State representatives rarely get thanks

Published 9:45 am Friday, July 9, 2010

Recently I drove past the west entrance to Edgewater Park and noticed that the gate was open and the road was in so that the park was again usable by the public. This reminded me that a very large project, the moving of the 1960s landfill, was complete, a project that totaled over $5 million when all paid for.  When I was with the city we knew we had a problem but we had no idea where the money would come from to remove the waste buried there and relocate it to a modern landfill. It looked like something that might take years to accomplish and require a bond issue approved by voters to pay for it. Elections for things like this frequently are hard to pass. The size and scope of the project meant there was no alternative source of money available to the city that would not have crippled the city government.

In 2006 the state of Minnesota set aside money in the state bonding bill to do the entire project. Further, the state agreed to take over the site and responsibility for the removed waste forever. This was an amazing benefit to our community. Why did the state agree to do that and who does Albert Lea have to thank for that action? Our state representative at the time, Dan Dorman. If Dan had not included our landfill in the state bonding bill that year it wouldn’t have happened, and we would still be looking at a major problem with no viable solution.

So, as we begin to use North Edgewater Park again and drive along the northwest corner of the park, take time to remember who to thank for its improvement and return to usefulness. If you get a chance in the next few weeks to personally thank Dan, do it. Government officials seldom get a thank you, and this one is much deserved.

Email newsletter signup

Paul Sparks

Albert Lea