CR 595 position stated

To the Journal editor:

After the sixth negative mailing by my opponent, Rich Rossway, saying I voted against Marquette County Road 595, it’s time to set the record straight.

First, I am a Marquette city commissioner. I have no authority in my elected capacity to vote for or against a county road.

Second, once CR 595 permits were denied by the EPA, Lundin Mining found another route to haul their ore. Lundin was not interested in filing a lawsuit against the EPA. They know it’s better to work with the EPA rather than against them.

Third, Lundin made an agreement with our Marquette County Road Commission to pay all costs to upgrade CR 550 for their new haul route. They took the $100 million they pledged for CR 595 and sunk over $60 million into upgrading CR 550 and the AAA road. There is no private money to build CR 595 anymore.

Fourth, Lundin signed an agreement with the City of Marquette to use Wright Street and will pay over $8M to improve our roads. They will also help pay for a $2M roundabout at the U.S. 41 intersection in Marquette Township.

All of these road upgrades have created hundreds of local jobs.

Lastly, Lundin pledged $100,000 to do a regional traffic study to find a $20M ring road around the city, township and our university. Sadly, this solution fell apart when a group came forward to have the Marquette County Road Commission sue the EPA over CR595 with undisclosed money.

The Marquette County Board, cities and townships were asked to support a resolution by legislators to go forward with a lawsuit against the EPA. This resolution was not unanimously supported. Many elected officials demanded transparency. Who were the funders behind the county road commission lawsuit? We still don’t know today.

It’s been almost three years and this lawsuit is still tied up in court. We still don’t have a ring road for trucks.

At the time, CR 595 made sense if it were permitted to be built. Today, it makes zero sense. We have no private money to build it unless the taxpayers pay for it.

Like many elected officials in Marquette County, I voted against the resolution to support a lawsuit against the EPA. We had another solution in place. At this point, anyone arguing to still build CR595 has a special interest in the project. Read between the lines and you’ll see it.