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Letter: Carnegie should be funded by individuals

First of all, we would like to state that we are not against the Save the Carnegie Campaign. We are against using any state or federal funds for the project. It has been stated by some that if Bemidji doesn’t get the money someone else will. Many people talk about less government. That is not possible if every pet project needs taxpayer funding.

Here are some figures we were given by City Hall as of June 21, 2013. At that time, 119 individuals and 10 businesses had donated to the campaign. Of the individuals 57 gave $100 or more. The bulk of the fundraising has been $150,000 from the Neilson Foundation, $100,000 from the city of Bemidji and $150,000 from an Illinois couple. A city employee stated a secret donor has pledged $200,000. They still need about $1 million. These figures seem to indicate the population at large is not participating in the campaign.

If you feel as we do, that this campaign should only be funded by individuals, businesses and private foundations, please let your feelings be known. Contact Rep. John Persell and Sen. Rod Skoe. The citizens of our area have not answered the call to save the Carnegie building.

Steve and Kathy Johnson