Et Cetera …

Airport contract ending

The city of Fairmont did the right thing this week, opting to cut ties to its airport manager. City leaders say problems at the airport had mounted, and the company doing the management and maintenance did not respond appropriately.

The City Council has opted to end the contract in 90 days, giving the city time to find a replacement. It does raise the issue of whether the airport manager will fulfill his obligations, especially given the record. The city will have to keep a close eye on the situation for a few months.

Humpal doing job well

Fairmont city administrator Mike Humpal earned praise this week from City Council members, who gave him a positive job performance evaluation.

It’s hard to disagree with the sentiments of the city’s elected leaders. Humpal has had to tackle some sticky issues, including a lease for ambulance parking at the fire station and the above-mentioned airport issues. He has done so professionally, as a steady hand, moving the city toward resolutions. Others felt more warmly about these issues and may have acted rashly. Humpal offered leadership.

There is room for deal

Blue Earth continues to work on an agreement with Faribault County Humane Society over use of the city-owned pound.

The city needs a place to house stray dogs and cats picked up in Blue Earth, with a short limit on their time in the pound. The society has a broader goal of rescuing animals from around the county, with hopes of giving animals more time to be adopted.

There is room for a crossover of the city’s police function and the society’s rescue efforts. If both sides see the limits, things can work.

Farmers will pitch in

Farming in southern Minnesota is causing rising nitrate levels in surface waters here and downstream, state regulators say. The problem is all the anhydrous ammonia and other nitrogen compounds commonly used as fertilizer. Drain tiles are the main pathway from field to streams.

We have to agree that this is not a good situation, but we also know that farmers are not thrilled about it either. The president of the Minnesota Corn Growers says he is optimistic that farmers will embrace solutions now that the problem has been better defined. We believe farmers want to help resolve the matter, and will do their part in coming months and years.