Governor’s Water Quality Town Hall Makes Stop in St. Cloud
ST. CLOUD -- Around 200 people packed the cafeteria of St. Cloud Technical and Community College Wednesday night, as Governor Mark Dayton made his 5th stop on his town hall tour.
The Governor says, while farms have been a big focus of these town halls and current water quality legislation, it's important to not forget the cities.
"We focus on agriculture and that's a big part, but there's also the urban component, so we talk about what kind of incentives and education we can provide for homeowners and others."
When it comes to farmers, Dayton says one of his top priorities is making sure they can afford to comply with the new rules the state is passing, possibly including a tax abatement.
"Agriculture is in a very tough economic situation right now and I know a lot of farmers who would like to be more forthcoming but are just [too] strapped economically."
As for St. Cloud's handling of our water, he says we've left him very impressed.
"I was very impressed with what I learned here, and of course you have an urban area of 120,000 people here and growing. So the scale of what St. Cloud has to do to accommodate the growth here really takes a lot and they're doing a lot so I give them a lot of credit."
The town hall also featured a real time online program on the site pigeonhole where the crowd could give their own suggestions on how to improve the state's water quality. Most comments centered around education and outreach.
Governor Dayton has set the goal of improving Minnesota’s water quality by 25 percent by 2025.
There was a small protest at the start of the town hall. Under five people started protesting just after Dayton began speaking to the crowd. They are in opposition to the Line 3 pipeline in Northern Minnesota, which is currently under going a multi-billion dollar renovation.
The Governor commended the group for using their First Amendment rights.