1590 offers its thanks


I would like to take this opportunity to thank Fairmont residents for voting in support of the half-percent sales tax. This is a significant step toward the continued growth of our city and county.

Project 1590 will continue to work to make a community center a reality, but we are also working on other initiatives. If you remember, we asked our citizens through a survey process what they would like to see in Fairmont and Martin County. Our survey results were validated by the overwhelming passage of the sales tax to build a community center. But that wasn’t the only thing folks cared about in our survey, and while we roll up our sleeves to get to work on making a community center a reality, we are also working hard on the other projects that survey respondents cared about.

o We continue to support the Lakes Foundation in its initiatives to improve the water quality in our lakes. The foundation is currently working to establish a holding/retention pond to help filter sediment and runoff from coming into our chain of lakes.

o We are working with the Downtown Association and are close to obtaining funds for its new sound system. We also received a $20,000 grant to complete a Design Charrette through the University of Minnesota. This design exercise is for the block at the north end of Downtown Plaza.  The purpose of the project is to create a visual design of possible development ideas. We have hosted one public meeting and the next one is Dec. 8.

o The Project 1590 Trail Committee has been working with the city of Fairmont on the continuous trail system. The city did secure a significant grant to complete a trail from 10th Street north to I-90 along the old railroad track. You will see the first section of this trail next summer when the city paves Margaret Street. The city is also going to be applying for a regional designation for Cedar Park. If successful, it will allow the city access to a larger pool of federal funding. This would make it easier to complete our continuous trail system as well as connecting to a regional system.

o The Reuse Reimagine Committee did assist the city in obtaining a residential redevelopment grant. This grant is assisting residents in a section just south of Blue Earth Avenue to complete larger structural projects on their home. Contact the city if you have additional questions on how to receive assistance.

o The 1590 Economic Development Group is working on a training or education initiative. This group consists of local business owners and managers as well as educators and state legislators. The group is collaborating with the city of Fairmont, Martin County, Presentation College, Fairmont Area Schools and the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce to develop training or educational programming to assist area businesses to fill their employee shortage. Between the high school trades academy and the college, we want to develop a strong training curriculum, as well as provide growth for both organizations.

o Celebrate Fairmont was developed as a committee to create a collaborative year-round effort to enhance and expand existing celebrations, events and create new ones and then market them. This committee is just starting to develop. Stay tuned for updates.

If you have any questions or would like to get involved you can contact me at (507) 399-1615, find us on Facebook under Project 1590 or at www.project1590.com

We thank you for your continued support. We are encouraged by the enthusiasm in the community. We look forward to working with you and we are very excited about the future for Fairmont and the surrounding area.

Steve Hawkins is chairman of the Project 1590 board of directors.