Monday, May 07, 2007

Tanks for this


It's not my backyard, of course, but as a former tanker I fully support the family in this one.

WASECA, MINN. -- Tony Borglum has a thing for tanks. So much so that last fall, after he and his father traveled to England to buy one, they bought four more with the idea of opening a tank-riding business and obstacle course in their back yard.

"We were there a day and a half, and I got to thinking: 'There's nothing like this in the U.S.,' " said Borglum, 20, talking about the obstacle course in England where he bought the tanks and an armored personnel carrier. "I said, 'I think people would be interested. So let's bring some back and see what happens.' "

What happened has turned Waseca County into a battleground, pitting the Borglums and their plan against dozens of residents who are less than thrilled by the idea of seeing and hearing tanks and an armored personnel carrier rumbling across the land.

The vehicles involved are British and varied, and none of them are actually tanks. They include an Abbott self-propelled artillery piece, a FV432 armored personnel carrier and two armored cars: a Saladin and a Ferret.

Noisewise, I don't think the neighbors have much to worry about, though I agree with their concerns about the outdoor shooting ranges. I just wish ex-tankers could actually drive the things instead of merely riding on them. Ah, well.

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