Editorial: What deserves a thumbs up this week?

Published 8:50 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

The opening of the Big Lots store at Northbridge Mall.

We like many others were pleased to see the opening of the new Big Lots store on Friday in part of the former Shopko building at Northbridge Mall.

After seeing the building closed for many months following the closing of Shopko, we are proud that two out of the three stores that are filling that space are now open, with the final store — Dollar Tree — to open in the coming weeks.

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Residents always express a desire for more retail opportunities, and we hope they will get out there and support these new businesses — as well as all of the businesses we already have in our community.

Instead of taking the easy route and buying online, take a few minutes out of your day to check out local stores carrying the same items in town. You’re supporting your friends and neighbors and the local economy.

To the $222 million in Gov. Tim Walz’s capital infrastructure plan for water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

It’s too soon to tell exactly how this will play out for Albert Lea, but we were pleased to hear Gov. Tim Walz announce his proposal Thursday to invest $222 million in grants and loans through the Public Facility Authority for water and wastewater infrastructure projects as part of his larger capital infrastructure plan.

Albert Lea desperately needs support for the upgrade of its wastewater treatment plant, which is expected to cost almost $73 million, much of which is going to support new mandates put forth by the state. The cost keeps rising with inflation.

We are interested in seeing how the Legislature’s bonding proposals will shake out for Albert Lea, and we remind legislators of the importance of this project.
Without state funding, the funding for this project will fall on the backs of residents, which will be crippling for many.

We also remind them of Albert Lea’s request for the remaining funding needed to complete the dredging of Fountain Lake. Not only will the dredging help our waters, but it will also draw people to the community to recreate here.

To Albert Lea girls’ basketball player Kendall Kenis.

Congratulations to Albert Lea High School girls’ basketball player Kendall Kenis, who on Thursday night set a school record for most career three-point shots during a game in Worthington.

Kenis now has had a record 134 shots, compared to the previous record-holder, Megan Kortan, who had 131 from 2011-15.

We congratulate her for all of her hard work to achieve this feat, and wish her best in her remaining games.