There are just no two ways about it. This is a very big deal.
And, it is not just because of the millions of dollars that will be invested.
While many small towns in Minnesota are lamenting the closing of industries and businesses, Blue Earth is celebrating a groundbreaking for a new industrial park, with the hope of attracting several new companies to locate there.
It is a giant leap of faith, but, a necessary one.
Sure, it is sort of like following the line from the movie Field of Dreams. "If you build it, they will come." But, on the other hand, if you don't build it, they won't come at all.
The city of Blue Earth has had a problem, one other towns its size would love to have. The current West Industrial Park is full. The businesses located there are filling all the space available. Several have recently expanded and there is no room for a new one to come in.
That left the issue of whether to build a new area for future industry to locate in, or just be content with what is already here.
The Blue Earth City Council and Blue Earth Economic Development Authority decided to look towards the future and build a new industrial site. It took a lot of guts to take that bold move and they should be applauded for stepping up to the plate and taking that huge swing.
Could it flop? Maybe. But like most things in life, you don't know unless you try.
The next step was to do all the work of finding a location, purchasing the land and jumping through all the hoops to get it done. And, there were many hoops.
The city and the EDA had the right person to take care of all that hoop jumping. They had been contracting with the Faribault County Development Corporation (FCDC) for the past few years to serve as the city's economic development agency. In essence, FCDC's executive director, Linsey Warmka, has been serving as the Blue Earth economic director for the past few years.
She took over this industrial park project and made it happen, handling each problem that arose and making sure this big deal got done. It is something that has been talked about for several years, but she brought it to fruition.
At Monday morning's groundbreaking ceremony, Warmka was applauded for her efforts. But, the entire city should know she was publicly thanked during that program for her hard work. And now you know.
Not many small towns are willing or able to take such a bold step to try and build up their city by attracting new business and industry which translates into more population, new homes, increase in students in the schools, more tax base and all those other positives that keep a town going forward. Because, if you are not moving forward, you are falling back. There is no standing still.
This is indeed a very big deal. In fact, you could call it giant.