Schools, health care top list of assets

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 8, 2002

Good schools and medical care are high on the list of why people or companies would want to live or invest in Albert Lea.

While location is on the list, it was at the bottom, despite the number of times Albert Lea’s location is often talked about in many discussions about economic development.

The list was created by community leaders gathered at a meeting Tuesday morning where ideas for development of the old Farmland property were discussed. Each member wrote down the one thing they thought was the most attractive element and the responses were compiled.

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Other things that make the community attractive, according to the list, were the lakes, parks and recreation opportunities. The overall &uot;quality of life&uot; here was also cited, and the small town appeal of the city.

A list of things that get in the way of development was also compiled, and at the top of that list was the negative attitude many residents have toward grabbing opportunities and taking risks.

One participant noted with frustration how often he had heard people say &uot;But we can’t do that here.&uot;

Problems with water quality and environmental concerns about the lakes also made the list of potential constraints on Albert Lea’s overall attractiveness. The fact that the city and county are already trying to do something about those issues may help, some said.