The City of Houston MN, along with certain OHV clubs have introduced for some time now an OHV trail on lands adjoining the Southside park and residential lands within the city.

There has been both pros and cons concerning this proposal.

Things to consider are the impact on the environment and well being of residents within this area.

Discussions among DNR Division of Parks and Trails, City of Houston, Houston County and OHV recreational groups led to the decision by three organized clubs to apply to the city for formal Grant-in-Aid sponsorship in July 2010. The clubs outlined a 600-acre footprint held by six different land owners, within which they believe a recreational trail could be developed.

The clubs applied through the city for a total of $200K, including $150K  for Rochester Rough Riders ORV club and $50k for Rochester Golden Eagles off-highway motorcycle club.

These dollars were to provide match for $150K of federal recreational funds previously awarded to the city of Houston and the Rochester Rough Riders ORV club.

In a Letter dated Oct. 15, 2013:

In a letter to the City of Houston administrator from Mr. Ron Meiners (District Manager for Root River Soil and Water Conservation District) mentioned the slopes and soils on this parcel are highly erodible especially when exposed. Vegetation establishment is difficult and may cause problems with the slightest use may cause problems and difficult to maintain its structure. It is also likely that off-sediment delivery could be significant.

From a Report from Jess Altoff DNR prepared by WSB Associates

RE: Environmental Assessment

Site is hilly, bluff terrain from top to bottom.

-Cap top of ridge is collaborations and diplomatic sandstone.

-Jordan sandstone underlies very top. Jordan sandstone is very soft and easily eroded. Approx. 80’ to 100’ thick, between 1000 to 1100 contours, very important AQUIFER FILTER.

-Next: St. Lawrence formation 110’to 120’ thick, highly erodible.  Covers about 12,800 sq. miles in southeast MN.

-Wonewoc sandstone, highly erodible where exposed.

-Bottom most is unconsolidated sand, gravel, clay and organics as colluvium from uplands and alluvium from nearby streams, also highly erodible.

My opinion is that this proposed OHV trail in this fragile environment is not feasible to sustain the integrity of the area.

Also to take into consideration is the fact that the Houston City wells are in very close vicinity of this project and could be very prone to contaminates from hydro carbons which consist of any organic compound,gaseous liquid, or solid. Carbon and hydrogen (gas, oil).

Any concerns for neighbor’s wells or sand points or the city wells?

Signed,

Terry Jergenson 

Houston

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