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Nobody asked my opinion, but…

By Staff | Aug 10, 2014

Once again, nobody asked me, but here is my unsolicited opinion on a variety of Faribault County current events.

The county fair. There have been a couple of letters to the editor thanking the fair board for doing a good job of putting on the fair and wondering why more people don’t attend.

I totally agree.

The fair has a multitude of fun things going on each and every day. If a person reads the schedule, one can find lots to do at the fair and not just lament that the carnival rides were not the best. The fair is a lot more than just the rides.

Just as a for instance, Saturday at around 3 p.m. there were two knights in ‘shining armor’ bashing away at each other. Only seven people were there to watch. At the same time there was a show with birds of prey from the U of M Raptor Center. Only four people were there. A top-notch magician was in the Veterans building and only a dozen were there to watch.

You get the idea.

As our letter writers have urged, please support the fair.

Blue Earth City Council. While I have to agree the city has a responsibility to do its “due diligence” as far as investigating the offer from Bevcomm of gifting the Ag Center to the city’s Economic Development Authority (EDA), the council almost appears to be looking a gift horse in the mouth.

Bevcomm is making a million dollar offer to the city and I think that would be a difficult offer to turn down.

True, the city does not want to take on an albatross around its neck. But, the Ag Center is far from being an albatross. It is a well-kept building that is full of rent-paying tenants.

While I am on the topic of the city, does anyone else wonder why the council insisted on doing a full search for a new senior center director, but is willing to just hire someone from within current employees for the position of liquor store manager and not do a full search?

There seems to be an inconsistency here.

Forfeited property. Nearly every city in Faribault County has a problem with old, unused business/commercial buildings. Many are empty, most are starting to get beyond repair, some are actually collapsing.

Elmore has at least a dozen of them.

Many just need to be bulldozed down, as they are beyond repair. But, those that still have a chance to be fixed up and put to use need to be put on the market as soon as possible. That includes the tax forfeited buildings that end up being owned by the county.

County and city governments need to keep on top of this building problem. That includes trying to sell them, and making owners keep them in good repair.

Filing for elections. Speaking of local government bodies, this is the time to “throw your hat in the ring.” If you have ever given thought to serving on a city council, township board or school board, you have until Tuesday to go sign up and have your name on the ballot this coming November.

In many small towns it has become increasingly difficult to find enough people willing to serve on these boards and councils.

It’s true. They are not high paying positions and often they are thankless jobs. And, yes, sometimes you get chewed out for your decisions. But, there is also the satisfaction in having done something to help out your community and making it a better place for everyone.

Plus, it can be quite educational.

Elmore Academy sale. And, speaking of empty buildings, the news that the former Elmore Academy building was sold to a company in Florida at least gives the hope that something might happen there.

While there are no definite plans for the facility, the company which purchased it at auction indicates they plan on finding a business or other entity to partner with to put the building to use.

I certainly hope that can be done. It was a big blow to the city of Elmore when the academy closed.

But, not to sound too negative, it is difficult not to recall the Bricelyn school building and how it was sold and was going to open as a school for Jewish girls from New York.

It never happened, and despite a very nice sign outside the front door, the building remains closed and empty.

New USC School. On the plus side, the new school in Wells is about to open and it is something to see. A sneak peek reveals that it is an impressive educational facility, rivaling a small college campus, and is a beautiful addition to Faribault County.

It is something the folks of the USC School District can certainly be proud of.