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Big Stillwater contingent lobbies in D.C. for new bridge

A large group of Stillwater area and western Wisconsin folks went to Washington, D.C., for Wednesday meetings designed to drum up support for a new bridge over the St. Croix River south of the Stillwater.

The Hudson Observer lists those on the lobbying mission:

  • New Richmond Mayor Fred Horne
  • New Richmond City Council members Jane Hansen and Kirk Van Blaircom
  • New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce Director Russ Korpela
  • John and Tini Soderberg from New Richmond
  • St. Croix County Board Chairman Daryl Standafer
  • Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce President Kim Heinemann
  • Lakeview Hospital President Curt Geissler
  • Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki
  • Washington County Board of Commissioners Chairman Gary Kriesel
  • Stillwater Deputy Mayor Jim Rousch
  • Leo’s Grill and Malt Shop owner Cory Buettner
  • Iron Workers Local 512 representative Troy Seboin
  • Coalition Executive Director Mike Wilhelmi
  • Washington County Transportation Planning manager Ted Schoenecker
  • North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters Political Director Kyle Makarios
  • Wisconsin State Council of Carpenters Political Director Mark Reihl

The eight elected officials traveled at public expense, the Star Tribune said.

Korpela told the paper that the Washington leaders they’ve talked to seemed impressed by the diverse group of supporters who showed up for the lobbying effort: Democrats, Republicans, labor leaders, business leaders and public officials from both Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has been pushing a plan to have Congress exempt the free-way style bridge from the restrictions of the Wild and Scenic Riverway Act. Gov. Mark Dayton also supports the new bridge, but many environmentalists are against it, as are many who oppose the $700 million cost.

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