Two Tracy officials were quoted in a Minnesota Public Radio report Monday about the possible impact of proposed spending reductions in federal agencies like Rural Development.
Comments by City Administrator Madonna Peterson and Public Works Director Shane Daniels were included in a report by Mark Steil, entitled: “Rural Minnesota has much to lose in Trump budget plan.” A photo of the two Tracy leaders looking over Tracy’s current sewage lagoons was posted on the Minnesota Public Radio web site along with the story. Here are excerpts from the MPR report:
The people in rural areas who voted for President Trump in droves have much at stake in his proposed budget. Trump’s budget plan cuts a wide range of federal funding sources, including a water and sewer program that provided more than $200 million to greater Minnesota communities over the last five years.
Take the example of Tracy, Minn., where the sewage system has reached its limit — forcing economic development to a halt. Tracy is on track to start a roughly $11 million rebuild of the sewage system within weeks. Most of the money comes from low-interest federal loans and grants the town has already secured.
But Trump’s budget plan threatens to stop the project in its final stages by cutting out funding sources.
Finishing the new sewage system is critical for Tracy as it’s competing for a new shrimp-production facility that could bring hundreds of jobs to the town. Fifty-eight percent of Tracy voters chose Trump in last fall’s election.
The Trump budget plan would create other types of pain for rural Minnesota, too. Energy assistance, air-service programs and federal agriculture department staffing could all see cuts. The proposal doesn’t affect farm subsidy payments.”
Trump supporters like Keith Scheidt of Adrian, Minn., say the proposed reductions are bitter, but they’re necessary to get government spending under control.
President Trump’s proposed budget would eliminate a federal program that’s providing much of the funding for a wastewater rebuilding project in Tracy in southwest Minnesota. Parts of the system are over 100 years old.
I think everybody’s going to have to take some cuts and they’re just going to have to accept it,” Scheidt said. “Otherwise we’re just going to keep on running up the national debt. It’s so high now it’s going to take a hundred years to pay it down.
For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.