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Letter: There’s a cheaper way to clean up shoreline


I received a questionnaire from the Lake Bemidji south shore project which has two options for cleaning up the south lake shore. One was at a cost of $3.4 million and the other was for $2.6 million. I think there is another option. First I would like to know, are we talking about the whole south shore or just the part that would be a public swimming beach? If just the swimming beach is to be done, how many feet of beach is that?

I am very familiar with that stretch of lakeshore. For years I have been wading on that shore to collect driftwood board from the lake bottom which I use in my sculptural art work. (There are beautiful driftwood boards there.)

From what I have seen, all of the boards could be picked up out of the lake by a small group of people, adults and/or youth. There would be no need to bring in heavy equipment to dig at the lake bottom beyond what is necessary. As for the wood chips on the shore line, has anyone measured how deep into the sand that the chips go? It looks to me like a piece of machinery like a front-end loader could be used to dredge the chips out and then fill the trench of clean sand.

I don’t think we need to spend millions of dollars. I just witnessed the demolition and cleanup of one of the dormitories on the university and the total cost of that project was $250,000. That was a far bigger job than the lake shore cleanup.

I think a local excavating and a crew of paid Bemidjians, people looking for a summer job, would be the way to go, saving millions of dollars and giving employment to local people.

Don Knudson