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Et Cetera

Joe Brown

Congratulations to Superintendent Joe Brown, who has made the decision to retire from Fairmont Area Schools. Brown has done a great job since he was hired in 2010. The school district is in great financial shape, he has passed multiple referendums in his tenure, and the facilities are well-kept and well-run, with a new vocational wing on the way.

We agree with board member Rufus Rodriguez who stated that Brown has contributed tremendously to the district. We wish him well in his future endeavors.

Housing Project

Fairmont is currently looking at an affordable housing project, thanks to a $3,000 grant from the Southwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership at the University of Minnesota. According to Alex Young-Williams, community activator through Lead for Minnesota and a point person for the project, the grant provides an opportunity to set the groundwork for the potential project.

While many discussions need to be had, this seems like a good move. The project will focus on modular components with housing built around them. The project would potentially utilize Fairmont’s construction trades class with the new vocational center, as well as provide more affordable and accessible housing.

City Campground

We were glad to see the Fairmont City Council drop talk of a city-owned campground for the time being. There are a lot of questions around such a potential campground, and more time is needed to look at the issue, which seems to have lurked in the background before suddenly being thrust into the open.

A campground could bring in revenue for the city, and camping is a widely-enjoyed activity by many. But do people want a city-owned campground? Will it compete with existing or future private campgrounds? As we said, questions abound and a new campground isn’t exactly a high priority. The discussion can wait.

Local Farmers

It was disappointing to hear from local farmer Wanda Patsche that the pork industry is facing some tough decisions in the near future. A California law known as Proposition 12 is set to negatively affect most of the nation’s pork producers by forcing them to adhere to idealistic and unrealistic housing standards for sows.

Why were California voters allowed to vote on industry regulations for an industry most of them aren’t familiar with? Why are those who raise the animals not being included in the discussion? We thank Patsche for bringing this to our attention, and we hope steps can be taken to combat these unnecessary and intrusive regulations.

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