Opposes travel center

To the editor:

I am writing in regards to the story written in The Messenger about the travel center on U.S. Highway 20 and Poplar Avenue. I am a resident of 235th Street, born and raised here. As many of my neighbors have done, I have devoted much of my life and income to preserving the beauty of the area, as well as the agricultural heritage of the area, in spite of Highway 20’s construction in the 1980s.

I am writing you to let you know that residents of the area are strongly opposed to the proposed project for many reasons which I will outline, and to plead with the public to not support such an effort in this area.

First of all is the traffic safety concerns, and the cost to reroute traffic in a manner necessary to support Mr. Stumpf’s proposed site. Traffic accidents at highway speeds are already a common occurrence in the area, due to poor visibility as you are coming up Holiday Creek Hill.

Second is the pollution that this will bring to this area. Not only is trash a major concern, but the proposed location is on a watershed that is immediately uphill of Holiday Creek, which ultimately will affect the Des Moines River. A truck stop inevitably has a significant amount of runoff, that will affect the watershed.

Third is the increase in noise and light pollution in the area, which is already a major issue.

Fourth is the fact that another truck stop or hotel in the area is not needed, given that there is an abundance of truck stops along Highway 20 already, which will be negatively impacted. Truck stops are present 15 miles west and 10 miles east, both of which would be negatively impacted. The destruction of more farm ground for the construction of another truck stop is not necessary, and will long term be viewed as one of our generations’ greatest failures, in failing to protect one of our greatest natural resources. If another truck stop is needed, a truck stop at Highway 20 and 169 would be a far safer, much more traveled and far better location away from a water shed.

Finally is the negative impact to property values in the area. To allow a wealthy investor to construct a destination of this sort in someone else’s backyard, is a slap in the face to those that call the area home. If Mr Stumpf is intent on creating a destination to open up more nature areas, he should consider constructing them on his property at the entrance to Dolliver Park, an already present destination for many that could be served by a convenience store and hotel.

Brad Lemke



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