Letter: Meeting appears to be unadulterated Xcel promotion
A "community meeting" has been announced for 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, in the Red Wing Public Library.
This appears to be a promotional meeting for the garbage incinerator ash mining project that the Red Wing Public Works Department is pushing along with Xcel Energy. An announcement from the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce gives the impression that the chamber is also promoting this.
I have already written more than once about what a bad idea this is, the potential health hazards, and so on, and will not repeat those now. Others in Red Wing, including Mayor Dan Bender, are objecting for their own reasons.
The Minnesota "environmental review" process is supposed to provide objective information that can help to guide decision making. It seems that in this case the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency may have abandoned professionalism and integrity, and be conniving with the city of Red Wing, Xcel and the vendor (Labtec) to promote the ash scheme. I hope not and have made a data request to the MPCA to confirm what's really happening.
A "community" or "informational" meeting should not be purely promotional — it should not be held, and public officials should not participate, without a serious effort to provide balanced information; to present both sides of the story. So far, this one stinks.
New faces will appear on the Red Wing City Council, on city boards and commissions, and otherwise, in the upcoming year. Will the newcomers have the gumption to shut down this bad idea or will they continue the council tradition of being little more than a Public Works Department/Xcel echo chamber?