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Duluth Breaks off Annexation Talks with Rice Lake Township

Updated: 12/12/2013 11:08 PM
Created: 12/11/2013 11:11 PM WDIO.com

Duluth Mayor Don Ness has publicly broken off discussions with Rice Lake Township over annexation amid backlash from township residents.

On the "Save Rice Lake Township" Facebook page, the main group opposing the annexation, Ness wrote Wednesday that he sent a letter to Rice Lake Town Board Chair John Werner saying the city will not continue to pursue the discussion.

"I hope everyone understands that our intent was to have a respectful conversation, to sit down with township residents and talk about all of the issues where our interests overlap," Ness wrote. 

"I was looking forward to the conversations because I have a lot of friends in the township - but the whole thing soured in a hurry, it became a political campaign. Personally, I'm just sick and tired of that sort of politics - I've got no patience for it anymore," he continued.

Duluth officials had cited reasons such as growing the city's population, and lower tax rates in Duluth than the township as support for annexation.

The "Save Rice Lake Township" Facebook page responded by posting, "I would like to take a moment and thank Mayor Don Ness for stopping the Annexation Discussion... We all had reasons for and against Annexation, but as I sit here now the main reason is NOT to tear these communities apart."

Read Mayor Ness' full letter by clicking here.

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