‘North Branch has a terrible fear of change’

To the editor

North Branch has a terrible fear of change. We need revenue from new business to pay the bills.  Our community and city council is failing.  Older businesses are closing, most recently Skelton Drug. We need to be business friendly, or it’ll get quiet around here.  It’ll be more expensive to live and own business here. What does “preserve Central Park” mean? It’s more about a community of people who live in the same town and attend the same events in the park, not the land. The proposed site has more “sentimental” value than the current park location. Didn’t many of you attend school there? When the school lot was purchased, it went from being tax exempt to bringing $10,000 a year in tax revenue! It’s zoned for many things — from residential to many business types. We want to ask ourselves some questions before we tell a local business “no deal,” and carefully consider the answers.  First, if you lost a loved one and had a wake at the funeral home, would you rather walk next door for some air in “Central Park,” or around a business or apartment on that site? Second, if all the amenities are the same, will it matter if we are in the current location with noisy silos, truck traffic, etc., or 4 1/2 blocks east in a quieter setting? Third, shouldn’t we carefully consider the tax revenue this could bring us once the current park site is improved? In closing, please understand that I don’t want just any business in North Branch, but this is a trusted, generational family business from our community offering jobs, services, industrial and retail options. It’s foolish to miss an opportunity like this from a great, local business. It will improve us! Let’s celebrate a new park together versus fighting it apart.

Dan Peterson

North Branch


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