Et Cetera …

It’s a balancing act

We believe the decision of Faribault County commissioners to raise transit fees for out-of-county bus trips is right on the money. Literally.

Commissioners this week upped the cost of an out-of-county trip from $6 to $12. Out-of-county trips can be longer in terms of miles and time, with drivers sometimes opting to wait for passengers rather than drive back to Faribault County.

We understand that the county wants to provide a service, but it also has to keep in mind the expense and try to be fair to taxpayers.

Let them match low bids

Martin County this week had to retract a bid award to an area contractor because it was not the low bid for the job. Another contractor, from Hamel, had put in a bid $900 lower. State law says counties must accept the lowest responsible bids for public projects.

While state law is sensible in that it protects taxpayers and prohibits favoritism, it also errs in ignoring taxpayers’ desire to see their dollars go to local companies. We think the law could be altered, to allow local companies to match low bids, if they so choose.

Clock appears shoddy

There’s nothing particularly critical about the public clock on Downtown Plaza in Fairmont being able to function properly. Although it does make the town appear a little shoddy, or lazy, or something.

City leaders this week declined to contribute to help get the clock fixed. We applaud them. They are exactly right when they say citizens can raise the $5,000 in needed funds. It’s a small job and if private funds cannot be found for it, we doubt they could be found for anything.

Donations can be dropped off at City Hall. Or call (507) 235-9461 for more information.

Time to be neighborly

Faribault County commissioners this week approved a conditional use permit for a shooting range near Easton, over the objections of neighbors.

We have to agree with the county that the outdoor recreational and educational facility serves a purpose, is well-used and enjoys property rights, which means the owners can use the site as they see fit.

However, as a matter of social ethics, we hope the owners understand that they would not want objectionable activities going up around them, so we hope they believe in being good neighbors as well as in wanting them.