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Montevideo American-News - Montevideo, MN
  • Letters to the Editor, Thursday, April 3

  • The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers. Letters regarding current local and national news items are encouraged. All letters are subject to editing for length and style. Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published. Letters must contain name, address and phone numb...
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    The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers. Letters regarding current local and national news items are encouraged. All letters are subject to editing for length and style. Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published. Letters must contain name, address and phone number for verification and in case of questions. E-mail letters to:  jjones@montenews.com Letters may also be mailed to:  Editor, Montevideo Publishing, P.O. Box 99, Montevideo, MN 56265
     
    Do not derail the Milwaukee Road
     
    Last week, at the Anniversary party given by the Admirals, Derek Schiff asked for the floor. He is an employee of one of Kevin Walt’s many enterprises. An impassioned plea was made for any Chamber member to apply pressure on the City Council to accept Mr. Wald’s proposal to use the Milwaukee Road park for an industrial development project of his.
     
    This property is presently leased to the Milwaukee Road Heritage Foundation. They have worked very hard to restore the Sand House and the turntable as well as the rest of the yard to reflect the days when Montevideo was a Division Point on the Milwaukee Road.
     
    This organization has not only an active membership in the Montevideo area, but also members in the Twin Cities and other places on the Milwaukee Road. These people regularly make trips to Montevideo, but also make monetary contributions to the Foundation. This group has had, and is continuing to get, grants from the Minnesota Historical Society, among other large contributors. Some of these members also own equipment and railroad cars that are on display at the yard.
     
    Page 2 of 3 - Loss of this property would be a total waste of years of work, money and planning. Also lost would be a great historical link to Montevideo associated with the Milwaukee Road. Many Montevideo families can trace their roots to the ancestors who worked out of this important Division Point.
     
    Judging from the historic connection between Montevideo and the Milwaukee Road, I do not understand why this proposal is even up for debate. Mr. Wald had been advised that other properties along the right of way are available.
     
    His spokesperson stated that if this site was not made available to Mr. Wald, he would likely take his business and around 20 jobs with it and go to neighboring towns.
     
    Obviously, they don’t have a rail yard either, so where is the advantage? Should the City of Montevideo cave in to Mr. Wald’s demand and, at a later date, if he decides that Montevideo is no longer to his liking, what do we have? We would have a destroyed historic site and one more property to dispose of. It is a proven fact in Montevideo that industries come and go. Is the destruction of the railroad park worth the risk?
     
    I can only guess how many seconds the debate would last if a developer proposed to bulldoze Chippewa City to make way for a truck stop, or destroy the Swenson Farm to put up a grain storage site or beet dump. Years ago, it took foresight and planning to develop these treasures for people to enjoy. Please do not derail the Milwaukee Road Heritage Site.
     
    Page 3 of 3 -       —Robert E. Christensen
     
    Montevideo
     

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