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Et Cetera ...

July 16, 2011
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

There are no bleachers?

It's disconcerting, to say the least, to learn that Fairmont's much-ballyhooed $1.5 million sports complex on Winnebago Avenue is going to be short an essential component: Namely, bleachers for people to sit on. Wasn't this project supposed to bring people to town for tournaments, etc.?

Bleachers are going to wait until later, says the city engineer. That doesn't sound like much of a plan, much less a good one.

The city needs to do a better job of explaining how this complex is going to operate, and who exactly it is going to attract. Better now than after bids are let.

Plant is much needed

City of Fairmont officials this week broke ground on a $32 million water treatment plant at the William Budd School site. The project has been several years in the making, and will not be complete until 2013.

We congratulate the city for steering the project through some rough waters. The city's current water plant is dilapidated and needs to be replaced, but the cost to do so and a controversy about lake water versus groundwater has brewed in town for as long as the project has been on the table.

We believe residents will be happy with the new plant, in the end, and that it will serve Fairmont well for decades to come.

Right comparison made

When you pay a public administrator, you cannot fairly compare what he or she is making to what others at a local school, city or county make. Administrators have opportunities to relocate, and if you want to keep one - and it's wise to do so - you must pay them what their colleagues in comparable positions make.

So we believe the city of Winnebago did the right thing this week by boosting the pay of Austin Bleess from $49,000 to $57,000. This was less than Bleess originally sought, but was a fair compromise.

Bleess has proven himself in Winnebago, where things did not run so smoothly in recent years. Other cities looking for a new leader would take note of his contributions.



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