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Letter to the Editor: Vote YES for the future of Traer

October 27, 2017
Ellen Young - Traer, Iowa , Traer Star-Clipper

To the Citizens of Traer,

There are lots of fun hobbies. Some people play golf, some people bowl and some go to polka dances. I have a unique hobby. I attend most of the monthly meetings of the Traer City Council, the Traer Municipal Utilities and the North Tama Board of Education. This "hobby" began as work for me in 1984, when I was hired at the local newspaper to report on those meetings. While I no longer work at the newspaper, I had developed an interest in seeing what was happening in our community, so, to this day, I attend most of those meetings every month.

Over the past 33 years, I have developed a deep appreciation for the people who spend their time and effort to serve on these boards, doing what they can to make our community a great place to live, both now and in the future. I have observed years of commitment by your friends and neighbors, people like Russell Drinovsky, Don Lau, Ferd Kvidera, Bob Engel, Ann Brackett, Pete Holden, Bruce Overton, Burdell Staker and the list could go on and on. These local residents (and many others), made local decisions on behalf of themselves, their friends and neighbors - and they also made sometimes unpopular decisions on things like property taxes, and electric rates, etc. Because of their hard work, insight and time commitment, our town, our utility and our school district are in good shape for the future. My hat is also off to the present board members who are likewise committed to our mutual best interests.

Look around you at what Traer has, compared to many other small towns. Our beautiful Library, the almost-completed swimming pool, our K-12 school building with its wonderful staff, a community preschool and daycare center, our beautiful downtown, etc. all are the result of our local people making good decisions, which have benefitted all. And the decision by our local TMU board to build a wind turbine and install solar panels, have allowed them to drop our electric rates as of Jan. 1.

The recent public meeting at the Library concerning the gas franchise offered good, solid information from several sources, including talks by two different small communities which have purchased their gas systems, to the advantage of their residents. Also, representatives of the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities talked about the safety training ALL gas system workers have to have, whether they are Alliant workers, or Traer workers. The IAMU men also addressed the fallacy that Traer gas pipes are old and will need to be replaced. Not true. The steel pipes used for gas systems all have cathodic protection in place, and they have found in other towns that 50-60 year old pipes are still in fine shape when dug up. The cathodic protection systems also have to be certified safe every 12-15 months, per state regulations.

It is because of my appreciation for LOCAL control on behalf of LOCAL residents, that I would like to see Traer voters allow the City of Traer to continue to explore the possibilities in regard to this gas franchise. Traer council members don't answer to stockholders they only answer to you.

While I DO NOT reside in Traer and cannot vote on this issue myself, I have observed firsthand, and I trust the judgment of, the present Traer city representatives (your friends and neighbors) to continue to make good decisions concerning the future of Traer. I think you should trust them also.

Vote "Yes" on Nov. 7, for the future of Traer.

Ellen Young

Traer, Iowa



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