Greetings from Redwood Falls!!!

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on December 2, 2009 @ 3:46 pm


Greetings from the Redwood Falls Community Center.  We’re here today for the Brookings CapX 2020 hearings, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.  Not that many people wanted to testify today, so we’re on break until 7.

Here’s what’s happened so far today, very rough notes, some stuff is missing, that’s just how it is, but you can get the idea:

ROUGH Notes from December 2

What’s interesting about today is MOES response to the issues raised yesterday in Marshall about the Citizen Advisory Task Force.  You remember MOES:

moes-tavernIn response to those comments yesterday, under oath, from people of this area who testified that they were denied a Citizens Advisory Task Force, that requests were disappeared, that calls were ignored, Asst. A.G. Hamill has announced that they will be preparing an Affidavit, from Scott Ek, about formation fo the Task Forces.  In the same vein, I’ve already ordered a transcript of the PUC meeting regarding Task Forces.  And I took some time just now to look at the record, as reported here, and oh yes, we do have a problem here…

Remember the post back in March, MOES denies western Citizens Advisory Task Force, when this Citizens Advisory Task Force problem was reported in the Marshall Independent:

Some residents of Lyon County townships said they were unhappy about not being allowed to form a citizens’ advisory task force on the routing process, like residents along the eastern parts of the routes had done.

“We applied, and from what I understand we were denied,” said Galen Boerboom, a resident of Westerheim Township. Boerboom said he had communicated with OES staff about forming a task force, but received no response. “There’s a lot of mistrust that comes, and a lot of questions unanswered.”

Grandview Township Clerk Brian Buysse said he had spoken personally with OES project manager Scott Ek about forming a task force. Harold Dieken of Fairview Township said he had also communicated with Ek via e-mail.

OES representatives at the meeting said they had mailed letters inquiring about task forces to area city, county and township government, but they received few responses. In the two areas that did form task forces, the government response was much larger, they said.

“If we don’t receive enough requests from (local government) entities, we can’t do it,” Ek said.

“I think there’s a lot of citizen interest, but that’s what these meetings are for,” said Deborah Pile of the OES.

At the PUC meeting, I’d tried to get a western Task Force nailed down, or nailed open, and as I recall, in the PUC’s Order it was an option if people contacted Commerce.  Now, looking through my emails from March and April, covered in my posts back then, I see that they tried out here to get one going and had no luck, that township officials had contacted Commerce, and it’s not just in my inbox, it’s in the paper!  When the EIS Scoping meeting came around, in March, in Marshall, they were really upset that they had asked for a Task Force and didn’t get one, and  that should show on the record of the scoping hearing … but wait… those aren’t scoping “hearings,” anymore, now they’re scoping “meetings.”  …but wait, there IS a transcript — here what was said about Task Forces way back in March, March 30, 2009, NINE MONTHS AGO.  The Dept. of Commerce knew then there was a problem, and did nothing… a Task Force could have been convened — the Scoping decision was not released until June 30, 2009, THREE MONTHS after the March 30 Marshall meeting, but Commerce knew there was a problem and did NOTHING.  N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

From the mARCH 30, 2009 transcript – TRANSCRIPT LINKED HERE:

TRANSCRIPT, P. 13, l. 9 – P. 15, l. 14.

MR. BOERBOOM: My name is Galen Boerboom,
I live between Ghent and Minneota.
First of all, I’d like to address what
you had said earlier when you got up about sending
out the letters with your first mailing. The
mailings looked like junk mail, to be honest with
you, so I don’t think a lot of people commented or
even looked at it. Secondly, we were advised that
we could have a public task force committee, there
was two of them, you said, that were up by the
New Prague area.

MR. EK: Correct.

MR. BOERBOOM: We applied, and from my
understanding, we were denied, or not given a chance
to have it. I went to a township meeting. We were
also told that all government agencies where the
line was run through was notified. The township
board never knew anything about it, nor the next one
to us didn’t know anything about it. So right away
red flags go up, mistrust is placed, and then when
we’re not allowed this input by the public task
force, there’s a lot of mistrust that comes, and a
lot of answers — questions that are not answered.
So some of this stuff you say I don’t believe. And
I don’t know how the other people feel, but I know
when you made the comment about the task force, I
seen people look at each other here and say how come
we weren’t allowed.

MR. EK: Well, I don’t know how to answer
that question, because we did send out letters to
all townships, all counties, all regional
development commissions, all large cities. And no,
we did not receive any —

MR. BOERBOOM: Oh, yes, you did. And
I’ll tell you the guy that called you was Ross
Thompson from our township, and he was sent mail
from your office and he e-mailed it back. Any
comment on this, Dan?

MR. WAMBEKE: I had called a couple of
times, but I’m just a citizen.

MR. BOERBOOM: There’s another member of
the township board in here, sitting right there.

MR. BUYSEE: I called you and e-mailed
you, hoping to be on a task force.

MR. EK: Okay. Well, we didn’t receive a
response from —

MR. BOERBOOM: You did.

MR. BUYSEE: I talked to you

MR. EK: And your name?

MR. BUYSEE: Brian Buysee.

MR. BOERBOOM: So, in other words, we’re
supposed to sit in this room and believe everything
else that’s said.

MR. EK: I’m sorry you feel that way,
Any other questions, comments?

TRANSCRIPT, p. 19, l. 10 – p. 20. l. 6.

MR. DIEKEN: My name is Harold Dieken,
D-I-E-K-E-N. I have a couple of comments here.

And number three, on this citizen task
force, I too filled out an application, I too sent
it e-mail and, yes, you did reply to me. I have got
your e-mail reply in my computer at this moment. So
don’t tell us that you didn’t receive any replies
with the citizen task force information and that we
filled out and returned to you. That is not true.
Thank you.

MR. EK: All right. On the task forces,
I guess I should clarify that. We need more than —
a task force is made up of a regional development
commission, a county, a township within the county.
If we don’t receive enough requests from those
entities, we statutorily cannot set up a task force.
And therefore we did not receive the required local
government entities to set up the task forces along
the western portion of this route. So, yes,
certainly I may have received yours, I may have
received another gentleman’s, but in order to set up
a task force we are required to have certain local
government representatives included to set up that
task force.

TRANSCRIPT p. 21, l. 2-15

MR. DIEKEN: I’d like to address one more
thing. Getting back to your citizens advisory task
force, I didn’t see anywhere’s in that application
where it said we had to have a minimum number of
applicants not to be represented out here. I feel
as though that the people out here have got just as
much right to be represented on a citizens task
force as those people up at New Prague or Prior
Lake. Probably even more so. We’re in agricultural
land out here and our land is adversely affected
with this.

MR. EK: Thanks for your comment. We’ll
take that under consideration.
Any other comments, please?

And look, it was also an issue in February, when Delores Hagen called Scott Ek was told that there was no Task Force for her to participate in — that was also after the PUC Order.

Delores Hagen on birds, routes, and CATF

Here’s my post after the meeting at the PUC in January, 2009, where the PUC Ordered Citizen Advisory Task Forces:

Got Citizens Task Forces!

Old age… my memory faded, and now it’s clear to me that this was not just an issue in the Marshall area.  Time to rally the troops to tell of their “Experiences of the Task Force kind” UNDER OATH at the upcoming public hearings.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace