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Et Cetera …

Tax proposal hits snag

The city of Fairmont this week earns some frowns for news about its possible half-cent local option sales tax to pay for better streets. Because the city rushed the process to get its plan to the Legislature, the whole proposal is now in serious doubt.

While city officials will continue to work with lawmakers to see what can be done, it could be that the plan will not return to local voters for their input until 2022.

We cannot help but wonder if all the chaos and disruptions at City Hall last year played a part in the poor planning.

Lots of projects, money

Fairmont’s infrastructure needs continue to be an ongoing concern. Streets are one worry. A proposed public works building would cost $10 million. And, this week, the city unveiled a plan for upgrades at the wastewater treatment plant. The price tag: $44 million to $57 million.

It’s an awful lot of money we’re talking about, in addition to the $31 million water treatment plant built several years ago.

Meanwhile, a new Martin County jail could cost $20 million-plus. And Fairmont plans to invest $14 million in a community center.

If local taxpayers are feeling a bit overwhelmed, who can blame them?

Preuss earns accolade

We extend our congratulations to Fairmont economic development director Linsey Preuss, who recently won the 2020 Project of the Year Award from the Economic Development Association of Minnesota. Preuss earned the honor for her work on the CHS renovation and investment project in Fairmont. Among other things, she worked diligently to get three local government units to approve a 10-year property tax abatement that helped CHS finance the $100 million investment in its Fairmont soybean-processing plant.

Preuss is a hard-working advocate for Fairmont’s growth. The city is lucky to have her in its corner.

Lies hurt virus response

Totalitarian, communist nations like China, or the former Soviet Union, are pathetic. They portray themselves as ideals on Earth, so they cannot tolerate any criticism, humiliation or embarrassment. So they act stupidly.

As China has with the coronavirus outbreak, by not taking early warnings seriously and, in fact, trying to silence those speaking out. It’s all part of the norm in a country that cannot allow chinks to appear in its armor. When people cannot choose their leaders through elections, their only choices are to obey them or overthrow them. So the system revolves around repression and deceit.

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