McQuade project would harm Duluth
The latest DNR-proposed lease draft of
Duluth land to obtain the Congdon
Trust Property at McQuade Road is not adequate.
If signed, Duluth would
ultimately find itself mired in financial obligations
it doesn't want and certainly
can't afford. The City Council, despite DNR promises to
must not fall into this trap.
The lease gives the state sole power
over the McQuade project. The DNR's
only obligation is to pass on information to the
city. If Duluth signs, it will have no control over the project.
The mayor is rushing the council to sign
the lease by his comments that the
state has begun the condemnation process. He has
not shown the evidence.
Evidence to the contrary is that the
DNR has eliminated McQuade's latest
funding and Gov. Jesse Ventura is not supporting
McQuade in the bonding
The lease states that the DNR will erect
a sign stating that McQuade access
is "cooperatively provided.'' Local projects
are supported locally -- Duluth will be pressured to help secure millions in
dollars, even though the lease
makes it explicit that there is no local control
of the project. Both the DNR and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agree
that McQuade will cost $7.5
million to $8 million.
At a time when legitimate local projects
are in need of money, this
staggering amount cannot be raised without important
Duluth needs being compromised.
The lease has no provision for repair
of breakwalls when they are damaged by
storms. This cost will be phenomenal.
McQuade is again on the City Council's
agenda concerning the lease.
We all know this is a controversial project.
The task is to convince city
councilors. They must be fiscally responsible,
and we all need to realize that there is no free lunch.
CLYDE AND KAREN RITCHIE