Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:50 pm Friday, January 13, 2023

To the Freeborn County Historical Museum.

Congratulations to the Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library & Village, which on Friday celebrated 75 years in operation.

The staff hosted an open house for the community to come in and celebrate.

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Anyone familiar with the museum can attest that our community is blessed to have such an amazing resource at our fingertips.

If you want to know anything about the past in Albert Lea and Freeborn County, all you have to do is head down to the museum next to the fairgrounds, and someone there will be able to help you find it.

We appreciate the staff at the museum, who are invaluable resources in themselves and who are willing and able to help you on projects.

If you have not attended the museum in recent years, we encourage you to stop by and check out the updated exhibits and the many new programs and events it has to offer.

This year it will take over the restored Itasca Rock Garden, which will be also be a tremendous asset to the community.

To the city seeking to return multiple properties to the private market.

We are pleased to see the city making efforts to return many of the tax-forfeiture properties in its possession back to residents or developers.

The city this week declared no public purpose for 21 city-owned properties.

Some were empty lots that the city hopes the neighboring properties will be interested in obtaining, and others are properties that city leaders hope developers will be interested in renovating or building on and then return to the tax rolls.

Of the properties, there are three this week that the city also approved seeking development proposals for.

We look forward to seeing the interest these properties garner and hope that soon they can be put back to use again by the public.

To temperatures in the 30s this week.

It’s always a welcome surprise in January to be treated to temperatures above freezing, but that’s what we got earlier this week.

The temperatures distract us from all the white stuff still on the ground and the fact that we still have at least two to three — or more — months of winter left.

Temperatures Saturday and Sunday are expected to be in the mid-30s again with partly cloudy skies. Rain returns Monday, but after that temperatures will hover right above or below 30 the rest of the week.

We welcome these intermittent bursts of semi-warm temperatures in the winter, though we’re sure the bitter cold will return.

To the approval of the tax conformity law this week.

Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday signed his first bill of the 2023 session that will bring Minnesota’s tax code into conformity with federal tax rules, according to the AP.

The law needed to be signed by Friday so that tax forms and software could be updated in time for the filing season, which opens Jan. 23.

The law includes over $100 million in tax cuts, and people who qualify can file amended returns for previous years to claim refunds. It also ensures that stimulus aid passed in recent years that are exempt from federal taxation won’t be taxed through the state.