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Roger Imdieke letter: Governments get the job done on Willmar Wye

The letter writer celebrates the decade-long government effort to complete the Willmar Wye.

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The BNSF Railway's inaugural train travels along the Willmar Wye tracks on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in west Willmar. The Minnesota Department of Transportation, in cooperation with BNSF, the city of Willmar and Kandiyohi County, held a Wye ribbon-cutting event on Tuesday. BNSF then provided a train ride on the Willmar Wye for local officials and guests.
Kelly Boldan / West Central Tribune
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You may have heard me say, “government work does not happen fast. It is a little like running in water. You work really hard, but get nowhere fast. In private business, we can make a decision today, and probably be making dust in a month.”

What really determines the pace, is the number of stakeholders that must be satisfied — including responsibility to taxpayers.

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Reader Opinion letter
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The letter writer believe citizens should demand that our state and federal representatives and senators work on permitting the building of more coal, gas and nuclear power plants resulting in lower energy costs.
The letter writer urges caution about money solicitation requests.
The letter writer believes educators should change history lessons.

In October 2022, we cut the ribbon on a nearly $50-million Willmar Wye infrastructure project on the BNSF Railway tracks in Kandiyohi County. It was nearly 10 years in the making. To give some perspective, this project started:

  • Two presidents ago
  • In Minnesota, one of two U.S. senators ago
  • Two governors ago
  • Two Minnesota District 7 representatives ago
  • Two State representatives ago
  • Two State senators ago
  • Three Minnesota Transportation Commissioners ago
  • And more than five county commissioners ago.

But we got it done.
The ribbon-cutting was the culmination of a tremendous effort by many. This investment and partnership between city, county, state and federal governments, the regional Economic Development Commission, and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railways will improve safety, save energy and stimulate economic development.

Already, the industrial park on the west side of Willmar is experiencing new investments. And more are in the works.

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Congratulations to all the partners!

Roger Imdieke
Kandiyohi County Commissioner

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