KATIE ZERR: Projects the result of determination

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Some said this day would never come. Some said connecting Main Street to the shore of Lake Oahe was a pipe dream that couldn’t be done. Some said raising enough money to put an addition on A. H. Brown Library was too large a task for a small group of people to tackle.

It may have taken longer than those involved would have wanted, but now it seems both projects will come about at the same time.

On Monday night, members of the Library Broad and the Library Foundation announced bids will be let and they are going to start building the new library addition this spring. After years of fundraising and high expectations that didn’t pan out, there will be construction on the north end of Main Street.

The people involved have always wanted to give the community a great new space in which they can enjoy what the A.H. Brown has to offer. They wanted the project to be paid for before construction began. They worked tirelessly to make that dream a reality.

With few compromises they were able to accomplish those goals and now take the first move toward construction with bid letting.

The community owes those involved a debt of gratitude for everything they have done. They worked incredibly hard to make this addition a reality and to keep the debt burden off of the city taxpayers. We will have something in which we can be very proud when the new addition is ready for the public.

It will be a time to celebrate a victory of wills.

The Main Street Railroad Crossing is another project that has been a long time coming.

There are those who say it is a monumental waste of money. But those who look beyond their own little worlds see that successful cities along the Missouri River system all have developed riverfronts.

The powers that be that failed to develop that area when the dam created the large expanse of water at our doorstep put this city behind the eight ball. For years our lakefront had been an eyesore instead of being a place where residents and visitors actually spend time enjoying.

For years we missed out on the opportunity to utilize the most incredible vistas and valuable land because of lack of vision.

We are now taking the first step to completing another phase in the Main Street renovation. It will be an incredible addition to our community.

Those who dubbed the first stages of the project “The Road to Nowhere” must never have enjoyed the drive along the lake, watching families stroll down the walking trail or joggers getting their daily exercise next to Lake Oahe.

They fail to see people walking their dogs or groups playing disc golf or swimming or fishing or picnicking along that path.

They fail to see it because it is more important to be right than to be able to see the benefit to this community overall.

The quality of life in Mobridge has improved by leaps and bounds in the past 15 years with the new schools, the Main Street renovation, the storm sewer project and new residential developments.

None of that would have happened if people had listened to those who said it couldn’t be done, was a waste of time and money and seeking grant funding was a joke.

None of this would have been possible without people with dedication, vision and the guts to turn a deaf ear to those without the same traits.

Thank you to those people.

Let the construction begin!

 

On a personal note, South Dakota lost a man of vision last week when former Governor Bill Janklow died of brain cancer.

He saw the future, made a plan and got it done. No matter what your political party, you have to admit Janklow was a force to be reckoned with who wasn’t afraid to play ball with the big boys, including Congress and Corps of Engineers.

His biggest mistake was a grave one and it cost a man his life. It is a terrible footnote to a life of dedicated service to the people of South Dakota.

–Katie Zerr –

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