A Timeline of MnDOT's Position-keep those letters coming!

Below are the names of those who sought to protect the Coldwater Spring with the proper protection that this site of significance to so many, deserves. Please give them a call, or send them a letter and ask that they deny MnDOT’s request to become somehow above all others and become exempt from the law that protects Coldwater from dewatering.

To date the disregard for this community resource by MnDOT has reached it’s height in their attempt to become exempt from the law. MnDOT who has consistently declared that they would protect Coldwater Spring is now seeking to become exempt from legally being responsible for doing so.

MnDOT who on;

January 9,  1999 Star Tribune editorial authored by Bob McFarlin (MnDOT's then_director of public affairs) in which he states:

                    The very best the community can do is study all the potential impacts
                    thoroughly, factually and within the law, and then exercise informed
                    leadership for the good of all. The Hiawatha Corridor Project is a shining,
                    successful example of this type of community consensus.

On August 25, 1993, the Minnesota Department of Transportation requested a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) from the Federal Highway Administration.

In order to do so, public record of community input was destroyed, removing the community opposition to their project so as to win Federal approval. This was reported on in various newspapers.

Camp Coldwater was designated as Historical Site by Hennepin County Historical Society in 1952.

Minnesota Historical Society puts up historical marker at Camp Coldwater in July 1991.

The State Historical Preservation Office commissioned Bryant Intertec to do historical background check as part of its closing procedure in 1996. The report states in its recommendation, the spring should be preserved.

In December of 1997, Russell Fridley the former president of the Minnesota Historical Society, filed deposition in lawsuit in favor of preserving the Camp Coldwater site because of its historical place in Minnesota history. 3-19-2001 Iowa Tribe again declares Camp Coldwater a sacred site.

August 1998 MnDOT told the Indian Affairs Council;
“When completed, the new roadway will not impact the Camp Coldwater site. Construction is  not expected to impact the flow of underground water to the Camp Coldwater spring.”
The Minnesota Indian Affairs Council then agreed to approve MnDOT’s plans. However once they found out that MnDOT’s plan to keep Coldwater flowing included piping in city water if the spring dried up, MIAC changed their stance to such an extent as to demand the resignation of state archeologist Mark Dudzak who approved such a plan.

Today as the road is actually being built, MnDOT continues to want out of the legal responsibility they now have to protect the spring, and is currently lobbying the legislator to escape that responsibility.

An April 1999 MnDOT study states that “Coldwater will not be affected by construction”

May 25, 1999, MnDOT states in court (under oath presumably) “We’ve measured the hydrostatic pressure in the soil and in the [Platteville] limestone and they are not connected...There’s no construction that we have had design for that impacts the limestone in any way. All our construction is limited to the soil layer” (Mr. Wetmore, pg. 109, lines 2 through13)

Actuality: The limestone and soil are hydraulically interconnected. The MCWD hydrogeologist, Kelton Barr, reviewed pump test data collected in 1973. The data indicated the saturated soil overlying the Plateville limestone is in hydraulic connection. This is demonstrated by the hydraulic contours of the saturated overburden which reflected the fracture zone orientation of the limestone.

July 1999 Open letter from MnDOT Commissioner Tinklenberg states;
“Some people have alleged that Mn/DOT shoved this project down the throats of citizens. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Really? Then why is MnDOT trying to undo the specific law the community and legislators supported and passed to protect Coldwater? Why is MnDOT now trying to do the opposite of what they said?!?!

October 1999 MnDOT stated in a public news release;
Camp Coldwater Spring was not identified in either  the 1983 or 1985 statements because the project avoids the spring, located on Bureau of Mines property. The project has been designed to avoid impacting the flow of  groundwater to the spring. Mn/DOT will monitor both water quantity and quality during construction to insure that the spring is not impacted.

Yet MnDOT continues to lobby the government to release them of the law that binds MnDOT to do so.

April 27th, 2000 The Bureau of Mines is open for an Open House for the public to view Coldwater for themselves. MnDOT knew of the date weeks beforehand. The day before however, MnDOT just happens to bulldoze the road leading up to the grounds leaving auto access unpassable, and post no less than six state troopers to ensure the lack of passage. A 3/4 mile walk was then needed to gain access around MnDOT construction. Attendance by the public is greatly diminished.

