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Throwing in another 2 cents worth

By Staff | Sep 1, 2014

One more time; no one asked me my opinion on these topics, but here they are anyway.

Wells Municipal Bar closing. It seems a shame that this popular spot in Wells is being closed by the City Council. While I understand the arguments that it is not generating enough revenue and that cities should not be in the business of competing with local businesses, the decision is difficult for many local folks to swallow.

They wonder why it is not generating enough income since it is such a popular spot for people to stop in for both food and drink. Bar patrons say it has made money, enabling the city to transfer funds to other entities such as the pool.

The Wells Lions Club will also take a big hit when the bar closes at the end of this month. They operate pull tabs there and use the profits to make donations to many worthwhile entities in town, including the school.

The council is correct patrons can still visit the other establishments in town. But, that does not mean their decision is not having local impact, including the loss of jobs.

Weedsville. A walk around Blue Earth will convince you of one thing. It has been an excellent summer for weeds. They are everywhere; in yards, cracks in the sidewalk, even growing in the streets. And, they are tall and very obvious.

When you live here every day, you tend not to notice them. But visitors see them right away. And, they detract from the beauty of this small town along the river.

So put on the gloves, pull a few weeds or whack them with a weed whacker.

Or option two; hope winter comes early and they die off and get covered with snow.

Animal Control Officer. After a couple of years of trying to figure out how to operate the local animal shelter/dog pound, a plan is finally coming together. An operating organization run by representatives of several towns and the county itself have contracted with a person to be in charge of picking up stray animals. And, they have a plan to operate the animal shelter as well.

There are, of course, still questions. They involve the Faribault County Humane Society and how they fit into the whole operation, as well as plans to improve the inadequate building being used as the pound.

But, at least some progress is being made.

Chromebooks. One of the biggest things to happen each fall is ‘Back to School’ time, when young students head to class eager to once again hit the books. Only this year at Blue Earth Area, they will be hitting the Chromebooks, not the printed on paper types.

Oh, those old-style textbooks are still around, but this is the dawn of a new age, with the school purchasing a ‘mini-computer’ device for every student in the school.

It is a significant cash investment, one that some older folks wonder if it is really necessary and worthwhile.

The final answer to that question will not be determined right away. But the short term answer is, yes, it is worthwhile. Consider it one more tool to use to teach students. And, according to those who know, this is a very powerful teaching tool.

Recycling. After hearing one proposal for a new recycling company to serve the Blue Earth community, the City Council made a rather quick decision to go with another new proposal, this one from their current recycling hauler.

Here is the bottom line. Every resident in Blue Earth will be getting a new, larger, on-wheels recycling container. The types of materials you can throw into this container will increase, and you will not need to sort any of it just toss it all in.

The cost of this will increase. You currently pay a $1.77 recycling fee each month on your utility bill. When the new program starts, you see that charge increase to $3.30.

The city of Wells is also looking at a new curbside recycling program, the same one the city of Blue Earth did not opt to go with.

The good news is, recycling is still popular and it is not all that expensive.

And, hopefully, it actually does help cut down on the tons of garbage we each throw out every year.