Letter: A vote for Rasmussen supports growth

Published 8:15 pm Sunday, August 26, 2018

How would you like to live in a community that has seen a growth in population, been voted “one of the most affordable small towns in America you’d actually want to live in,” been voted “Best Place to Work” by Workforce Development, seen no operating tax levy in six years, received the Local Government Innovation Award, built a financial management plan for the next 10 years, identified the infrastructure needs for the next five years and how to pay for it, recaptured its historic downtown, built tools to increase housing and economic development, and secured the 2019 Governors Fishing Opener. Welcome to Albert Lea!

The city of Albert Lea has seen an increase in its population from 17,703 in 2016 to 18,032 in 2017. This is the facts that the State Demographer’s Office has published.

We have been ranked by Realtor.com as one of the top 10 affordable small towns in America you’d actually want to live in both 2015 and 2017.

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We have an excellent staff that recently was given the “Best Place to Work” award by Workforce Development.

City staff has used innovative ideas to build our community, which resulted in the 2016 Minnesota Local Government Innovation Award.   These types of ideas save us all money.

No operating tax levy increase for six years in a row and working toward a seventh year in 2019.

Improved our long-range planning so we know we can move forward with infrastructure needs without unrealistic increases in taxes, but still maintaining our community’s infrastructure.

Investment in a vision of success for the downtown that has recaptured our history and invested in our future. Over $3 million of private monies invested in the downtown area, resulting in a 25 percent increase to property values. We secured grant money from the state of Minnesota to assist business owners with building repairs.

We moved forward with new tax abatement and grant programs to assist in housing and economic development, resulting in new housing developments and job growth.

Secured the Governor’s Fishing Opener for south central Minnesota for the first time. This will promote our community to the rest of the state. We will continue to see increased tourism to our area with an event like this.

We have made many progressive changes over the past several years that have defined who we are as a community. 

We are a community willing to make opportunity for growth, improve its appearance to build growth, think out of the box to build growth, collaborate with others to build growth and reach out to the community to meet our needs.

A vote for Vern Rasmussen Jr. on Nov. 6 will be a commitment to the growth of our community.

Vern Rasmussen Jr.

Albert Lea