Editorial: Does the area have essential infrastructure for residents?

Published 9:01 pm Tuesday, October 31, 2017

When we think of infrastructure, the first things that come to mind are roads and bridges. When you take a deeper look, however, it includes much, much more. 

According to the Blandin Foundation, a healthy community is one that has adequate infrastructure, and all people have access to essential services. In addition to roads and bridges, essential services include water, transportation, telecommunications and access to services such as sanitary living conditions, health and social services.

Many of these things, such as roads, bridges and social services, our local government entities provide for residents. In city limits, people are also provided with water, whereas outside of the city, people have wells for that service.

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Though roads are always a topic of discussion — and it’s clear that there needs to be more funding for roads across the state — we believe our city and county leaders have an aggressive approach toward getting as many of these roads upgraded as possible and in a timely fashion.

City officials, economic development officials and others lobby for us at the state level for additional funds, as well as for money for things such as broadband internet.

Freeborn County provides services such as public health and human services for residents, and our local hospital provides medical services — though some of these services are being moved from Albert Lea to Austin over the next few years.

SMART Transit provides transportation for those without transportation of their own to utilize, and it seems like service continues to grow through this resource.

Are all of these services perfect? No. But we appreciate the residents and leaders in the community who put forward the extra effort to make sure that these “essential” services are reaching as many residents as possible.