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Editorial: County Board needs to say “No” on Heartland JOBZ


Fri, Oct 29th, 2004
Posted in Features

Perhaps we should call ourselves “lucky” that Preston native Bob Maust has chosen to bestow his hometown with the benevolence of his good intentions. A real life Sugar Daddy, one might say.

“Heartland, will bring good paying jobs,” is the mantra. “Those people will live in our towns and their kids will go to our schools,” goes the drill.

There is also a Machiavellian side to this story - that we have been chosen because of our familiarity and, more importantly, our malleability; that our city councils and units of government can be easily cowed by people who splash money around and have access to power.

Or maybe we were chosen because of our great geographical location - near a bottle-necked intersection on a two-lane highway not far from scenic river valleys.Would we have acquiesced to an outsider coming in with a smile, $50 million, and, oh by the way, 10 million tires to burn a year? Probably not.

Would we have at least asked, “What about an environmental study?” More than likely.Would we have given them a business subsidy of a million dollars? Doubtful.

On Tuesday, the Fillmore County Board will probably take up Heartland’s pre-application for a Job Opportunity Business Zone (JOBZ) business subsidy. There are plenty of reasons to say, No.

The first is health. The cities of Decorah and Lanesboro, two communities downwind from Preston, have both called for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) out of concerns about the health effects of the proposed tire-burning plant. The Zumbro Valley Medical Society, comprised of health professionals from Olmsted, Dodge, Winona, Fillmore and Houston counties, have also called for an EIS, as have the Fillmore-Houston Joint Board of Health, which is made up of county commissioners from both counties.

Health concerns should have precedence over economic ones. An EIS should be required before a business subsidy is even considered.

The second reason to say no is ownership. According to the pre-applicaton submitted by Heartland, Bob and Elaine Maust will each hold 10% shares in the company, with the balance being held by investors in a limited liability company.

Giving subsidies to absentee investors may make sense from a financial investment standpoint, but it is done so at the risk that social and health concerns will ta .....
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Fillmore County District Court: Former Lanesboro teacher faces felony theft charges

Fri, Oct 29th, 2004
Posted in Features

Criminal theft charges were filed in Fillmore County District Court on Monday, October 25, against Vernon Wayne Groen, 56, of Lanesboro for misuse of funds from an FFA account at the Lanesboro Public Schools. Groen is former teacher at the school.[Read the Rest]

A Lesson in Intolerance

Fri, Oct 29th, 2004
Posted in Features

The history of our United States is a rich trove of information on human nature. We rarely teach our complete history in our public schools, choosing instead to feed ourselves a fairy-tale, sanitized version, with shining heroes and great achievement ..... 
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Commissioners’ Report: Citizen voices heard on Heartland about JOBZ

Fri, Oct 29th, 2004
Posted in Features

Citizens took the opportunity on this last County Board meeting in October to voice their concerns and objections to the awarding of JOBZ to Heartland Energy and Recycling.

Fran Sauer requested that the Board carefully consider ..... 
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County EDA recommends acceptance of Heartland pre-application

Fri, Oct 29th, 2004
Posted in Features

The pre-application from Heartland Energy and Recycling for a business subsidy moved one step closer to approval on Wednesday, October 27, when the Fillmore County EDA voted to accept a full application from the tire burning plant. The matter now goe ..... 
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Rushford City Council Report: Bartelson resigns effective December 31

Fri, Oct 29th, 2004
Posted in Features

Larry Bartelson, Rushford City Administrator, officially resigned from his position at the Rushford City Council meeting Monday, October 25. Bartelson said he was resigning for “personal reasons” effective at the end of the calendar year, December 31 ..... 
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Fillmore Central School Board: District accepts MnDOT offer on sale of land for Hwy 52

Fri, Oct 29th, 2004
Posted in Features

The Fillmore Central School Board, at its Tuesday, October 26 meeting, accepted an offer to sell 3 - 1/3 acres of land near the school complex in Preston to the state of Minnesota for the Highway 52 project.

The district will re ..... 
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Fire claims life of Fountain man

Fri, Oct 22nd, 2004
Posted in Features

The house on 1st Street in Fountain looks like most of the other homes on the quiet, tree lined street. The two story white clapboard house has a large cedar tree in the front yard and a statue of the Virgin Mary in front of the house.

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Davids seeks eighth term in House

Fri, Oct 22nd, 2004
Posted in Features

Editor’s note: The Journal’s Al Mathison sat down with Republican candidate Greg Davids to discuss his campaign for the District 31B House seat. This interview took place prior to the ruling by the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board on Octo ..... 
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