The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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March 25, 2013

Your View: Traffic, debt load should be factors in Marigold II

I have some comments about the story in The Free Press about the decision of the North Mankato City Council to approve zoning variances for the proposed Marigold II development.

First, I did not see any mention in the story that traffic issues were addressed at the council meeting. There is a significant amount of traffic that comes into downtown North Mankato over the Veteran’s Bridge. I have observed cars on the new street between the Circle Inn and the Marigold I building suddenly turn onto Belgrade Avenue, causing traffic on that street to have to brake or take other evasive action. It is not easy for drivers coming over the bridge to observe traffic on that small street, due to the closeness of the buildings.

If the Marigold II is built, there would be a significantly increased number of residents in that area with their vehicles, and they would likely use that street a lot. That raises issues of traffic safety, which the council should consider.

Second, if the project goes forward, I hope that the developer will be financing it in its entirety, without tax breaks or other subsidy from the city.

Last week, the paper also included a story about Moody’s credit rating agency downgrading North Mankato’s credit rating. One concern cited by Moody’s was “very high debt service.”

The city can’t afford further indebtedness to assist private projects.

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