A waste of McLeod Co. taxpayer money

From: Gary Ballard, Glencoe
I attended a McLeod County budget meeting this past Tuesday.  The essence of the meeting was whether our county is prepared to spend $3 million (consisting of both county and state funds) of their possible share of nearly $4 million in costs to extend Morningside Avenue in Glencoe, a distance of three blocks.
Many concerns were raised:
1. What percent is the county’s share of the cost?  Should the cost be split 50/50 with the city of Glencoe?
2. What are the unknown problems of building over the old dump site?
3. What is the cost of removing the homes alongside Morningside (which are currently not included in the present costs of the project)?
4. What state and federal funds are available and for how long?
5. The county is not pushing for this project; the push is coming from Glencoe city officials.
6. If the county spends millions of dollars on this project, other county projects will need to be cut.
7. The county is looking at turning some of its county streets back over to the city of Glencoe to save money.  How does this affect future city costs?
8. How will the mediation on wetlands be handled?
9. How does Diamond Avenue’s closure affect city and county residents?
10. Should the project be delayed?
We know that this $1 million to be spent by the city could be better used to in other ways, like upgrading our present streets and not having to assess the adjoining property owners.
After conferring with a road engineer, I was informed that the amount of money spent on the three-block Morningside extension could provide the replacement of 7.5 miles of streets with a seven-ton rating.  This would be an enormous amount of savings for the taxpayers.
Another county board meeting is set for Tuesday, April 2, with Glencoe city officials invited.  I hope the city officials discuss the items listed above and view this monster expense with the same reservations as did the county.
Call the county commissioners, and voice your concerns over this unnecessary project — or put the project on hold.  In 2001, Glencoe residents (1,354) petitioned to halt this very project.

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