Et Cetera …

Voters OK new funding

We congratulate Truman Public Schools for succeeding in passing its $1.25 million referendum this week. Voters OK’d the measure by a 2-1 margin.

The money will be used to upgrade the district’s buildings and update technology over 10 years. The work is necessary if the school system is to remain viable.

At the same time, Truman is struggling with declining enrollment, so it must work on sharing arrangements with other districts. Perhaps the improved facilities will help make Truman a place for consolidation to occur.

Local plant purchased

The ethanol industry has not been on a firm financial footing in recent years. This has led to some plants, including the one in Fairmont, being shuttered.

The future of the industry remains to be seen, but there was good news this week locally. Green Plains Renewable Energy has purchased the local ethanol plant from BioFuel Energy. Green Plains has plans to re-start the Fairmont plant, although it has outlined nothing specific.

Ethanol mandates remain in place in places including Minnesota. That means the product has to be produced. We hope our area plants can do so successfully.

Pipeline issue resolved

Speaking of the local ethanol plant, it has resolved a long-standing issue with Faribault County. The plant had considered building a pipeline to the Blue Earth River to discharge wastewater. But county leaders were concerned about possible pollution, even though the water coming out of the plant would have been anything but hazardous.

In any case, the ethanol plant modified its plan to handle wastewater, making the pipeline a moot point. The plant’s intended upgrades meet with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s approval, so the environment is safe as well.