Podcast: Councilor (and now blogger) Scott Davis on the state of the city


  1. kiffi summa said:

    Are you guys aware that the show was not transmitted yesterday: just a lot of empty air, some sort of tech difficulty?
    So I listened to the podcast this AM, tempted to make the same comment, but y”all did try. Either there will not be a lot of real information coming out, maybe there CAN’T be a lot of real information coming out, or Scott’s holding out on you for HIS Blog. (Of course I don’t seriously think that)
    I’ll tell you this however, the counselor’s comments re: the Judy Dirks incident, and the recent one with Mr. de Long, are not likely to encourage any citizen participation at open mic. It’s intimidating to begin with; these comments will only make it worse. Too bad.

    October 25, 2007
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks, Kiffi… I’ll let KYMN know. According to the Nfld News, they were having transmitter problems earlier in the day.

    October 25, 2007
  3. Ross Currier said:

    Griff and Kiffi –

    According to KYMN’s Jeff Johnson, in remarks made prior to the Hahn-Hvistendahl interview, there was apparently a deliberate act of sabotage committed against the station’s antenna yesterday. The destruction was intentionally specific and not random vandalism. As standard practice, the FBI has been brought in to investigate.

    As wild as it seems, this is NOT faux news…

    – Ross

    October 25, 2007
  4. Stephanie Henriksen said:

    I just called KYMN to see if they’d be broadcasting some of the programming (such as this podcast) they’d missed due to transmitter problem yesterday. I was told the problem was just in the morning and that the podcast was on air later in the day. Is that the case?

    Hvistendahl’s remarks this morning about the gas station being a contaminated site not deserving of consideration for the liquor store made sense. Is the effort to contain the plume from DuFour’s still ongoing?

    October 25, 2007
  5. Are Tracy and Scott married to one another?

    October 25, 2007
  6. Griff Wigley said:

    [Oh Lord, please help me resist any temptation to, well, you know.]

    No they’re not, Bright.

    [Thank you, Lord.]

    October 25, 2007
  7. victor summa said:

    Griff! No praying!!

    as to on the air off the air – KYMN THOUGHT they had aired LG at 5:30 PM yesterday – Evidently they were not monitoring the air. What was transmitted starting at 5:30 PM was intermittent tone – and an occasional news feed from CNN as well as some segments of packaged programming that evidently comes down the line to local stations recording, for future airing. These were what I’d call – human interest pieces. For the most part their air was dead for thirty minutes, coming back straight up at 6 with another CNN update.

    October 25, 2007
  8. Stephanie Henriksen said:

    Anyone want to call KYMN 645-5695 to request they do run the Scott Davis interview?

    By the way, I posted a comment under County Feedlot Ordinance just now, requesting that somebody post the Rice Cty Board District Map so we can better follow the personalities involved. I hope that flips it onto this page under “active discussions” or that topic could sit dormant for days.

    October 25, 2007
  9. Anne Bretts said:

    Mr. Davis is a wonderful guest. What a breath of fresh air! It was reassuring to hear someone talk about these issues without the hysteria that has grown around them. It also was good to hear his very human reaction to the open mike issue. Citizens do have a right to speak, but some of the recent speakers seem more interested in being in the spotlight than in shining a spotlight on a problem and finding a solution.

    October 25, 2007
  10. In the name of “you all brought it up first”, let me jump slightly OT and suggest a
    “how to get jiggy with the open mic” night. Several volunteers could stand up
    and talk about how they feel comfortable talking in front of groups of people,
    and then have some kind of contest for new open micers, or is that mikers,
    to get some experience, show how much fun/easy it really is, and thus inspire others to stand at city meetings with their words of wisdom.

    I’ll volunteer, if needed, but something tells me we have enough hams on deck already.

    October 26, 2007
  11. Anne Bretts said:

    Bright, I love it! Maybe a little karaoke, a little stand-up, a little poetry slam (nothing too depressing, and no dirty limericks).

    October 26, 2007
  12. Ross Currier said:

    I must strongly disagree with Mr. Hvistendahl and Ms. Henriksen about alleged environmental issues on the 600 Block preventing the consideration of it as a potential redevelopment site…

    …David, I’m sure that you would not suggest that we surround the property with bright orange tape that reads “environmental hazard” and abandon it for all time, perhaps calling it artwork that makes a statement about man’s lack of respect for nature.

