Letter: Speak out about ‘fallout’ from burn

Published 11:02 am Friday, February 8, 2013

Little did we realize Feb. 2, 2013, Groundhog Day would be a day marked by not only projecting if we were to have six more weeks of winter, but also how much a clean up from burning the Mower County Grandstand would cost us.

Over the course of last summer and fall, it was noted that the Mower County Grandstand was unsafe and it was debated on how and when to demolish the grandstand. County and city officials decided to burn down the structure rather than to demolish it. The date was tentatively set late last fall and it was supposed to be burned at that time.

We also decided because it appeared officials were “thinking and planning to burn” the structure that we would not be storing our boat at the fair grounds this year. The decision not to store the boat at the fair grounds was based on possible problems with ignition of adjacent storage space at the fair grounds and also smoke permeating anything stored there.

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Ginny and I took part in the “Fishing for a Cure” event on Eastside Lake this past Saturday, and when we returned from the event we discovered that every square inch of our property was covered with large deposits of soot and ash. This at one time during the burn had to be hot and in a plume of smoke it traveled from the grandstand area to our home. Estimating that it traveled almost six blocks southeast of the fairgrounds to our neighborhood.

This soot and ash when stepped on is like stepping on charcoal. It is transmitted to the floors in your home by walking over it and pets coming into your home also carry it. When it comes in contact with moisture it turns to a tar like substance and it stains everything it comes into contact with. That would mean it would stain your roof, cars, decks, driveways, carpeting and siding. These stains may not appear right away but as the snow melts it could lead to streaking on siding, walkways and roofs and spots on flooring and carpeting in your home.

If you are a victim of this “fallout” we urge you to contact the County Administrator’s office, attention Craig Oscarson about possible damages to your property.

There is a motto that we shared with our kids on many occasions as they were growing up. “Always expect the unexpected, then you are never disappointed.” Well this was very unexpected and we are more than very disappointed.


Bob and Ginny Riege,