Peter might pay Paul
Martin and Faribault counties this week joined a statewide lawsuit by Minnesota counties against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the quasi-public companies that securitize the nation's mortgages. The counties want to recover deed tax transfers not paid on foreclosed properties resold by the companies. There is no cost to Martin and Faribault counties to participate in the suit.
Fannie and Freddie argue they are exempt from paying the tax. We're not sure about that. We do know that both were bailed out by the federal government amid the housing crisis. If the counties win their lawsuit, money is going to be transferred from one pocket of government to another.
Bickering won't help
Something is amiss as Blue Earth officials try to resolve an issue with what are considered dilapidated buildings at the corner of Main and Seventh streets. One of the property owners appeared before the City Council this week and said he has been operating under the assumption that pending street work delayed any chance he had of improving the buildings. In the meantime, he says he has been harassed by the city.
The city, for its part, suggests it does not quite trust the owners to move forward on repairs, as it continues to get complaints about the site.
What the public sees is no action by the property owner or the city. Is this problem going to get solved?
Project will be of benefit
Work on Lair Road in Fairmont began this week. This major project will involve construction of a new and relocated road and bridge crossing the channel connecting Hall and Budd lakes. It will improve not only auto traffic, but create safer pedestrian crossings and widen the channel for boat traffic.
The project will create some disruptions in the area and involve the removal of more than 15 trees at Gomsrud Park. These are intangible losses that will be mitigated over time. When the project is done, nearby businesses and residences will enjoy the improvements. The park can be restored.
We remind everyone to be watchful for the crews working in the area and to slow down and drive safely.