Jim Oberstar's Congressional Work Continues To Be Felt

By KBJR News 1

August 12, 2011 Updated Aug 13, 2011 at 1:36 AM CDT

Proctor, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- Former Congressman Jim Oberstar may no longer be a member of the House of Representatives, but his years of public service continue to be felt.

Proctor leaders thanked Oberstar on Friday for helping to secure a Federal Transportation Grant to Build Kirkus Street, which will include a bridge over the CN Railroad.

Oberstar said it's extremely rewarding to hear how his work is still helping communities in his former district.

"My service has been of such value they want me to come back and express their appreciation, and it's been happening all throughout the 8th congressional district and I'm very very deeply touched by it."

He also said this project is a long time coming.

"Especially in time of emergency need, they'll be able to access emergency vehicles from one side of the railroad tracks to another."

"Within a year or two we'll have a complete road with a bridge there. Added safety to the town, and again, most of that money coming from the Federal Transportation grant that Representative Oberstar was able to get for us years ago," said Jim Schwarzbauer, President of the Proctor Area Historical Society.

Friday's event looked at Proctors past and focused on where the city wants to go in the future.

Fund raising efforts for a new playground and handicap accessible park were also discussed.

Minnesota Power was on hand to make a corporate donation to the Proctor Area Historical Society for a new museum.

Meanwhile other Proctor residents were thanked for their commitment to the community.

Kirkus Street construction is expected to break ground this fall.

As chair of the commission on Transportation and Infrastructure, Oberstar spent countless hours advocating for road and bridge projects all over the eighth congressional district and the nation.

While Oberstar still is very much so a public servant, he currently doesn't have any plans to run for office again. He said he's enjoying his freedom and that he's been busy with invitations to speak to organizations all over the country, as well as teaching at the University of Minnesota...he also said he's looking into perhaps teaching at UMD.

Oberstar added that he believes there are strong democratic opponents already campaigning for the eighth congressional spot, and he thinks one of them will be able to nab the seat in the next election.