Letter: Resident unhappy with city decisions

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Editor’s note: In response to the point made in #12: The public was informed about this issue via a March 25 story published by the Metro Wire.

To the Editor-

There are many concerns about past, present, and future reforms in and around Stevens Point. I will list them in no particular order. It is time to think about these changes and what it may do to the health and welfare of the citizens and businesses of Stevens Point.

1. Stevens Point no longer has a contract for the Sentry Insurance jets at the Stevens Point municipal airport. Those jets are now at CWA/Mosinee.

2. The city is trying to get a Belgian company with no ties to any American establishment to come here to build a potato processing company that will use vast amounts of our water and sewer resources. Are any of you listening?

3. Stevens Point authorities plan to build a pump station in a residential area, in the backyards of homes that have been in place since the 1960s. It will run continuously. There are no other examples of a pump station in a residential area in the city of Stevens Point. Can you imagine being singled out to enjoy the constant sound of the water pump operating? Major detrimental impact to our quality of life. No one seems to notice.

4. Stevens Point authorities plan to change the main north/south artery (Church St. and Division St.) and remove one lane each, north and south. We are going backwards to the early days when there was much less traffic and fewer businesses along that main artery. Traffic has only increased according to our city government counts, but they plan to remove lanes to exacerbate the problems. They seem to be unaware of the counts they used in the past few years to convince the citizens/residents that we need a road rebuild. Higher numbers, but now less room to move vehicles.

5. City government and common council members have decided to have a roundabout on this main artery that will simply cause gridlock, roadblocks, endanger our businesses, schools, and residences with inadequate fire dept. quick access, and pedestrian exasperation and danger.

6. The potential for increased toxic chemicals, pesticides, and contaminants to our air, water and soil with yet another food processing plant/factory, built among businesses and residences that will be impacted when the winds blow the toxic chemicals and stench into our formerly safe neighborhoods. Frying and deep frying release a high amount of harmful emissions, (particles of solids and liquids) into the air.
Changing climate also brings changing threats for potato production. Potatoes have a low tolerance for drought. They need 30 inches of rain/year. Can we find a way to make rain consistent? Perhaps a new substance that will replace water (referred to by Agristo as “alternative water source”).

The food production machines emit toxic gases. Additional applications of fertilizer, pesticides and fungicides contaminate groundwater. Has anyone heard of Nelsonville?

Communities use in excess of 60 percent of their annual potable water to supply food processing industries. There will be challenges due to climate change, water shortage and groundwater depletion. Only 2.5% of the planet’s water is fresh water, much in underground aquifers. Water shortages affect the livelihood of farmers and the continued existence of communities. Water is a finite resource. 5.2 million gallons of treated water each summer is wasted on the splash pad on the Square in Stevens Point. Who comes up with this atrocity? A recirculating pump would stop this wasteful use of our precious water.

7. Crossroads Commons (Plover) continues to attract businesses and fill in the spaces with popular franchise businesses.

8. Public school enrollment in Stevens Point has been declining in the past five years. School referendums (two in the past six years) take more and more of our hard earned income.

9. Property tax has increased by amounts that home owners cannot continue to pay. Yet our town hasn’t grown, nor UWSP enrollment, unless you play with numbers and words.

10. We have lost Special Olympics that was a mainstay to our town annually.

11. The city wants to destroy an area on the east side of town by allowing “affordable housing” of 60 units to be erected. The present homes have seven tenths of an acre lots, while the planned “affordable housing” will be in the area of one tenth of an acre in size. Jamming homes together in an already established area is simply outrageous and unfair to the residents living in the area.

12. Local and state officials created a new law (without informing all the residents of Stevens Point) that will allow the Belgian company to build a food processing plant, near homes and established businesses. Is that the definition of secrecy? When there is secrecy, there is someone up to no good. Otherwise, there would be no reason for the secrecy in the first place.

The purpose of my listing these items is to ask you these questions: Do you think that our city government is making this town a better place? Are they thinking of us when they make decisions? Do we really think that former and future decisions will be made with knowledge and integrity to do “what is right” based on the above items?

If you think that everything that has been done, or is planned, is the correct action, then do nothing.

If you think that we are heading in the wrong direction, or that changes need to be made, then take action. Make calls, write letters and emails. Doing nothing will guarantee that preposterous plans will be carried out. It will be too late when these “yet to be done” projects are completed.

Ruth Pfiffner
Stevens Point