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State Representative Jeff Backer

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100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
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For more information contact: Chad Urdahl 651-296-5520

Posted: 2017-11-16
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Letter to the Editor

Quality input provided during ditch-mowing meeting


To the editor,

There was a great turnout for Wednesday’s meeting in Morris to discuss state ditch-mowing policies and the feedback provided will be helpful as appropriate courses of action are decided.

The meeting, hosted by MnDOT, drew approximately 40 citizens who took advantage of the opportunity to speak their mind. This outpouring of input was refreshing since many citizens felt blindsided when MnDOT, seemingly out of nowhere, last year announced it planned to change its statewide permitting standards for mowing and baling in ditches along Minnesota’s state roadways.

Some of the meeting attendees expressed concerns over MnDOT’s proposed permitting process. Other people said ditches need to be mowed by July and waiting until later in the season would be problematic for multiple reasons. Also, people who have been mowing ditches for 25 years or longer said they are skeptical MnDOT’s proposed changes would benefit wildlife to the degree the agency claims.

Productive meetings such as Wednesday’s were what the Legislature had in mind when earlier this year it placed a moratorium on implementing new mowing rules along state highways until this coming May. Thank you to all the citizens who attended and helped bring about a good discussion.

This issue will continue to evolve and I will remain an advocate for property owners at the Capitol. Those who were unable to attend the meeting but would like to submit comments online can do so at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/mowing/comments.html.

Sincerely,

Rep. Jeff Backer

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