The Free Press, Mankato, MN

May 13, 2013

Sand project may taint Coughlan standing

The Mankato Free Press

---- — In an earlier state Senate committee hearing, one of the of Jordan Sands party waved his arms and proudly proclaimed that Bob Coughlan’s family had installed the limestone that prominently adorns the room. The Coughlan Cos. and Kasota Stone have a long and distinguished reputation in the Mankato area.

The group of residents that are challenging the Jordan Sands project are curious why this reputation is being jeopardized with the silica sand mining project.

We do not begrudge you the opportunity to make money on this project. We are mainly concerned that these profits are going to come at the expense of the health and prosperity of fellow Mankato residents. The majority of our objections to the project are based on future air quality, quality and availability of safe ground water, safety concerns surrounding the significantly increased traffic on Third Avenue and the certain reductions in property values for adjoining private property.

There must be a way that the sand can be harvested safely while still providing adequate profits. We ask that you step back, take the time and efforts to ensure that his project is done right — especially as it pertains to the citizens of Mankato and surrounding areas. The history so far on this project seems to be that your plan is to forge ahead without concern for any one else.

Does a family and a business with such a heralded history of community service want to risk its reputation? Will future generations of Coughlans be proud of this business venture? The experience of similar operations in western Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota can certainly point to the venom that the public can generate when it feels violated, threatened and bullied.

James Vonderharr