Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, March 29, 1999

Old Cokato bakery cooks up big costs for Wright County

By John Holler

One of the problems surrounding the duties of the Wright County Board is that sometimes the responsible government unit gets stuck picking up the tab for a bill it didn't create.

That's always part of the job, but when the bill is estimated at being $50,000, it becomes a problem every taxpayer in the county has to deal with.

That was the grim projection at the March 23 board meeting, as the board discussed the latest round of cost estimates to remove asbestos and demolish the former Cokato Bakery.

Commissioner Ken Jude said the cost of completing the removal of the building will likely top $50,000 and the county has asked the City of Cokato and the school district - the other beneficiaries of returning the lot to the tax roles - to help out in the cleanup costs. However, there are no such assurances that any help will be forthcoming.

"The expenses for things like this typically come off the top of any costs recaptured when the property is finally sold," Auditor/Treasurer Doug Gruber said "However, on this one, I think the county is going to take (a loss)."

The board voted to proceed with the removal, which will have to be done in conjunction with the demolition of the building, and is awaiting word from the city and the school district as to whether they will be willing to share in the costs.

In other business, the board approved a Parks Commission plan to place a new granite stone near the Dustin Monument Wayside along Highway 12 near Howard Lake , which has been moved due to construction.

The stone will be inscribed with the words barely visible on the original rock monument that will say, "Dustin Family Killed Here By Indians June 29, 1863."

When asked if Native Americans could find the new monument offensive, Commissioner Elmer Eichelberger - who represents the board on the commission - said that it was discussed at the meeting. The consensus was that the new monument was simply repeating what was originally on the monument.

Some have found the monument offensive, since the wayside rest tells the story of the Dustin family tragedy, in which the parents and their children were all killed, but matter-of-factly states that a Native American suspected of involvement was shot and killed while picking blueberries with his son near Hutchinson.

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