Random thoughts from the editor
Every once in a while random thoughts come flooding in to my brain; and some are interesting and others are certainly not. I think this phenomenon happens to lots of folks, but newspaper editors are especially prone to this affliction.
So here is a sampling of a few of my recent random thoughts for your perusal.
In covering various city council, economic development authority and county board meetings, we have been hearing a lot about some big money coming into Faribault County.
It is coming from the Treasury Department and it is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Here is what is coming into our county:
Faribault County – $1,736,849; Blue Earth – $241,390; Bricelyn – $26,068; Elmore – $43,999; Kiester – $35,636; Minnesota Lake – $49,875; Wells – $168,988; Winnebago – $100,429.
That is a lot of money, especially if you total it all up. And, it is unplanned money. Bonus money, if you will.
Each of the cities and the county are now scrambling to try and figure out what they can and cannot do with this money.
There is a very confusing list of what it can be used for.
There are also deadlines to spend this money by, or else turn it back in. Even the exact date of that deadline seems to be a bit murky. We have seen it as Dec. 30, 2020, but others are saying it is as early as Nov. 15.
It is going to be interesting to see how this all washes out at the end. How much will our local government entities use, and for what? Only time will tell, so stay tuned.
Who was that masked man?
Something else that will be interesting to see is how everyone will react to the new governor’s edict that we all wear a mask indoors in public places.
For some of us, wearing a mask has been something we have been doing on a regular basis. But, for others, it will be a new experience.
There really have not been many masks being worn in Blue Earth or elsewhere in the Faribault County area, as far as I could tell.
Guess that will now all change, starting with Saturday when everyone has to mask up. It will be interesting to go to places like church, school, meetings and events and see everyone with a mask.
There certainly is a lot of road, street and highway construction going on, especially in Blue Earth.
We reported on many of them in the past, but we had to admit one snuck up on us. That one was the South Main Street mill and overlay work done last week.
Crews milled off the old surface and then laid a fresh layer of asphalt down.
While it was a surprise, it was a welcome surprise. That stretch of Main Street, from Eighth down to 14th Street, had a series of cracks and bumps in it that could rattle your teeth when you drove on it. It was especially noticeable when trucks hauling trailers went by. The trailer would bang on every bump.
Now it is smooth as a baby’s behind. Thanks to the county highway department for doing that stretch.
Library Green Space
Speaking of construction, the parking lot behind the City Hall, Community Library area is coming along nicely. It has been quite a project to watch happening, if you have been in the downtown area of Blue Earth.
And if you have watched it, you probably noticed new curb and gutter being installed in the library end of the parking lot. There is a reason for that.
The library board has been planning on adding some green space around the parking lot. It will include some bushes and other vegetation, walkways, benches and table for some outside uses.
It is something libraries across the country have been doing. And the library board figured this would be a great time to spruce up the outside of the library, as long as the city was redoing the parking lot anyway.
It will mean the loss of a couple of parking spaces, but it will also mean a big improvement to the library space and the downtown area.
Brave New World
All in all, this year of 2020 is going to go down as one strange, bizarre year for pretty much everyone in some way, shape or form.
The year so many things were cancelled. The year that the way we do things, like work, play, go to school and live each day, changed. And the way our values and life styles maybe changed. The year we changed the way we look at things, and each other.
Some of it bad, but also some of it good. Again, it will be interesting to see how all of this washes out in the end.
OK, enough preaching. Time to put on a mask and get to work.