Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:51 pm Friday, September 29, 2023

To plans in the works for the Freeborn National Bank and Jacobson Apartments buildings.

We are pleased to hear that plans for the Freeborn National Bank and Jacobson Apartments buildings by a group of local investors are moving closer to reality with the sale of a portion of the bank building on Thursday.

That portion of the building was owned by Mortarr and included the basement, and first and second floors, as well as the mezzanine level. The investors are slated to purchase the remainder of the building, as well as the Jacobson building, after the development agreement comes before the Albert Lea City Council for a vote in October.

Email newsletter signup

So far, plans include an event center on the main floor of the bank building and a bar and pizzeria on the main floor of the Jacobson building, in addition to a coffee shop. The second floor and likely some of the third floor will include health and beauty suites, and there will be office suites in the Jacobson building overlooking Broadway.

Thank you to the local investors who have faith in Albert Lea and are using their resources to bring opportunities to the city.

We look forward to seeing the buildings used in their entirety after decades of no use or only partial use. It will also be good to return the buildings in entirety back to the private sector and to the tax rolls.

We eagerly await the opening of the building after renovations are made.

To improved drought conditions this week.

It is likely too late for the farmers, but we are glad to see that the drought levels improve slightly this week over the Freeborn County area.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, half of Freeborn County is still in extreme drought while the other half is in severe drought or moderate drought. Though the worst is not over, we are glad there was improvement.

There are also no longer any areas within the state that have an exceptional drought rating.

We hope conditions will continue to alleviate in the coming weeks.

To all those who have helped make the Emmons veterans park.

Congratulations to all those people who have been a part of the effort to bring a veterans park to Emmons.

The organizers in May unveiled the new veterans monument in the park featuring the names of over 400 area veterans and this weekend were slated to have a dedication ceremony for a decommissioned vintage Bell UH-1 Iroquois utility helicopter from the Vietnam War, also known as a Huey helicopter, that was purchased and transported to Emmons in December.

The helicopter is sure to be a big highlight in the park and pays special tribute to those who served at that time.

The veterans park is a wonderful addition to the community and recognizes many who sacrificed so much for this country.

We encourage people to go for a ride and check it out.

To the chamber’s Third-Grade Farm Tours.

All you had to do was stop by Larcrest Holsteins for a few minutes Thursday and Friday and you could see the excitement of the students as they learned the ins and outs of the farm. The trip may have been the first time for many to be on a farm and see cows up close.

In addition to stopping at Larcrest, the students also visited REG near Glenville.

Thanks to the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce’s Agriculture Committee for organizing the tours and helping educate the rising youth on the importance of agriculture to our economy.

It will likely be something they won’t forget any time soon.