    …Stephanie, such thinking encourages the consideration of commercial development next to your farm: redevelopment is to too expensive and/or too complicated so let’s go find a cornfield, they’re cheap and easy.

    Personally, I believe that economic development resources should be directed at such sites to turn strategically located “wastelands” into productive contributors to our community’s vitality.

    In fact, there are substantial financial incentives available to clean up a site and put it back on the tax rolls. Such a project would get additional leverage from local funds to achieve such a turnaround.

    I would argue that our community’s economic development efforts should at least begin with the consideration of potential in-fill or redevelopment sites as a way to grow the tax base before simply looking for the next cornfield.

    October 26, 2007
  13. kiffi summa said:

    Agreeing with Ross, here …pollution on that site a bit of a red herring. There are several SuperFund sites in our sweet little town, and the status of them is easily obtainable from the MNPCA.
    There’s enough confusion on the handling of the two 600 block sites without adding in further complications.

    October 26, 2007
  14. The old Tires Plus site, which has been a gas stationfor over 60 years, is most likely polluted from three sources: The first was the old dry cleaning facility across the street that, predating the Dufours’ ownership of the building, had toxic chemicals released in the soil that spread through the area. The old gas station probably still has the tanks in the ground, which may be leaking or have leaked in the past. The largest source of pollution will likely be the waste oil that was routinely dumped into a hole in the basement floor, which according to a former employee, was standard practice 30 to 40 years ago. The oil likely forms an underground plume that goes all the way to the Cannon River.

    Although there is some state funding for petroleum Brownsfield sites, the funding rarely covers all the costs. And the total costs are not known until the building comes down. No work should be done on a former gas station site until the owner has obtained both Phase I and Phase II environmental assessments. The City of Dundas obtained both Phase I and Phase II reports on the old Kor Ethanol plant before it sought developers. The same should have been done here.

    The site can and should be redeveloped, but the seller and developer must proceed with great caution to follow both state and federal law. The process does not go quickly.

    October 26, 2007
  15. Anne Bretts said:

    So if the Tires Plus site is months or years away from being ready for construction, why is it even being considered for any project now? There is no way for the city to establish a purchase price or budget without the seller providing all the neeeded clean-up documentation.
    It seems the mayor’s lawsuit is designed to force the city to complete a sale he thought he had locked up before that infamous closed meeting, where it seems he felt he was betrayed. Yet he isn’t even close to being ready to put his land on the market, much less break ground.
    It seems the process now should be for the owners of the Tires Plus site to pay for the environmental studies, negotiate with the MPCA and the feds and come up with a proposal to redevelop the land. If there is no private buyer willing to pay, the seller can go to the local EDA with a proposal to clean up the property and share the cost, with the city getting a share of any development deal.
    Given the fact that commercial real estate industry analysts are predicting dismal prospects for mixed use projects in the region, it would seem a wiser investment to put that city money into moving the liquor store into The Crossing, helping stabilize existing buildings before constructing more. Then, when the land is clean and the market improves, the Tires Plus site could be ready for a deal. Of course that’s based on the assumption that the liquor store needs to be moved, which isn’t clear.

    October 26, 2007
  16. kiffi summa said:

    A possibly more relevant question that debating the Superfund site issues on 600Division is the issue of why the city administrator continued to entertain the discussion of the 600 site in the same meeting where he declared, forcefully, several times, that the 618 site was OFF the table legally.
    You cannot complain that you were being intimidated by the mayor at the same time you are enabling the discussion of that site, with absolutely ZERO notation to the council of any problems, legally with that site.
    I have quoted before the specific section of the administrative section of the city code which prohibits financial transactions with a blood relative of an elected official ; therefore if one site is off the table because of the mayor’s relationship to it, so is the other.
    There would have to be discussion of this conflict at the council/staff level, and if that happened, it was in the closed session. And if that did occur in the closed session and it is backed up by the city code, what is the big whoop! about not disclosing it.
    Manipulations, my friends…

    October 29, 2007

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