‘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

  • Boyzmom

    Dear Mr Peterson, Its not about fear of change, in North Branch its about not changing what already works. Central park is just that, located CENTRAL, in the heart of town. Drive by the park on any given day in the spring & summer & you will find people using the park. Its perfect for those who
    work right in town to walk for lunch. Many from the banks, insurance, & other local
    officies use that park on their lunch to walk over too. Will they still use the park if its moved? The
    basketball court always has a game going and those kids then walk or ride their bike to Caseys, Family Dollar or Country Value for a pop or candy, not to mention now running over to the Teen Center
    & over for a pizza at the Pub. As a mom of middle schoolers, my kids and their friends do this ofton. What about all the kids who live in the townhomes by DQ & Olsons Power, or the kids in the mobile home park or apartments? Again centrally located, the park is perfect for them to use. The park is also very assecible for the seniors from UpTown Maple Commons & Shields Plaza to walk over, or use their wheel chairs especially during concerts in the park. Moving the park over may not allow them that acess because of the distance,especially from Shields Plaza. What about the bike trail? Will we
    relocate that as well? There are plenty of people who stop off from the trail for a picnic in the park, not to mention the races that use it too. Would those events be rerouted?
    If its accessibilty & visibility or new customers that Petersons want, why not move near the Tanger Mall, with vison from the Freeway? Petersons will exand regaardless if the park is moved.

    Lastly,why not build a swimming pool on the old schoolsite? Rush City has seen sucess with their pool. Pool rental,swimming lessons, daily pool use all bring in money. We use that pool quite ofton. At $25 a day,plus snacks we are bringing revenue to Rush City, not North Branch. On any given day we go, there are countless North Branch kids there spending their money there too. I am willing to bet
    half of all kids in North Branch passed swimming lessons there. Where else can
    they go?