24th May 2000, Coldwater receives watershed protection for the first time. This process started solely on the backs of citizens who started petitioning for such protection. Once this became a force big enough for results to happen, MnDOT brings in another watershed district and essentially starts a fight between the two of them. The end result is the split of Coldwater we have today, with the outflow in Minnehaha Creek Watershed, and the source water (according to MnDOT’s own study, on June 2000) in Lower Minnesota Watershed district. This greatly impedes quick communication and confuses the boundary of who is supposed to protect what. Meanwhile MnDOT construction continues.

June 2000, MnDOT releases a groundwater study on Coldwater (as an alternative to a dye test that MnDOT said they wanted to do first). Concerns having been raised with an underground storm water sewer line cutting the flow to Coldwater, MnDOT finally does the right thing for once and raises the grade of the road to avoid impact.

September 2000, evidence in the June report shows MnDOT storm water holding pond at highway 62/55 interchange will impact Coldwater Spring. MCWD produces studies that outline this and provides peer review from Dr. Segiel, a nationally recognized authority on groundwater; who has served as a expert witness to the US. Senate, a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, a Birdsall Distinguished Lecturer, and is currently serving on the U. S. Geological Survey Committee on Hydrologic Research. He finds that not only is Minnehaha Creek’s original evidence sound,  but also that MnDOT’s study is atypical of what is now required of groundwater modeling.

November, 2000, MnDOT once again states “no impact” to Coldwater spring, at the Lower Minnesota River Watershed District public meeting.
Then Daniel Dorgan official spokesman of MnDOT agrees to raise the pond a few feet and also to "Eliminate any such impacts, should significant  impacts to Camp Coldwater Spring occur, as a direct result of this pond".  Richard A. Stehr Division Engineer at MnDOT declares the issue closed, despite the fact that the two watersheds were not in agreement as required to be by law.

As of today, MnDOT is also continuing to work to exempt itself from the state law stating Coldwater Spring shall not have it’s flow diminished. There should be no issue, but for MnDOT there is.

 May 16, 2001 it becomes officially illegal to dewater Coldwater Spring.

May 23, 2001 Minnehaha Creek Watershed District must take MnDOT to court in order to get them to allow a dye test that MnDOT has said they wanted since June 2000. If MnDOT really wants this test why must they be taken to court to have it done?
Further MCWD states "Camp Coldwater Springs is in imminent danger of being altered from the    construction of highway drainage ponds which will very realistically  divert spring water by as much as 30_percent or more ."

May 24, 2001, MnDOT has suggested that taking a few weeks to complete the groundwater testing would delay LRT construction by a year. Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton, Hennepin County Commissioner Peter Mclaughlin, State Representative Wes Skoglund and City Council Member Sandy Colvin Roy (12th Ward) and Metropolitan Council Board Member District Eight Representative Carol Kummer, also the LRT Community Advisory Committee Chair reject the assertion that LRT is an issue. In fact, the MCWD experts have confirmed that LRT construction poses no threat to the Springs. The real issue is how soon MnDOT is willing to acknowledge the threat that the highway project represents to the Camp Coldwater Springs and get the issue resolved.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN., May 30, 2001 _ Judge Frank Knoll of the Fourth Judicial District Court of Hennepin County ruled in favor of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) in its lawsuit filed May 22  against the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). The        decision restrains MnDOT from dewatering (pumping groundwater from the site) the drain and storm water pond areas at the Highway 55 and 62  interchange construction site in order to conduct a groundwater test. The legal decision allows up to four weeks for the dye test
procedure to take place.

MnDOT’s response is to have a fit and begin lobbing the government to become exempt of this law that simply follows what MnDOT has said all along.

It is clear to me that MnDOT is seeking to avoid being held accountable for damage to Coldwater Spring. Further because MnDOT seeks to become exempt from a law that states
          “1.9 Neither the state, nor a unit of metropolitan overnment,
           1.10 nor a political subdivision of the state may take any action
           1.11 that may diminish the flow of water to or from Camp Coldwater
           1.12 Springs.”
And MnDOT being a unit of metropolitan government, their lobbying may be illegal right from the start being that they seek to take  action that may diminish the flow of water to or from Camp Coldwater Springs. Even if they don’t do it themselves, MnDOT’s actions, if successful, will diminish the strength of the law, and start the ball rolling to then allow others to reduce flow because MnDOT weakend the law
for them.

