UPDATE: Army Corps leaders visit Wabasha as battle for dredging - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

UPDATE: Army Corps leaders visit Wabasha as battle for dredging project continues

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WABASHA, Minn. (FOX 47) -

The US Army Corps of Engineers met with the Wabasha community Thursday to discuss the dredging requirements currently under investigation.

Army Corps Division Commander, Major General Richard G. Kaiser, said Thursday's meeting gave him a vivid understanding of the Wabasha community's concerns.

The Army Corps noted that eminent domain is the last option they want to pursue, and would rather search for more beneficial resolutions such as using the silt for ecosystem restorations or using it for landscaping purposes.

Major General Kaiser says the biggest challenge in finding the correct resolution is the cost of transporting materials.

"Material is a non-expensive commodity, you've heard the term 'dirt cheap' but it's very expensive to move," he said. "So where do you put it, where should it go? That's the challenge that we face. You have excellent quality material that comes out of the river here, very very clean sand. You have people down the river who would love that material. The question is how do you get it there?"

Major General Kaiser also says he hopes to have a draft proposal of resolutions to present to the local community by the early stages of winter.

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It's the Army Corps of Engineers versus concerned residents Thursday afternoon in Wabasha.

The Mississippi Valley Division Commander Major General Richard Kaiser will join other Corps leaders in a visit to Wabasha. While there, they will get a first-hand look at the region, as the corps considers a dredging project opposed by many in the area.

A number of state and federal politicians, including both of Minnesota's Senators, have paid visits to local farms that could become government property by way of eminent domain.

After surveying the area, the Major General will meet with "area stakeholders" at Wabasha City Hall.

Also worth noting, Major General Kaiser took over the Commander position in early September, well after this dredging plan had been announced. 

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