Editorial: Albert Lea ought to look on the bright side

Published 10:19 am Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Look about you. There is a lot of modernization on deck for Albert Lea. The coming years are going to bring many changes.

• With the purchase of a dredge, the Shell Rock River Watershed District took a major step closer to dredging Albert Lea and Fountain lakes.

• With the plans to dig up and rebuild Broadway Avenue, the city government is bringing the downtown out of the 1960s and into the 21st century.

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• Both the city and Freeborn County are playing roles in fixing up the north end of Bridge Avenue, which hopefully can bring more traffic off Interstate 90 and into the city.

• A few years ago, Albert Lea seemed to be losing merchants than was opening, such as Starbucks, Cato Clothing, Great Grains, Vanity, Schweser’s, Tradehome Shoes, The Donut Hut, Big Apple Pizza, Blockbuster, Movie Gallery and Family Dollar. Now, more merchants seem to be opening than closing, such as Shoe Sensation, Prairie Wind Coffee, 112 on Broadway, East Side Liquor, The Tobacco Store, Holiday Inn Express, Love’s, Dunham’s Sports, Azteca, Erbert & Gerbert’s, Dash-in Grocery, The Sports Exchange, two new Verizon outlets and new digs for Leland Realty, Security Insurance, Coldwell Banker, Ranch & Pet Supply, and Hill, Larson, Walth & Benda. There are more examples, to be sure, but you get the picture.

• Mrs. Gerry’s Kitchen is going through a major expansion. Albert Lea Select Foods, Minnesota Corrugated Box and many local industries are busy and thriving.

Let’s not pretend everything is rosy. Not everything is perfect, but we do want people to stand up and notice this: The general trend for Albert Lea appears to be a good direction. Appreciate this while it is here and hope for the uptick to continue.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Albert Lea is a wonderful place to live and do business.