Off the Publisher’s Desk – 6-26-2013

WE NEED JOBS

As I sat down at my desk on Monday morning, three items about the proposed sand mine were at the top of the pile of paperwork that needed to be addressed.

First there are a couple of letters to the editors and a flyer, all stating that the world as we know it in Glenwood City will come to an end, if the sand mine is allowed to open.

 I don’t want to be in the center of the debate over the positives and negatives of the mining of frac sand.

What I want to talk about is jobs and the needed employment opportunities we should have in our community.

Not too many years ago, one could purchase all their needs in Glenwood City. From dry goods, shoes, furniture, appliances, plumbing and heating and electrical services and prescription drugs.

Now you cannot even buy a vehicle in Glenwood City, let alone any of the aforementioned articles.

Whose fault is that? We all have to take the blame. We were quick to embrace the automobile and jump into it and travel to the BIG city to buy what we need to survive. And what happened? All those business closed their doors and we are no different than many other small towns in America.

I remember just a few years ago that people came forward in opposition to the ethanol pant that was being proposed between Boyceville and Wheeler. The several meetings that I attended during the public information part of the planning process were filled with scare tactics including one from then State Senator Alice Clausing, that planes flying into the Boyceville Airport could crash because of the smoke plume from the plant’s chimney. Others had the local water wells drying up and other said the smell would drive them away and that the truck traffic would keep people from entering the highway from their driveways and that the school buses could have trouble because of the increase in traffic, and the roads would fall apart.

If any of those things occurred, I have not been informed about it. Monday morning was the first time I have ever heard any complaint about that facility and that came as a second-hand one at that. I was told that a lady complained about the noise!

In my way of thinking, it has been a blessing for our area. It provides jobs, pays property taxes, supports local endeavors and has paid farmers a living price for their product. We need more like that.

Glenwood City is fortunate to still have the many professional people working in our community and we still have a great grocery store, hardware store and several other businesses that employee local people.

But, would the number of people employed at the sand mine or any other industry, bring back all those stores that no longer operate in Glenwood City? No way, but it might help keep what we have and stop the deterioration of our business district.

— Carlton