Letters From Readers

Historic help from the state

to the editor
Recently, Chisago County received $3 million from the State of Minnesota to support construction of a new public safety complex. This is the first time in our 165-year history that the state has helped with a bond-funded county construction project!
We are building a new public safety complex in Center City to comply with new state rules and to replace our old, cramped and outdated County Jail, Emergency Operations Center and workspace for our Sheriff’s Office deputies and investigators.
I would like to personally thank my fellow County Commissioners, Rick Greene, George McMahon and Mike Robinson, who, together with Sheriff Rick Duncan, spent many hours in St. Paul testifying and speaking with state officials about this critical project. These dedicated leaders also spent time here in Chisago County hosting tours of our current facilities and discussing with both residents and visitors this needed investment in public safety.
Indeed, while we did not always agree on the overall project, once decided, the County Board was unanimous in seeking state financial support to offset the project’s cost. We are also in agreement to not increase property taxes to pay for this project, using existing revenues and this state money instead.
I would also like to thank all of our wonderful local legislators, who supported our request, as well as our county staff and project team members, who worked tirelessly to present our case against the needs of many other Minnesota communities.
Finally, I would like to thank you, our community, who have entrusted us to make some of these hard decisions on behalf of the county. Your support and understanding, even when we have disagreements on specific issues, makes our job all the easier and enjoyable.
By working together, Chisago County has achieved much these past few years. By continuing to work together, I look forward to what we will accomplish next!

Ben Montzka
2017 chair, Chisago
County Board of

Thank you North Branch, and surrounding communities

to the editor
On behalf of the 2017 Referendum Citizens’ Committee (Vote Yes), we would like to say thank you North Branch and surrounding communities.
By voting yes to all three questions, you have given all of our children the opportunity to learn and grow in updated and safe facilities, to be proud of their school and the ability to participate and excel in their academic and athletic careers.
No one wants to see an increase to their taxes, but we have proven to the children/students that they, and their futures, matter. Hopefully, this historic event will give the North Branch area a boost. If we truly want to decrease our taxes, we need to attract new business and families to our communities. The passing of this referendum is a great start.
We also want to thank the many School District employees, local and regional union members and the community volunteers who gave their time and talents (after business hours) to help us share referendum information. The main purpose of our committee was to ensure voters had the information they needed in order to make an informed decision on May 23.
The Vote Yes committee is independent of the School District; however, we want the community to know just how much volunteer time the administration gave us, especially Superintendent Henton. There were several evenings of phone calling, a weekend in the rain knocking on doors and stopping by all our events. Dr. Henton is absolutely invested in helping the North Branch Area Public School District and the surrounding communities to be the best they can be.
Passing the referendum is the ultimate “pay it forward.” We have honored our community and our children for generations to come. Again, we thank you North Branch and surrounding communities.

Citizens for NBAPS
Barb Hensch, Chair

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