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Karie Petrie’s article about St. Cloud’s newest park contains a statement that made me laugh:

Mike and Theresa Erickson live next door to Albers and share her concerns about parking. They also wonder how the city will patrol the park. Kleis says officers will patrol the park as they do other city parks.

That’s disappointing. Considering the fleecing that St. Cloud State got in past deals, President Potter should’ve agreed to pay for the officers who will patrol the park he just gave away. Seriously, President Potter is paying $240,000/year for 3 police officers who don’t patrol the SCSU campus.

The least he should do is pay for the police who will patrol the park he just traded away.

Let’s review. Monday night, the St. Cloud City Council voted to approve the land swap where the City of St. Cloud gave St. Cloud State several parcels of land that can’t be developed and that are pretty much useless in exchange for 50 acres of wooded property that once was home to a granite mining operation. Both properties need significant cleanup.

The difference is that the wooded property will be quite usable once it’s cleaned up whereas the empty parking lot and the old railroad right-of-way will still be pretty worthless. What essentially happened is that St. Cloud State traded a 50-acre beautifully wooded lot for a parking lot.

Considering the fact that SCSU a) mothballed 2 dorms in the last 2 years and b) built a parking ramp on campus right before the enrollment collapse, St. Cloud State doesn’t need another parking lot, especially one that’s way to the south of campus.

It’s possible that the thing that’s preventing President Potter from paying for the police patrols for the park is that SCSU’s running multi-million dollar deficits.

I don’t blame the City Council approving the deal. From St. Cloud’s standpoint, why wouldn’t they make this swap in a New York minute? The people I’ve criticized are President Potter, the MnSCU Board of Trustees and Dr. Rosenstone.

Apparently, the Trustees, Dr. Rosenstone and President Potter don’t care whether they’re getting fleeced, most likely because it isn’t their money that they’re flushing down the proverbial toilet.

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