Before leaving for her next appointment, Senator Amy Klobuchar takes a little time to visit with Mayor Bill Ketchum and others at Dode Center city hall on May 28. Photo by Melanie Dobson
By Larry Dobson
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Charles A. Zelle, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT), came to Dodge Center Wednesday, May 28 to meet with interested local residents to discuss US 14.
Despite the fact they were given less than 24 hours notice of the visit, more than 60 local residents representing agriculture, manufacturing, education, professional services, businesses, local government, senior citizens and students were on hand to express their concerns about the failure of state and federal government to get the remaining segment of US14 between Dodge Center and Owatonna completed.
Beth Hodgman, whose husband Scott was killed in an accident on US 14 in Nov. of 2012, queried Zelle about the environmental impact statement done on the segment which has passed its useful life. Zelle said the legislature reauthorized the EIS for another three years but that work must be started before it runs out again or another study will be required. Hodgman pointed out that several million dollars have been invested in the EIS and at least as much will be required to do it over again.
Zelle agreed and said land acquisition needs to begin so that the project can move forward in time to avoid a new EIS. He said funds need to be made available for that acquisition and that some may be made available in the future but gave no definite date for progress.
Klobuchar said some funding may be available in new transportation legislation but that the money will go to the state and the state will decide how it is used.
Read the rest of the story in the Star Herald print edition