Letter: City of Grand Forks, Mayor Bochenski have bungled Fufeng project
Because of the way this project was handled, Grand Forks voters will probably not support anything that city government proposes in the near future.
The handling of the proposed Fufeng corn mill project by the mayor and City Council is a terrific lesson for anyone who wants to get citizens not to trust government. The arrogance and bungling have been amazing, and there is much not to like. For example, the plan was hatched in secret meetings and announced as a done deal before citizens had even heard of it. The project also includes using $100 million of taxpayers’ money to subsidize the Chinese-owned corn mill, and the mill will be the largest polluter in our region.
Promoters have made many claims that turned out to be untrue, and they tell us that the 250 jobs at the plant will benefit everyone in Grand Forks. But, Grand Forks people have heard that sort of bogus claim before and are not stupid. Thousands of voters signed petitions to put this project to a vote, but the City Council rejected that move and, despite the project’s unpopularity, decided to forge ahead.
It will take a long time for our city to recover from this debacle, if recovery is even possible. Because of the way this project was handled, Grand Forks voters will probably not support anything that city government proposes in the near future. A good first step, however, would be for the mayor and others who have been so outspoken to resign. Let’s get people in government who are responsive and who listen to citizens instead of insulting them. Then the healing can begin.