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Letter: Klabunde supports local interests

It's important to elect people to our Legislature who support issues like promoting tourism and keeping our waters clean. We need legislators who will work to mobilize state resources to help do what we can't do alone. Bryan Klabunde will be this legislator.

Tourists come to our area to enjoy our beautiful environment and our clean waters. Bicycling is increasingly popular. Snowmobiling has always been popular. An extension of the Heartland Trail has been proposed to go from where the trail crosses County Road 4 through Emmaville to Itasca State Park. Much of this route has been planned through volunteer efforts emphasizing the quality of the biking/snowmobiling experience while safeguarding hunting and logging in the area.

Building it requires time and money. Our volunteer committee has committed countless hours on this project, but we need money from the state—bonding money—to get the job done. This year, a bonding year for the Legislature, failed to provide money for an engineering study on the proposed trail as well as for numerous other state construction projects.

Another area of concern is pollution of our clean waters from aquatic invasive species and contaminants. State financial assistance is vital to keeping our waters clean. We can't trust that these problems will simply sort themselves out. Monitoring and research are vital needs with costs that can be borne if we work together.

I believe a major function of state government is to help citizens accomplish tasks that would be difficult to accomplish individually—projects that enhance our quality of life and our economy. A vote for Bryan Klabunde will insure that Park Rapids will have a legislator who supports our interests.