Editorial: Find out what has happened in the past year

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Minnesota Design Team will be back in town Thursday, a follow-up to its visit last fall when hope for the future of Albert Lea came to full bloom.

Last year’s weekend saw the team, comprised of development, design and planning professionals, collecting information from residents over the course of a hectic day, then spending an afternoon sketching out plans for the future of the town.

The visit followed on the heels of the Albert Lea Listens project, initiated by town leaders to collect information about how residents wanted to see its community develop.

Many volunteers led residents through a process of visioning, which was then taken into account by the Design Team members.

The designs created by the team were intended as starting point, not the final look of the community. Some of the plans were expensive &045; too expensive to be feasible &045; but could be affordable if scaled back or modified. Others were not the look residents envisioned.

No matter, the whole process served to rejuvenate, invigorate and spark the imagination of the community.

There were some elements of the plan which various groups could move forward with and that is what the team will assess during their Thursday visit: Has Albert Lea made progress in the past year?

It behooves residents to attend, particularly naysayers who doubt anything has been accomplished since last year’s Design Team visit. Perhaps they will be mildly surprised.

The meeting is scheduled

from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday in the Skylight Room at Riverland College.