Facts regarding the 16th Avenue SE project

Dear Editor:

Dear Isanti County Residents;

In response to Mr. Shogren’s letter to the editor in last week’s paper I felt it was my duty to inform the public on the actual facts regarding the 16th Avenue SE project.

The City of Cambridge had an opportunity to get state funding for 16th Avenue from MNDot. In order for this to happen there were a couple of options. Annex these properties along 16* Avenue into the city limits or create a right of way plat for the road. The property owners were more than willing to give (not have the city purchase the land) the city the right of way needed for that state funding to happen. If the properties had been annexed into the city limits no city sewer or water nor sidewalks would have been supplied for these property owners. There would have been no benefits to the property owners being in the city limits. With the right of way plat the city of Cambridge received the funding needed in order to improve the road which is not even scheduled for possibly the year 2023. It made sense for the city to do the road right of way plat.

I would like to thank the City Council Members and the City of Cambridge Mayor who took time to talk to the property owners and used common sense in this situation. Also, for the Isanti Township Supervisor who supported the property owners involved. As for Mr. Shogren who stated at a city council meeting and I quote “I don’t care about the township people.” Who also didn’t want to take the time and listen to the property owners involved. In fact, Mr. Shogren walked out of a city council meeting during these discussions. Those are the facts.

Respect for people and how they are treated go a long way. People working together is the key. Cambridge is a community that doesn’t stop at a city limit boundary line. Thanks again for the other members of the council who went above and beyond their duty to achieve what needed to get done.

Holly Yerigan Nelson
Cambridge

  • Robert Shogren

    In rebuttal to Ms. Nelson’s letter, I want to be clear. Property owners along 16th Avenue in the townships did indeed give a right-of-way to the city for the future expansion of the street, however they are not losing any property. They will maintain ownership of the property as before and still will not pay their fair share of maintenance or reconstruction of 16th Avenue. If the city annexed the property, we would have come to the same end, except that all property owners along 16th Avenue would have to pay for the street.

    It is probably correct that I said, “I don’t care about the township residents.” The context of that statement was in regard to this issue, alone, where my concern is first with the city taxpayers. As for leaving the meeting early, this was the last item requiring action – there was no reason for me to stay. The purpose of the letter I wrote a couple of weeks ago was to call out the rest of city council for failing to do their job in representing the people who put them in office. It was in no way intended to show disrespect for the town residents. These are the facts.

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