This letter is in reference to Sunday’s front-page article, “Bright ideas.”

While considering the “Mankato, North Mankato eye lighting plan” it is important to understand the following:

We (city) have pledged our electric utilities to be funneled through a “solar farm” for a miniscule KWh cost savings. We have replaced many of our street lights and public building lighting in both communities with LED lighting and alternatives to be more energy efficient. We have established “dark sky” neighborhood policies with regard to street lighting. We approved disruptive alternative energy power line routes to comply with alternative energy efforts.

We make every urbanized effort to reduce our carbon footprint.

Financially, we have significant ravine erosion in both communities that need funding. We face expensive water treatment plant improvements due to increased volumes and mandates. We are faced with a potential 50% reduction in suspended solids in the Minnesota River by yet another mandate.

Our property tax rates will escalate to keep up with Mother Nature’s newest demands on our resources. We have indoor recreation conversations that involve more demands on our sales tax dollars. We have a Highway 169 corridor that needs extensive planning, funding and reconstruction.

We have infrastructure needs that are underfunded. We have identified park land improvements that are underfunded. We have environmental and ecological disasters looming over us like Emerald Ash Borer (one of many known devastations) that are still not adequately funded in the budget process.

What we don’t have is a vision that is sustainable and economically responsible to those we hold dear.

Isn’t it counter intuitive for “Mayberry” to be lit up so that we can better “see” our carbon footprint?

Bob Freyberg

North Mankato

(Past City Council member for North Mankato and Mankato).

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