Friday, February 19, 2010

Who Loves Ya Baby?

<$BlogMetaData$>February 24th, 2010

“Who Loves Ya Baby?”

After reading the many responses to Letters to the Editor, especially on the letter submitted by Dale Harkness, in the SCJ, Argus Leader and the Akron Hometowner, I decided my article this week needs to also address this issue. I just cannot believe the responses some people wrote. It is like people opposed to the refinery are ogres.

How many jobs will be LOST not gained because of the refinery? Dale Harkness wrote in his article last week that not only will there be a loss of income, but associated jobs geared to the agricultural industry will be lost. He estimated that over $800,000 of income that is brought home to this area will be lost to local businesses. (Versus income that will go back to Texas). He mentioned that many small industries associated with farming like implement stores, fertilizer companies, seed companies and many others will either close or cut back on employment because of the volume of business lost. These are jobs now held by our own people. This is income to our own people. This is the lives of our own people. This is the land of our own people. Five square miles of the richest most fertile land in south Dakota.You might not think that 3,000 acres is very much, but think of how much equipment, seed, fertilizer and fuel is used by the farmers during the year to bring home that harvest. We are talking about money here, lots of money. Lots of our money, not Texas money.

This is something I don’t think anyone dwells on. All we hear is the economic development (you know what I think about this phrase) that will come. What about the economic development we already have? If my figures are correct the unemployment rate even with the closing of Load King, which will soon reopen is below 4%. That is lower than anywhere else in the state. I can’t figure it out. Where did we go wrong here that people think the refinery is our savior from mass poverty? Do people actually think this is really a godsend? Let’s get real here folks. This is borderline lunacy. If this is such a big deal why did someone wait 30 years to do this? Tar sands have been mined in Canada for 30 years. This isn’t like the light bulbs just turned on you know. Why didn’t the BIG GUYS do this right in Canada? Why let some nobody come in here and stir this up? Until December of 2007 who ever heard of a company called Hyperion? If people want to work for the refinery so bad, go to where the refinery is, then have them call or write back how wonderful it is. . It won’t be a long letter, probably a post card. Think about it? The transients who come here won’t be spending their money here; they will be sending it home. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

What is it going to cost us to prepare for the refinery? In the refinery’s application they say that they expect the county to build the roads and maintain them. If Hyperion wants to come here so bad, let them build the roads. Building a road isn’t something that is done overnight. It might take a year or even 2 years to build it. And I’m sure Hyperion wants it done yesterday. We are in the midst of recovering from a near depression, and money is tight. I know for a fact that Union County doesn’t have the money, yet the townships are going to be responsible for building roads keeping them up. There is a bill in the state legislature right now today (HB 1227) that says that responsibility for road maintenance on township roads cannot be abandon by the townships for any secondary road that has received funds pursuant to SDCL 32-11-6 without permission of the county board of commissioners. This includes blading, application of gravel, and snow removal. Do you suppose Hyperion had some influence in that bill being presented? Or is it the state making sure the responsibility is shifted to the townships? Not only are we working against our own county we are working against the state. We cannot let this happen, and that is why I’m running for Commissioner. “Who loves ya Baby?”


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