Nearly $3.5 million in federal stimulus funds will go to a project to extend the Dakota Rail Trail thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. With the extension of the trail to Mayer, the trail will connect the two biggest lakes in the metro area, according to the Star Tribune. Those two lakes are Lake Minnetonka and Lake Waconia.
With the great news of stimulus projects starting all over the state also comes bad news. Carver County, and the city of Waconia, has not been immune to budget cuts. These cuts became necessary when Governor Tim Pawlenty drastically reduced state aid in his unilateral unallotment.
Parents now have to keep an even closer eye on their children when they take a family trip to the beaches of Lake Waconia. The Chaska Herald reports that reducing lifeguard hours at Lake Waconia has saved the county almost $12,000. As a result, residents will most likely see more “Swim at your own risk” signs posted on beaches where there are no lifeguards on duty.
Positions like lifeguards, policemen, and firefighters are crucial because they help keep us safe. Those services are being jeopardized because irresponsible budget cuts have forced cities to drastically cut their own budgets to make up for the state aid they have lost. Reducing state aid and cutting these kinds of services isn’t the way to make sure Minnesota once again becomes an “above average” state. We need a Minnesota that thrives, not one that is struggling to survive. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to help ensure that Minnesota gets back on the right track.