New Richmond City Council needs to do more homework before needlessly spending money for pollution investigations and taking on businesses that have precedent back to President Lincoln’s time.
First, they fight the railroad and accomplish nothing. You can see that by the berm height and sparsity of planted trees: thousand of dollars wasted on lawyers with inevitable loss and no railroad cooperation.
Our business deals with the rail industry. We have to follow rules set by RRs. We know the U.S. government places a high regard on moving freight efficiently and the RRs know exactly what their powers are and so do most lawyers.
The rep from the RR said right off, if the city and town fight the project, the money the RR spends on legal staff directly comes out of money to mitigate the site impact. Exactly what happened.
Now the council drops $59,000 on a study to reduce phosphorus in the Willow River. About five years ago, the county did a similar study, finding that runoff from farms and household lawns near the river leads to most of the problem.
The city did a great job cleaning up the annual flush and dump into the river from the sewage system and recent past treatment plant managers should be commended; we can see the changes in the river every spring.
Maybe now the city would work with the town of Richmond and listen to the county agent who recommended not approving a developer’s request to make lots along the river right smaller than originally permitted. The agent noted it would add to the phosphorus load, but that developer carries a lot of weight and the town approved doubling the number of lots. The developer threatened to have the city annex the property -- it would have meant the developer would have to pay for curbs, road improvements, etc. -- but the town caved.
But both the city and town used the county agent’s recommendation against the rail project. Hmmmm. Looks like elected officials like to pick and choose when to listen to the professionals. It's obviously time for new leadership. Or at least calls to them to do their homework before spending money
Town of Richmond