Letter: Commissioner hit nail on the head

Published 9:00 am Sunday, February 26, 2017

Editor’s note: The Shell Rock River Watershed District encompasses 246-square miles located entirely within Freeborn County.

Dan Belshan, District 2 commissioner of Freeborn County, wrote a letter to the editor in a recent Albert Lea Tribune.

Dan hit the nail right on the head. I have never understood how the Shell Rock River Watershed District has the right to levy taxes on taxpayers. They should be voted in an election like the rest of our officials. Then they get out of hand, by wasting our tax dollars on equipment too small to do the job, unnecessary storage bills on that equipment and vote themselves raises. They should be replaced. We have no control over them otherwise.

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Now, I do not want to hear that the people of this community by a great majority wanted clean water and air. We all do, want and need the above, but it must be fair and balanced. It took 150 years to pollute the water. Why not take 50 years to clean it up? This would not have to bankrupt local residents.

I am sure the SRRWD feel they are doing good. Before my life ends, I would under their direction, be able to take a cool clean, clear, pail of water out of Fountain Lake to drink from. Of course, retired people may have to get it by the pail full because their budget probably won’t have enough left in it to pay the taxes and city water/sewer bill. But by then they will be too old to carry a pail of water home.

A friend of mine farms in the Arlington area nearly 100 miles north of here. His farm pays a hefty tax on water coming south. Just how far-reaching is this Watershed District? Why and how did these people manage to levy taxes without the voter consent?

The Environmental Protection Agency came into being under President Richard Nixon’s watch. Back then, the EPA took its orders from Congress, yet somehow today the EPA tells Congress and the voter what to do.

You have all witnessed the raw abuses that have occurred when they are not held accountable. A special thank you to Rep. Peggy Bennett, Dan Belshan, Pat Martinson, Kelly Callahan and David Walker. They all serve the taxpayer in elected positions. They all deserve our support.

They help hold down our taxes and get more bang for the buck.

Joe Becker

Albert Lea