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Standing in support of PolyMet

For 145 years, the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce has served as the voice of business for our area. We are 1,100 members strong. The 22 leaders who serve on our board of directors are chosen to represent our members and advocate on their behalf.

On Jan. 28, 2014, our board of directors unanimously passed a resolution to fully support and publicly advocate for the PolyMet Mining initiative. The resolution included specific language illustrating how the board agreed to respectfully encourage decisionmakers empowered with determining PolyMet's future to allow this needed project to proceed.

Two weeks ago, our board of directors agreed to affirm and restate our full support for the PolyMet Mining initiative. This reaffirmation included a directive to send a letter to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton stating the Chamber's resolute support for the PolyMet initiative. By the time this article appears in the Duluth Budgeteer News, Gov. Dayton will have received the Chamber's letter.

The Chamber worked hard to establish, and now enjoys, a productive and respectful relationship with Gov. Dayton. Hopefully, Gov. Dayton will appreciate hearing from a trusted and respectful friend regarding PolyMet.

Having served our region since Duluth was incorporated as a city in 1870, our Chamber has witnessed how hard economic times can devastate our collective community. We, therefore, share the pain that is experienced by our brothers and sisters on the Iron Range when the mines are closed or operating under capacity. Consequently, the Chamber recognizes and appreciates how several of our members have already benefited by providing resources to PolyMet Mining as the company has worked through the planning and approval phase of this project.

We understand that once PolyMet receives its permits, several more Duluth area businesses will provide services and product to the PolyMet initiative. The positive economic impact will exponentially grow when construction and mining begin. Additionally, our board appreciates how strategic metals mining will have a positive impact on local tax revenue and education funding.

In summary, the Chamber stands in solidarity with other advocates who support the PolyMet initiative. We understand and appreciate how the mining of resources in Northeastern Minnesota will generate thousands of new jobs for our neighbors from throughout the region.

We encourage Gov. Dayton and other decisionmakers to allow this needed, beneficial project to proceed.

David Ross is the president and CEO of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. Contact him at 740-3751 or dross@duluthchamber.com.

David Ross

David Ross is the president and CEO of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. Contact him at 740-3751.

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