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Letter: County shouldn't buy Detroit Mountain

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opinion Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Becker County Administrator, Brian Berg's words of "dare to dream" to an audience concerning the Detroit Mountain are all well and fine for someone who I'm not sure is a Becker County property owner and taxpayer.

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Becker County has a responsibility to its residents to be vigilant and accountable with each and every tax dollar. Even if we were not in our current economy, the county has no business entering into a situation such as is being considered by some for Detroit Mountain. The county may need to be making cuts, not investments in something that should be left to the private sector.

Mark Fritz, LeRoy Squires and others at the meeting last Thursday indicated there is so much potential and need for this project. If that were true, why aren't they writing out the checks in full? Why wasn't it a successful and feasible venture for the current and/or past owners?

There is no need for the county to enter into a venture which hasn't been successful in a financial sense in the past. It would be spending dollars the county doesn't have not to mention the huge liability for something such as downhill skiing and all the summer recreation ideas suggested at the meeting. Do you think an insurance carrier is going to allow volunteers rather than trained personnel to be in charge of such an undertaking? Get real. And trained personnel mean more tax dollars for their payroll and benefits.

The suggestion that Detroit Mountain answers the need of getting youngsters out and exercising seems a bit far-fetched. Apparently it hasn't worked to that extent in the past. If skiing is the answer there are plenty of areas that are already available for cross-country skiing, another great source for exercise and doesn't require county monies.

I'm not really sure why the EDA is offering monies toward the county's proposed takeover of Detroit Mountain. Isn't it their responsibility to spend tax dollars on bringing in outside businesses, not finding ways to spend taxpayers' monies?

Do the county taxpayers need this additional drain of tax monies? No.

-- Rita Boyce, Park Rapids

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