There are 10 members of the Transportation Conference Committee who
may have to vote on MnDOT's proposed repeal of the Coldwater preservation
law. The new law, which went into effect May 16, protects the flow of
water to and from the spring. Five committee legislators voted for the
Coldwater bill, three voted against, two cast no vote. The Senate voted
unanimously in favor of protecting Coldwater. In the House the vote
was 110 for and 20 against-- so we had broad bi-partisan support.
Preserve Camp Coldwater Coalition Lobby Team leader Mary Weitz advises
us to concentrate on the first four senators. If three senators vote
against the repeal, that is, if three senators vote FOR Coldwater, the
spring is saved from that committee. (MnDOT might try another committee.)
Please call or email the first four legislators (really the first six
folks) to thank them for their support and ask them to hold onto their
support for Coldwater. Be respectful; anything less hurts
Coldwater is the Birthplace of Minnesota and the largest limestone bedrock
spring in the Twin Cities, flowing at 140,000 gallons a day. The spring
is more than 10,000 years old. The new highway is designed to last,
at most, 50 years.
We have been told Elwin Tinklenberg, MnDOT commissioner, claims these
legislators will do MnDOT's bidding regardless of how they voted on
the Coldwater bill. Legislators might be interested in the fact that
MnDOT repeatedly guaranteed "no adverse impact" at the November 18,
2000, Lower Minnesota River Watershed District meeting before they were
granted a construction permit for the 55/62 interchange stormwater pond.
The stormwater pond and a bridge abutment seem to be the two sensitive
points for the flow to Coldwater. Official minutes of the permit hearing
state: "MnDOT stated that they guaranteed there would be no adverse
impact and if there were any, at any time in the future, MnDOT would
make whatever changes are necessary to eliminate that impact." This
and other written guarantees have been ignored according to Eric Evenson,
administrator for the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District which is responsible
for the health and well-being of Coldwater Spring.
The Coldwater law has not stopped construction. Dewatering has been
stopped however highway construction continues. LRT plans are not impacted
by the Coldwater legislation although MnDOT has made such claims. The
intent of the Coldwater law is to grant historic protection to the Camp
Coldwater Spring area and to protect the flow to the spring.
Transportation Conference Committee
1. Sen. Dean Johnson, DFL, Willmar, ranking committee Democrat, voted
for the Coldwater legislation,
2. Sen. Randy Kelly, conservative Democrat running for mayor in St.
Paul, did not vote on Coldwater bill, perhaps absent,
3. Sen. Roy Terwilliger, R, Edina, voted for,
4. Sen. Jane Ranum, DFL, Minneapolis, Coldwater is in her district,
5. Rep. Mary Murphy, DFL, Hermantown, Assistant Minority Leader, voted
6. Rep. Rich Stanek, R, Maple Grove, voted for
7. Rep. Tom Workman, R, Chanhassen, voted against, firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Rep. Carol Molnau, R, Chaska, Assistant Minority Leader, ranking
Republican on the committee, voted against the Coldwater bill,
9. Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, R, Lakeville, Assistant Majority Leader,
10. Sen. Mark Ourada, R, Buffalo, did not vote, perhaps absent,
Researched and written by Susu Jeffrey for Preserve Camp Coldwater Coalition.