Letter: Where is the common sense from officials?

Published 8:21 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2018

How many people will lose their homes due to the city’s plan to locate a fire station in a residential area?

The city of Albert Lea owns a large, empty space of land where the old Farmstead plant was until a fire burned it down. This land has sat empty for 10-plus years with no plan for development. The road to this area is very good. It’s located in a central part of the city, and to build the fire station there, no one loses their taxpaying homes. Also, the land would get put to good use. If the fire station were located here, there is less chance of a passing train delaying an emergency call. Also, the roads are wider and would handle the large trucks better than the congested, part-residential area at Newton Avenue and Pearl Street.

Next, $9 million is a tremendous amount of money to spend on a fire station! I believe this station could be built for far less, saving the taxpayers money. The expense will be even higher due to purchase and demolition costs for the existing homes and buildings.

I know several of the people who live in the homes that will be purchased or taken away from the residents losing their homes, and they are saying they are not being paid enough for their homes to replace them. Some do not want their homes taken from them. The next thing I do not understand is why the people of Albert Lea get no say in this matter. After all, it is the taxpayers’ money that will build this facility.

Lastly, in the articles I have read and stories I have heard, there is not one good reason to build in the location they have chosen that requires the destruction of taxpaying citizens’ homes.

Where is the common sense from our city officials? According to the Sept. 25 newspaper article, the only reason not to build on Blazing Star Landing is because a worker smelled gas, which was later deemed unfounded. There is plenty of space at the Blazing Star site. It looks like it’s time for a change in elected officials. We need people who will not throw families out of their homes and waste large amounts of tax dollars needlessly.

Julie Sorenson

Albert Lea