Editorial: Pelican Breeze worthy of city investment

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 30, 2002

The City of Albert Lea made a good investment this week when it agreed to help out the Pelican Breeze, which finds itself in a tight spot after high water canceled many cruises last year, and high insurance costs cut into its budget. The passenger boat that skims Albert Lea Lake in the summer is worthy of support because it showcases our lake and provides a valuable recreation opportunity for residents and visitors.

Organizers of the Breeze say their efforts can help Albert Lea in many ways; aside from attracting people from around the area to ride the boat, it demonstrates to others that Albert Lea Lake has potential as a recreational outlet. Especially if efforts to dredge part of the lake or take other steps to improve the water quality are realized, the Pelican Breeze can be an example that southern Minnesota’s largest lake can be an asset to the community in yet another way.

In its sixth year, the Pelican Breeze has seen its business grow, but the budget has always been tight. The boat is a not-for-profit venture, and any profits are used to fund lake improvement efforts. Most of its employees volunteer their time. The city’s investment is likely to be a one-time shot, since the Pelican Breeze Foundation has not asked for funds before, and likely only resorted to it this time because part of its season was wiped out last year.

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Overall, the boat has a good future in Albert Lea, and it has the chance to continue making a positive difference for the community.