Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:51 pm Friday, May 27, 2022

To finishing the legislative session without a bonding bill.

We were disappointed to hear the legislative session came to a close this week with some big pieces of work undone. 

Notable for our area is the bonding bill, which both the city of Albert Lea and the Shell Rock River Watershed District were lobbying for funding. 

The Shell Rock River Watershed District had requested $8 million in bonding for the final phase of dredging on Fountain Lake, and the city of Albert Lea had requested $30 million to go toward upgrades at the city’s wastewater treatment plant. 

Active dredging at Fountain Lake began in 2018. Phase one and two were funded by an initial $7.5 million in bonding appropriation and $9.5 million in local option sales tax funds.

The final phase of the project includes the east basin of the main bay, Bancroft Channel and parts of Bancroft Bay.

The total improvements at the wastewater treatment plant are estimated to cost $60 million. The wastewater treatment facility was constructed in 1981 and is facing new regulations for phosphorus removal through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Both of these projects are important for Albert Lea and cannot be successfully completed without outside funding. 

To those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to this country.

As we move into the Memorial Day Weekend, let us remember the real reason for the holiday.

Observed on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day was created to honor the men and women who died serving in the U.S. military.

Originally known as Decoration Day to honor the large numbers of Civil War dead, the day became known after World War I as a day to honor all fallen service members who gave their lives.

In 1971, an act of Congress made Memorial Day what it is today.

Across the country, communities will host Memorial Day parades and ceremonies, and people will attend cemeteries and memorials. Others may host a barbecue with family or friends for the holiday as the unofficial start to summer.

We ask whatever you decide to do this weekend, and particularly on Monday, don’t forget to pay tribute to the heroes — the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines — who paid the ultimate price for our country.

We thank them for their service.

To all of the Chamber Ambassadors and volunteers who raised money for the fireworks.

Thanks to all of those people who volunteered their time and energy to stand out at the intersection of Main Street and Broadway Thursday to raise money for the annual Fourth of July fireworks. 

The crew this year aimed to raise $20,000, and by the end of the day came in just shy of $10,000. 

We thank all those people and businesses who donated toward the cause, and we encourage anyone who has not participated yet to drop off or mail a check to the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce at 132 N. Broadway. 

The fireworks are a great showcase for Albert Lea and help make the Fourth of July a great holiday for all. Let’s pull together to raise the last $10,000 needed to make them possible.