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Road repair sales tax

I have been following the recent discussions regarding the proposed countywide half-percent sales tax increase, which will provide a balanced, stable source of funding to repair St. Louis County's roads, bridges and trail network. I applaud those commissioners who have the foresight to make fair, equitable and long-overdue improvements to the county's aging infrastructure.

By media accounts, the majority of the board supports the measure and I thank those commissioners who are taking a holistic countywide approach rather than being parochial and obstructive and "kicking the can down the road" for political fodder. We all just went through a vile election and none of us, of either party, came out the better. We need representation that makes the tough decisions and moves the county progressively forward.

Though my wife and I make our living in the Twin Cities, we still maintain my family's home in Hibbing and cabin in French Township, which has enabled us to create great lifelong memories for our three children. I don't mind paying more taxes if the money is spent locally and uses Iron Range steel and the projects are paid as we go, rather than increasing long-term debt.

As one generation fades away, the one whose backs, determination and sacrifice built all this, the next needs to have the same foresight by continuing to invest across the entire county. This is for all residents, tourists and long-distance Rangers like myself, to attract, retain and grow businesses and provide opportunities for middle-class families to prosper. Please join with me and voice support by letting your commissioner know you support efforts to improve the county's roads for the next generation.

Tom J. Hren

Cottage Grove, Minn.

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