on Oct. 13). What was the point of having a public hearing and then ignoring what the people had to say?
If endorsed by BWSR, this plan could potentially cost the watershed taxpayers an additional $2 million over a period of 10 years. Can we afford this when not only Minnesota but the entire country is in one of the worst economic crises since the Great Depression?