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Barbara Kay Carlisle, Published September 17 2011

Cost of renovation should be shared

News flash? “City leaders say the street is the life of the community,” said a WDAY-TV Channel 6 news reporter on Aug. 16, regarding the nearly completed “controversial” Front Street renovation in Barnesville, Minn.

So then why do Barnesville city leaders still think that less than one- third of residential property owners should foot the bill in a segregated special assessment?

(I live three blocks away from the downtown renovation area but am in the special assessment target zone.)

What did Mike Rietz, city administrator, declare on camera for that newscast?

“This is our main route. This is our commercial corridor; that’s the important thing. … We are re-opening the corridor that our businesses use; it’s their lifeblood,” Rietz told the reporter and all 10 p.m. listeners, as well as those consulting the online repeat of that newscast.

All six councilmen live outside the special assessment zone, so their pockets will not be drained by a frivolously expensive ­downtown-area project.

They need to do the right thing. All property owners need to share all of downtown’s hefty renovation bill.

City leaders’ own words to the news media came back to bite them on the derriere.

News flash?