To the editor:
The Dec. 3 article regarding an Albertville City Council meeting is incorrect and confusing. The author is mistaken, as he’s clearly referring to the St. Michael City Council. And while the County Road 19 expansion was outlined in the County’s 5-year transportation plan in 2017, a project of this magnitude and potential impact deserves accurate reporting. The microscopic and unreadable maps show the area North of I-94, past the Outlet Mall, but the significant portion of the discussion is the plan that’s “cuts right through the heart of downtown St. Michael.” (Steve Bot) The next paragraph has us back in Albertville, ending with a discussion about “community feel” and “additional lanes.”
This project proposes to expand County Rd. 19 to four lanes, all the way to Hanover, destroy many existing homes and cost about $12 million, all paid for by the one-half cent county wide sales tax. Some of you are about to lose your homes. Anyone near the construction area will be greatly inconvenienced for the next couple of years by noise, dust, odors and utility disruptions. When it’s done, you’ll be left with increased traffic volume, air and light pollution. So much for that “downtown feel.”
Negatively impacted property owners deserve to be more fully and clearly informed, their voices heard, and in the sad event of a condemnation, fairly compensated with no ensuing legal burdens. The “open house” format reduces and often eliminates meaningful public comments from the public record.
Based on my own personal experience over the last 20 years with the St. Michael City Council, Wright County Commissioners, the Wright County Highway Department, and years of legal wrangling, (all caused by their dishonest and illegal treatment of me,) this resulted in tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars being spent unnecessarily. My attorney called it “theft by surveyor.” I encourage all residents along the entire County Road 19 corridor to get informed and get involved. Your homes, quality of life and future financial security depend on it. I also ask the editorial staff to please at least try to provide accurate reporting. My 40-plus year subscription depends on it.