Time to reclaim the Kinni

I have spent the last couple of weeks reading letters regarding dam removal in our city. Outside of the second letter, whose points were overshadowed by sarcasm and personal attacks, I have found both sides to be well thought out and meaningful.

One thing is clear: people care about this city! I do not have expertise in the area of dam removal, city planning, or the like. I am not an engineer. I am not on a committee and have never worked for or been related to someone who has worked for the electric company.

I have however, signed the petition for dam removal and I will explain why.

My older sister went to college in River Falls and that changed my life. My parents fell in love with the town and we moved here from Stillwater when I was 17. One might think, what a terrible time to move to a small town. One would usually be right. However, I love this town. I have always felt like a “River Fallsian” even though I was not born here. I spent several years living overseas and when it was time to return I came back to RF with my family because I wanted my children to grow up here.

I believe one thing our town is missing is an easy way to hang out and enjoy the Kinnickinnic River for families.

The lakes are not lakes, we can’t play in them, we can’t enjoy them. We can only look at them, and frankly they are not very attractive. I cannot understand how removing the dams will in any way endanger the small town charm of our community.

The Kinni is our river, it is naturally supposed to run all the way through our town. We clearly do not need what little power is generated by the dams. There are times that man-made structures outgrow their usefulness. For the dams, I believe that time is now.

I’d like to see our city take back the river that belongs to River Falls so that our citizens can enjoy it for generations to come!

Kareen Buri-Dodge
River Falls

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