A law that was passed 110 to 20 in the House and unanimous in the Senate. Not a single witness testified in opposition throughout all committee hearings. MnDOT, MAC, the DNR and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District all had spokesmen at the Coldwater hearings.

Below is a list of who voted for and against the bill.
Please call or write as you now have the evidence necessary to speak with authority and ask that the legislator hold true and not allow MnDOT to diminish our local Minneapolis resource, Camp Coldwater Spring.


In the Senate:

In the senate
S.F. No. 2049: A bill for an act relating to historic preservation; recognizing and extending the
protection of the Minnesota Historic Sites Act and the Minnesota Field Archaeology Act to
historic Camp Coldwater Springs; amending Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 138.73, subdivision13.

Was read the third time and placed on its final passage.

The question was taken on the passage of the bill.

The roll was called, and there were yeas 55 and nays 0, as follows:

Those who voted in the affirmative were:

Anderson     Frederickson     Krentz     Olson     Robling
Belanger     Higgins     Langseth     Orfield     Sabo
Berglin     Hottinger     Larson     Pappas     Sams
Betzold     Johnson,  Dean     Lesewski     Pariseau     Samuelson
Chaudhary     Johnson, Debbie     Lessard     Pogemiller     Scheid
Cohen     Kelley, S.P.     Lourey     Price     Schwab
Day     Kierlin     Marty     Ranum     Stumpf
Dille     Kinkel     Metzen     Reiter     Terwilliger
Fischbach     Kiscaden     Murphy     Rest     Vickerman
Foley     Kleis     Neuville     Ring     Wiener
Fowler     Knutson     Oliver     Robertson     Wiger

So the bill passed and its title was agreed to.

In the House;
 S. F. No. 2049, A bill for an act relating to historic preservation; recognizing and extending the protection of the Minnesota Historic Sites Act and the Minnesota Field Archaeology Act to historic Camp Coldwater Springs; amending Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 138.73, subdivision 13.

The bill was read for the third time and placed upon its final passage. 

Journal of the House - 50th Day - Wednesday, May 9, 2001 - Top of Page 3921

The question was taken on the passage of the bill and the roll was called. There were 110 yeas and 20 nays as follows:

 Those who voted in the affirmative were:
Abeler Erhardt Jaros Lipman Pawlenty Swapinski
Anderson, B. Erickson Jennings Luther Paymar Sykora
Anderson, I. Evans Johnson, J. Mahoney Pelowski Thompson
Bernardy Folliard Johnson, R. Mares Peterson Tingelstad
Biernat Fuller Johnson, S. Mariani Pugh Tuma
Boudreau Gleason Juhnke Marko Rhodes Wagenius
Carlson Goodno Kahn Marquart Rukavina Walz
Clark, J. Goodwin Kalis McGuire Ruth Wasiluk
Clark, K. Gray Kelliher Milbert Schumacher Wenzel
Daggett Greiling Kielkucki Mullery Seagren Westerberg
Davids Gunther Koskinen Murphy Seifert Westrom
Davnie Haas Krinkie Ness Sertich Wilkin
Dawkins Harder Kubly Nornes Skoe Winter
Dehler Hausman Larson Olson Skoglund Wolf
Dempsey Hilstrom Leighton Opatz Slawik Spk. Sviggum
Dibble Hilty Lenczewski Osskopp Smith
Dorn Howes Leppik Otremba Solberg
Eastlund Huntley Lieder Ozment Stanek
Entenza Jacobson Lindner Paulsen Stang

Those who voted in the negative were:
Abrams Cassell Hackbarth McElroy Rifenberg Workman
Bishop Dorman Holberg Molnau Swenson
Bradley Finseth Holsten Mulder Vandeveer
Buesgens Gerlach Kuisle Penas

The bill was passed and its title agreed to.

It was then signed into law by Gov. Ventura.