Mayor proclaims March 8-16 ‘Support Our Troops Week’

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

    Crookston Mayor Dale Stainbrook proclaimed “Support Our Troops Week” for the city March 8-16, 2021 during this week’s City Council meeting acknowledging the Crookston National Guard unit that will be deploying overseas. Beyond the Yellow Ribbon chair Bill Cassavant accepted the certificate and acknowledged BYR members John Erickson, Paul Biermaier, Tim Froeber and Jamie Cassavant who were present at the meeting.

    Cassavant said he and the other BYR members appreciated the city’s support and explained that the BYR committee, which was founded in 2010, helps create awareness and connects service members of all branches and their families with resources. Erickson added that they also do education programs in the schools and love the response they receive, plus they partner with the University of Minnesota Crookston to host the annual Veterans Recognition Ceremony during the Ox Cart Days festival in August.

    “Thank you to the city and to the committee for stepping up and supporting our military,” Erickson remarked.


    Representatives from Respect Minnesota provided a brief presentation of the program to the council this week and thanked the city for its previous support. Respect Minnesota Outreach Director Kathy Ross, along with Chris Tiedeman, a Crookston native, reintroduced the initiative that the council, in 2019, accepted and approved a resolution to agree with and strive to abide by the pledge.

    “I think there’s a lot of power and potential in the program and it doesn’t matter where you stand on the Line 3 project,” Ross explained. “We want to show respect around the process, respect people and their opinions and to provide a safe environment for everyone.”

    “We launched in 2019 and the world was a difference place then,” she added. “Other communities have used this (pledge) as a way to build bridges around other topics.”

    After a video on the initiative and references to letters to the editor in the Times showing support for the program, Ross said her goal is to make Respect Minnesota more visible and offered materials for the city to use and provided individual pledge cards for the council.


    The council approved a variance for the Ag Innovation Campus to build an Agricultural Crop Processing and Research facility including a building, storage bins, and bucket elevators as well as additional equipment to be placed on top of the storage bins. Their proposal varies from the city’s ordinance in that it would allow for an increased height from 40 feet to 120 feet for elevator structures and allow for an increase in height from 40 to 90 feet for additional bin storage structures with respect to the storage of agricultural crops, and would allow for an increase in height from 40 to 60 feet for the research building and other structures with respect to the Campus.

    Ward 1 council member Kristie Jerde asked if there were any concerns or hesitations on bringing the approval forward and City Building Official Greg Hefta said there were none that he was aware of. Hefta explained that the height change was needed for the malting material that requires higher height and Ag Campus rep Jim Lambert, who attended the meeting virtually, said they’re asking for maximum heights due to the malt products needing a larger angle.

    “The height is based on the client we’ve been working with and we might not need to make it that tall, but we wanted to ask for the maximum height so we didn’t have to come back to the council,” he explained.

    The council also approved a change order for curb and gutter on Stephens Drive to keep the “roll curb” like the area had previously, plus they approved purchases for Parks & Recreation for a 2021 Ranger side-by-side with sprayer and a set of bleachers to match the existing set at Karn Field.

Mayor Dale Stainbrook gives the “Support Our Troops Week” proclamation to Beyond the Yellow Ribbon members Bill Cassavant and John Erickson