Et Cetera …

Blue Earth wins grant

Congratulations to Blue Earth for winning a $1 million federal grant that will help make possible an industrial park project at the intersection of Interstate 90 and Highway 169.

Planning for the $3.7 million project has been in the works for a while. It is expected to generate $25.5 million in private investment and create or save at least 120 jobs.

We support regional development, so what’s good for Blue Earth is good for everyone in our area. We hope other cities enjoy similar success.

School keeps testing

We applaud the approach of Fairmont Area Schools, which will continue to require seniors to pass certain basic standards tests in order to graduate. This despite the state of Minnesota’s decision to no longer require such testing.

One test the district may give to juniors is the ACT, a college admission test. It includes sections on English, math, reading and science. We believe this, or a similar test, would not only show how adept students are, but also could show some of them that college is the right choice, even if they hadn’t considered it. That is something touted by local educators, and we second their thoughts.

Foundation restored

We offer our congratulations to Fairmont Lakes Foundation for its revival and our thanks to the new volunteers who have led it. Fresh interest in the group began about a year and a half ago and has been building.

The organization has been looking at ways to protect and improve the local lakes, from tackling invasive species, to boosting water quality, to addressing lower lake levels.

The foundation does not have the power to take action, but it can educate and inform those who do, as well as citizens. We wish the group success.

Sounds like a solution

Many cities wonder how they can help improve the appearance of some neighborhoods. Some hold citywide cleanups, but those can be cost-prohibitive. Winnebago decided to try something different.

It bought three dumpsters that it is loaning out to residents who ask for them. Citizens fill the dumpsters with junk they do not need or want to be rid of. The city pays to have the refuse hauled away.

Winnebago estimates that if the dumpsters go out every week of the year, it will cost the city $10,000. A citywide cleanup would cost twice as much. Sounds like Winnebago has found an efficient plan.