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Not in my backyard


Fri, Oct 5th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, June 26, 2000

In the usually quiet burg of Spring Valley, the hot topic of conversation has switched as of late. While recent flooding has left the community with much to contemplate, another issue is sizzling to the forefront. Whats behind all the ruckus is the proposed route that would connect Spring Valley to the Root River State Trail.

It all really started back in 1993, when Spring Valley signed up, along with Chatfield, Fountain, Wykoff, Preston and Ostrander, to develop a joint agreement for developing trails connecting these cities to the existing Root River State Trail and towns such as Lanesboro, Rushford and Houston. The connection, as outlined in the plans, would also head south to Ostrander and LeRoy, eventually connecting up with Mower Countys trail system. Representatives from each of the communities were selected to represent their interests on a committee, which has become known as the Joint Powers Board.

While the Joint Powers Board has been successful in obtaining options to purchase land from some local landowners, a group of concerned farmers from Spring Valley and Wykoff are digging in their heels and refusing to sell. Their beef is not only with the Joint Powers Board, but with Spring Valley City leaders, who they say refuse to hear their concerns.

At the crux of all the fuss is a portion of land thats needed to connect Spring Valleys existing in-town trail to the City Farm, a parcel of land about two miles east of town. The city-owned acreage is slated for a campground and recreational area to accommodate future trail users. That, in itself, is causing neighboring landowners concern, but worse is the threat of condemnation of their land for not agreeing to allow trails on their property. Condemnation is a legal practice that has taken place throughout the county, but to the group of Spring Valley/Wykoff landowners its an ugly word that is pitting neighbor against neighbor and town folk against farmer.
One side of the story


"Weve lived, raised our family and farmed in Spring Valley for 45 years," said Ruth Kaster, who along with husband, Floyd, operates a large family farm, just on the edge of town. The Kasters are one of the two so-called "hold-outs" and have refused to sell a parcel that would provide an essential link to whats currently planned for Spring Valleys trail system.

While the Kasters admit that very little of their land would be af .....
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Canton, MN

Fri, Oct 5th, 2001
Posted in

Canton, Minnesota, located along U.S. Highway 52 is the first city in Minnesota along this major north-south route.

Canton was originally founded in 1879 as a stopping point for the railroad. At first its legal name was "Boomer," depicting ho ..... 
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Caledonia, MN

Fri, Oct 5th, 2001
Posted in

Caledonia was named for the ancient name of Scotland. Caledonians celebrate their founding with an annual Founder's Day celebration in June. The hardwood forests and terrain are unique to this area. Torrents of meltwater carved out deep valleys and l ..... 
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Preston, MN

Fri, Oct 5th, 2001
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The city of Preston became situated on the south branch of the Root River in 1853. The location of the town was most desirable as the river afforded opportunities for a dam, land for houses and access to abundant supplies of timber, water power, ..... 
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God Bless our Firefighters

Fri, Oct 5th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, October 1, 2001

Firefighters and emergency personnel rushed to the scene after a merciless tragedy began to unfold on Tuesday, September 11. I, like so many others watched with fear and disbelief. The events occurring seemed to continu ..... 
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Gadgets & Gizmos

Fri, Oct 5th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, September 17, 2001

After fourteen years we have bought a new car and I am amazed at the changes in style and technology of todays cars. The cockpit of this car has more instruments and gauges than any airplane that I have ever flown. ..... 
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Commute 006

Fri, Oct 5th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, October 8, 2001

Chautauqua is a place in western New York state that I visited this summer. If you were to look up Chautauqua in the dictionary, you would also find that it has evolved into a common noun, as in "Lets have a chautauqu ..... 
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Are You Game?

Fri, Oct 5th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, September 24, 2001

A lot has gone down in the world since the last column. The attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. make sports seem terribly unimportant. But I must say it was nice to see Major League Baseball return last week so ..... 
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It's a Disaster!

Fri, Oct 5th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, October 1, 2001

"It's a disaster!" I hear my father's voice, intonation and exact words come out of my mouth. I've just been trying to put a new coat of solid color stain on a wall of my house; it's not covering well; all the brush str ..... 
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