Time once again to hand out some cheers and jeers. And, this time there is some well-deserved cheering to do.
Cheers to the Blue Earth City Council for being willing to take the big step of expanding the Faribault County Fitness Center. It certainly needed it.
And, seeing the finished product, one can now see just how badly the expansion was a necessity, not just something to make it 'look nice.'
Granted, the council only took the big step because they were convinced that profits from the center will pay for the half million dollar project, but none the less, they deserve credit for making it all happen.
While there are still those who wonder if a business which does show a profit should be city-owned and operated and perhaps would be better under private ownership, we wonder if an expansion such as this would ever be done by a private business.
Jeers to all the public agencies which are causing delay after delay for the city of Blue Earth's North Industrial Park project. These agencies have forced the city to do everything from studying if there are ancient artifacts buried there, to having multiple appraisals done of the value of the land, and then having those appraisals re-certified. Others have determined there is a wetland there at least after a rainfall and the city needs to purchase wetlands credits in order to build there.
Now the county, who we cheered before for making the wetlands credits available to the city, is dragging its feet in getting the deal done.
All of this is making a planned spring ground breaking look very doubtful. It has also forced the city's Economic Development Authority to go approximately $80,000 'over budget' in trying to get this deal done.
Cheers to the Pioneer Bank organization for turning something bad into something quite nice.
While it was sad to see them close the bank branch in Delavan, we applaud them for turning around and donating their building to the city. And, a cheer to the Delavan City Council for spending some of city monies to turn it into a very nice city office, community center, library and even a morning coffee shop.
With a beautiful little memorial city park next door, it is a very nice look for Delavan.
Jeers once again to Singleteary Food Solutions and its owner for taking millions of dollars in public money and failing to come through on promises of opening a meat processing plant in Wells and employing hundreds of people.
This was one bad deal, and continues to make folks wonder if all the money is accounted for.
But, we have to add a jeer to public agencies who let this drag out for years without having some accountability from the company itself. Some kept hoping it would somehow happen if they waited long enough.
Now we are all still hoping the plant can open some day under new ownership. It it does, we will certainly give out a big cheer.
Cheers go to all the dedicated people who have gotten up early all winter long to plow our city streets and county highways. They have all kept up pretty well during a long, hard winter. Sure, they get paid for doing this work, but none-the-less deserve a pat on the back for a job well done.
They are out in the middle of the night and all day long, sometimes working hard on weekends and holidays, just to keep our roads clear of snow. We also have to send out a cheer for the Blue Earth crew clearing out the windrow of snow on Main Street faster than in the past.
Thanks for all the hard work you do.
Jeers to the Blue Earth City Council for dragging out an investigation into alleged misconduct by one of their police officers.
While we applaud their desire to be thorough and try and do the right thing, they now have met in closed session multiple times and seem to be continuing to debate the issue while the officer remains on paid administrative leave. For everyone's sake (city, the officer and his family, the police department and the public), we hope this issue can be brought to a close soon.
Cheers to the Blue Earth Area School Board for taking a long range view of possible maintenance projects at the district's buildings.
Having a plan in place is always a good idea, as it can prevent surprise expensive projects appearing suddenly.
Cities, counties and school boards are all taking planning for the future very seriously these days, and we applaud them for doing so.