Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 9:00 pm Friday, March 12, 2021

To a possible partnership for the Albert Lea Senior Center.

We were pleased to hear discussion during the Albert Lea City Council workshop Monday about a potential partnership between the city of Albert Lea and the Albert Lea Family Y for operations at the Albert Lea Senior Center.

Leaders of the two organizations have started talking about how the entities could share services and reduce duplications of effort.

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Under the partnership, the city would continue to pay to rent the facility and would pay for utilities, internet, phone, maintenance, cleaning and for up to $30,000 for contracted services through the Y. The city would still be able to keep revenues from other after-hours rentals of the space and would oversee special events and out-of-town trips.

The Y would supply the staff and materials needed for regular programming and could help with record keeping, tracking usage and other tasks such as the regular newsletter.

We think this is a great opportunity for both organizations, and like some of the councilors stated during the workshop, we think it could also be an opportunity to rebrand the center and reach out to more people.

We are excited to see where this discussion goes and how it could bring more opportunities for the seniors in the community.

To efforts being made to obtain bonding dollars to dredge the last part of Fountain Lake.

Lobbying efforts are underway by local government entities and other community organizations for $7.5 million in state bonding dollars for continued dredging on Fountain Lake.

The Shell Rock River Watershed District’s administrator and District 27A Rep. Peggy Bennett this week presented information about the project to the House Capital Investment Committee. Other efforts are also being made to send out letters of support from various groups in town.

We encourage residents to also reach out to leaders of the bonding committees in both the House and Senate and let them know what an important project this is for our community.

This year marks the fourth year of dredging on Fountain Lake, but more money is needed to finish the final phase of the project after this year. The project will ultimately cost more money if it is delayed and equipment is removed from the lake at the end of the year.

We hope the committees see the value in approving the funding this year and supplementing the community’s local option sales tax to see this project through to completion.

To people out on ice after the warm weather.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources this week urged people to be cautious on and around ice, as recent warm weather has deteriorated conditions.

Though ice thickness varies across the state, DNR conservation officers are warning people to stay off the ice, particularly south of the Twin Cities.

There have been three ice-related deaths so far during the 202-21 ice season, and others could be possible as people try to take advantage of the ice as the weather warms.

We encourage people to follow the advise of the DNR. If people must be out on the ice or near open water, they should wear a life jacket and wear ice picks and check the ice thickness frequently.

Also keep in mind that conditions can be more hazardous around bridges, channels, culverts and streams, according to the agency.