Et Cetera …

More talks appropriate

Fairmont City Council member Terry Anderson was on target this week when he said a proposed rental ordinance locally is about cooperation and communication. He is talking about the sharing of concerns, information and wisdom between those who favor and those who oppose the ordinance.

The council has tabled the proposal so its language can be clarified. The city suggests a local grassroots group that supports the measure meet with landlords to find workable solutions. The city says it is willing to join the talks. This all sounds sensible. Let’s see what emerges.

Another special break?

We are advocates of broad-based and low taxation, so that everyone in society pays for public services that everyone enjoys. We do not like a muddy tax code that changes constantly and offers breaks here and more burdens over there.

So we cannot support a proposed tax break in the state of Minnesota that would make exempt certain production tanks. Among other things, the break would affect ethanol plants, reducing their taxes and creating a revenue problem for counties; counties that gave these plants major breaks to begin with, in anticipation of future revenue. Lawmakers should kill this proposal.

Policy makes sense

We believe Fairmont Area Schools has taken a common sense approach in dealing with student lunch accounts that are in the red. Fairmont offers a less nutritious alternative to students who are not paid up, namely a cheese sandwich and a glass of milk.

It would be cruel to deny a kid a lunch. And, presumably, these are sporadic occasions, until students get their lunch accounts back on track.

Yes, parents and students should be more diligent, but the makeshift lunches represent a pittance in the school budget.

New power plant opens

We congratulate Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency on the opening of its new energy station here in Fairmont. The station replaces the formerly city-owned steam-powered plant. The new plant is a $30 million local investment by the agency, which provides power to its 18 municipal members, including Fairmont.

The new natural-gas fired engines at the plant can be put online in less than 10 minutes, offering power to the region when demand increases.

We’re glad the agency has chosen Fairmont to call the new plant home.