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Area proves progress happens even in down economic times

By Staff | Jun 14, 2009

A recent piece on KEYC-TV in Mankato focused on all of the various ‘new projects’ happening in Blue Earth and Faribault County.

They seemed to be a bit stunned that anything progressive is going on in small towns, given the current economic, job and housing ‘crisis.’

They are right. There is a lot going on in this area. We are not all that surprised by it, however, because it has been written up in the pages of the Faribault County Register nearly every week.

United Hospital District is building a new clinic expansion onto the hospital and a new adolescent treatment center in Winnebago.

Street and utility projects are being completed in Blue Earth, Minnesota Lake, Walters, Huntley, etc.

Kerry Foods built a new warehouse after a big fire.

Businesses have built or expanded in Winnebago – such as Winnebago Market Place Foods and Casey’s General Store.

Juba’s Super Valu is going to build a new convenience/gas station. The Bricelyn school is re-opening as a school for Jewish girls.

And yes, the county is building a large new law enforcement center.

Readers of the Register know about all of these projects – and many others – because we have devoted space and ink to covering them.

There are more projects coming, of course. This area is not stagnant.

There is a runway/airport expansion project in Blue Earth. Part of the city’s main street is slated to be re-paved in 2011. Highway 169 will be up for work in 2013.

There is more.

Elmore is working hard on a town-wide sesquicentennial celebration. Wells is working on restoring their railroad depot into a museum. A new teen youth center is opening in Blue Earth. Winnebago has their beautiful new museum open. A Giant museum is opening in Blue Earth.

There are people changes also.

After a year or so of movement, local cities have administrators and economic development persons in place, or arriving soon. United Hospital District has signed a couple of new doctors and they will be starting work here in August.

And we count Winnebago’s efforts on creating a charter school as part of this rash of development.

Wow! There is a lot going on around here. No wonder we never lack for news to put on our front page each week.

Sure, not everything is sunshine and roses. There are problems and concerns.

Businesses close. Schools have declining enrollment. The state wants to unallot a bunch of money. There are many houses for sale, and many of those are in poor condition.

There is poverty, crime, unemployment.

We need better streets, more industry with good jobs, and some additional retail businesses downtown.

What town or county doesn’t?

Taken as a whole, however, things are not too bad. Or in Minnesota-speak, they ‘could be worse.’

Sometimes, instead of griping about the bad things, or about what we don’t have, we need to celebrate what we do have.

And what we are getting.

Things are happening in this area, and a lot of it is positive. So positive, that others around the state are taking notice.

Local leaders say they appreciate all of the positive publicity they can get. Having the area spotlighted for progress and building in a down economy falls into that positive publicity category, even if some local folks couldn’t see the KEYC-TV piece, since Mankato’s television station is no longer broadcast on Blue Earth cable.

We look forward to more progress and good news as the communities in Faribault County work toward improvements in the future.