Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dakota County News

Oil and water don't mix

If you're tired of writing stories about what roads will be underwater when the spring floods come, I have a new angle for you. Think about the pollution potential as everyday household chemicals are swept away by flood waters. With the threat of spring flooding, many folks are planning new routes to get to work, buying flood insurance and moving precious possessions to higher ground. But most likely haven't given a second thought to the forgotten paint cans, household cleaners or motor vehicle oil stored in basements and garages. I know I'd think about moving the family photos out of my basement but not my cleaning supplies. That's because I wasn't aware that these items are a potential pollution threat if they end up in flood waters. Until our environmental experts on staff pointed it out. Everyone could use this time to think about the household hazardous waste they have stored in their homes. Even those not in a floodplain could experience overland flooding or sump pump failure due to the spring thaw. They could either move the items to higher ground in preparation for flooding or drop off unneeded items at the Dakota County Recycling Zone.

Save time. Save paper.

I don't know about you, but with my busy schedule I tend to forget to file important paperwork when it arrives in the mail. That includes my property tax statement. It gets stuffed in a drawer along with a plan to file it tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes, and when I need it, I end up frantically digging through a pile of paperwork. Not anymore. Dakota County will soon offer residents the option of receiving their property tax statements, property value notices and truth-in-taxation notices in their e-mail inbox instead of their mailbox. No more paperwork to file. They're easy to keep track of and can be accessed anytime and anywhere using a computer. I'll be signing up. After all, it's a lot more convenient than digging through a pile of paper.

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