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Fri, Apr 20th, 2001
Posted in

To the Editor,

I have been following with more than a little trepidation the announcements from Senator Kenric Scheevel and Representative Greg Davids regarding bills in the legislature that would mandate biodiesel as a 2% (increasing to 5% by 2006) additive to diesel fuel. (See “Another View, Soybeans In Our Fuel?” Fillmore County Journal, Monday, April 9, 2001).

Senator Scheevel and Representative Davids both proclaim this additive to be “good for the environment” and one that will give us cleaner air. This is reminiscent of what was said to us when they pushed the ethanol fuel additive, too.

The air in Preston now carries TONS of particulate matter each year from the Ethanol plant that was built at the north end of town. I can no longer hang laundry outside to dry in the “clean” country air. My quality of life as a Preston resident has diminished because of increasingly more frequent and severe asthma attacks than I ever had living in the Twin Cities.

I emphatically hope that Scheevel and Davids (or anyone else) aren’t dreaming up plans to build a biodiesel plant anywhere near Preston. Considering the nauseating stench on any given day that settles over this city when the wind blows it into the valley from the ethanol plant, it doesn’t take much effort to figure out why the population of Preston is dropping while neighboring towns and cities are growing.

Kathleen Attwood
Preston, MN

To the Editor,

I have been following with more than a little trepidation the announcements from Senator Kenric Scheevel and Representative Greg Davids regarding bills in the legislature that would mandate biodiesel as a 2% (increasing to 5% by 2006) additive to diesel fuel. (See “Another View, Soybeans In Our Fuel?” Fillmore County Journal, Monday, April 9, 2001).

Senator Scheevel and Representative Davids both proclaim this additive to be “good for the environment” and one that will give us cleaner air. This is reminiscent of what was said to us when they pushed the ethanol fuel additive, too.

The air in Preston now carries TONS of particulate matter each year from the Ethanol plant that was built at the north end of town. I can no longer hang laundry outside to dry in the “clean” country air. My quality of life as a Preston resident has diminished because of increasingly more frequent and severe asthma attacks than I ever had living in the Twin Cities.

I emphatically hope that Scheevel and Davids (or anyone else) aren’t dreaming up plans to build a biodiesel plant anywhere near Preston. Considering the nauseating stench on any given day that settles over this city when the wind blows it into the valley from the ethanol plant, it doesn’t take much effort to figure out why the population of Preston is dropping while neighboring towns and cities are growing.

Kathleen Attwood
Preston, MN

To the Editor,

After reading the Journal’s opinion on the Facilities Committee’s report (Page 3, Monday, March 26 edition) I would like to make some comments.

I, too, would like to thank the committee for the time and effort they put in, but I wonder who they have been talking to, and listening to, in order to come up with some of their findings. They criticized the County Commissioners of the last forty years for not maintaining the courthouse.

How were past commissioners derelict in their responsibilities in maintaining the courthouse? Yes, we now need a new heating system, elevator, and possible replacement of some doors and windows but the courthouse was a well constructed building and is still in exceptionally good condition. The roof is only five years old, the tile floors are in good condition and the ceilings and walls are in excellent condition. The carpet needs to be replaced and some areas need paint but every building does from time to time.

With the exception of the carpet, the courthouse is in good condition. As for concern about security, I believe there were only three murder trials in our courtroom in the twenty eight years I served as a county commissioner. Maybe a metal detector and a guard at the door when the court deems it necessary, but do we really need a new courtroom?

There is not a space problem. The new office building was built to eliminate that problem. If common sense is used in allocating space in the basement of the new office building and in the courthouse, there should be adequate space for years to come.

The committee talked about a shortage of jail space. The jail was built in 1969 and a small juvenile detention addition was added about four years ago. Fillmore County has been renting jail space to Dodge County for several years. If we are short of space maybe it’s time to stop renting out space. There are people at the state level who would like to make a Holiday Inn out of our jail. When they furnish the money, maybe, but until then, let’s keep our little Super 8 jail.

The county surveyor’s and the engineer’s offices and drafting department have been newly remodeled.

Just maybe, Fillmore County’s buildings are not quite as bad as some people would have us believe.

I know the committee was told they did not need concern themselves with finances, but with school districts, small cities, and our own county struggling with tight budgets, I hope the commissioners will use their own good judgment and proceed with the necessary upgrading of our present courthouse.

Robert Thompson
Lanesboro, MN

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