Letter: Water is deal-killer; let's act responsibly
To the Editor:
The March 23 editorial that appraised the status of proposed sand mine legislation was accurate though discouraging. Although it outlined that statewide action might not be successful, there was no obstacle to citizens and Goodhue County Board taking action to protect ourselves.
I am reasonably certain that when County Board members ran for the office they did not anticipate the problems presented by silica sand mines -- airborne sand causing cancer, loud noise from dynamiting, truck traffic, poisoned water and dust.
Most of all they had no prior knowledge of mining's tremendous need for water and that it would jeopardize other existing, competing needs such as domestic, agricultural and industrial. They had no warning that granting permits would jeopardize quality of life and that citizens would not take this matter lightly.
Richard Samuelson is a lifelong farmer from Cannon Falls with a long and respected history. There is nothing in his background that would reflect a willingness to be put in his present predicament.
James Bryant has spent his entire career in the interest of public safety, being a Red Wing police officer and active on his town board.
Ron Allen has been a psychologist helping those in need, as well as an officer in the U. S. military, serving several tours in the Mideast since 9/11.
Ted Seifert has spent several decades in health care, establishing a respected and successful system to deliver care to the disabled.
Dan Rechtzigel teaches at Kenyon-Wanamingo High School. He certainly has an interest and understanding of how history will treat events relating to silica sand mining in Goodhue County.
These are all honorable, respected and responsible people. It is difficult to believe they would act in a manner that would create disaster.
The water shortage problem is increasing at a rapid rate. There are no viable options or remedies other than to cut down on usage. It would be tragic to allow an "extremely thirsty" user such as sand mines to step into the picture. This is a deal killer.
Just say no. The ordinance should state: "Silica sand mines are prohibited in Goodhue County."
Be on the right side of history. If you aren't, you will find history very unforgiving.
Richard W. Johnson