Archived Story

Sparks showed he cares about Albert Lea

Published 10:19am Thursday, May 22, 2014

I read your recent editorial about the role of Sen. Dan Sparks in regard to the Fountain Lake dredging proposal to clean up and remove accumulated sediments from the lake that was requested in this year’s capital investment bill.

Everyone in Albert Lea should know how much effort, dedication and ultimate success Dan Sparks brought to the debate. As someone who worked in a significant way with the bonding process, I can speak firsthand of how resolute Dan was in talking with us about the proposal and how strongly he advocated for Albert Lea.

And, ultimately, I can tell you how successful he was. The Fountain Lake proposal was funded at the full request of $7.5 million. It is unusual to receive full funding in the bonding bill (by contrast the primary request of the city of Minneapolis was for the Nicollet Mall renovation; it got 86 percent of the requested amount. One of my principal priorities for St. Paul, the city I represent in the Senate, the Ordway Theater, got 80 percent of the requested amount).

Full funding for the Fountain Lake proposal was as a result of the tireless advocacy of Sen. Dan Sparks. I can assure you that Albert Lea got its full value from the very effective representation of Dan during this year’s legislative session. It couldn’t have been done any better.


Richard J. Cohen

state senator chairman

Senate Finance Committee

St. Paul