Waste water plant raises concerns among Lanesboro residents

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LANESBORO, Minn. (KTTC) – City leaders have known for a while that Lanesboro is in need of a new Wastewater Facility Treatment Plant. The current facility was first built in 1938 – no doubt needing an upgrade – but it’s the proposed location of the facility that has some residents concerned.

The proposed site is just 300 feet away from the current wastewater facility plant, but for many Lanesboro residents, that 300 feet makes a big difference. It would occupy a currently empty parking lot, by the Highway 250 bridge over the Root River. Residents say is one of the main entrances into town and is next to a popular bike trail and homes.

Little River General Store owner Kirsten Mensing says she heard about the proposed site through the grapevine and was shocked to hear that location was even being considered. She also says about 3,000 tubers come through on the river each week during the summer and worries the plant could cut down on visitors.

“We need the project, we need it, we just need a new location,” Mensing said. “And I think they’re not getting any complaints from anybody on that. Everyone agrees that it has to be done and no one is fighting them on it, but this is the spot that they are fighting them on.”

Property values and potential flood plane issues are other concerns. William Tuohy rents in the neighborhood adjacent to the proposed site.

“The biggest concern is driving down probably you know the housing prices, plus also just breaking up the nature of this river,” Tuohy said. “We have a lot of canoers, kayakers and tubers and everybody else that go right past that waste plant and I’m sure that’s no appealing to those folks either.”

City documents show the other proposed sites also have potential flooding issues.

Lanesboro is waiting on certification from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. City Public Utilities officials will have a public meeting next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Beret Leone

Beret Leone

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