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Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

To area athletes who participated in state tournaments this weekend.

Congratulations to all of the athletes from the area who participated in state tournaments this week.

Whether it was the Albert Lea baseball team, who competed at the state level for the first time in 52 years, or golfers Drew Teeter of Albert Lea or Kadyn Neubauer of USC, it is no small task to make it to compete at the state level.

Though we did not walk away with a state championship, we congratulate you all for your hard work.

To free use of canoes, kayaks and paddle boards this month at the Albert Lea Boathouse.

Thanks to grants through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Freeborn County Communities Foundation and Statewide Health Improvement Partnership, people can rent equipment at the Albert Lea Boathouse for free this month, as well as on Saturdays in July, August and September.

The boathouse opened to the public on June 8 and saw more than 150 visitors the first week. Community Education hopes to have more than 3,000 participants this summer.

We encourage people to take advantage of this great resource.

Registration is required ahead of time, and safety forms must be completed before participating. The information can be found on the Albert Lea Community Education website.

To Albert Lea graduate Lindsey (Horejsi) Kozelsky.

Congratulations to Albert Lea High School graduate Lindsey (Horejsi) Kozelsky, who competed at the Olympic Trials in swimming this week at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

Kozelsky competed in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke and was in the pool with some tough competition.

We applaud her for her hard work in the years leading up to this event, and hope she realizes how much her hometown has continued to root for her.

To a letter of support for $30 million in state bonding funds for upgrades at Albert Lea’s wastewater treatment plant.

We support the letter approved by the Albert Lea City Council this week asking for $30 million in state bonding dollars to go toward upgrades at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

The upgrades are necessary to meet new regulations on phosphorus limits that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is required to include in the city’s national pollutant discharge permit for protection of the environment.

The facility was constructed in 1983, and City Manager Ian Rigg said Monday that several components of the plant need updated or replaced to support community industry, meet new limits, protect the environment and provide sustainable wastewater treatment for area residents and businesses.

Without state assistance, the costs of the improvements would have a significant negative economic impact on residents, industries and business that rely on the treatment plant. The upgrades are estimated in total at $60 million.

The city has talked about the updates needed if the new regulations were put into effect for several years now, and we hope that the state will support the city in its efforts to reach these new regulations.