Letter: Chamber board issues support for upcoming referendum

Published 8:30 pm Friday, March 8, 2024

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On behalf of the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, by unanimous decision, we are proud to express our steadfast support for the upcoming referendum set for April 9, aimed at securing the future of our cherished recreational facilities and encourage all Albert Lea residents to vote yes!

At the heart of this referendum lies the rejuvenation of the City Arena, Aquatic Center, Marion Ross Performing Arts Center, and the addition of public restrooms near the splash pad, investments crucial for the well-being and enjoyment of current and future generations. The proposed enhancements encompass critical repairs, energy-efficient upgrades and expansions to ensure these facilities remain safe, accessible and environmentally responsible.

As stewards of the local business community, we recognize the profound impact that these recreational facilities have on our economic vitality and community cohesion. The City Arena serves as a venue for sporting events, trade shows and community gatherings, attracting visitors and driving traffic to local businesses. By revitalizing this cornerstone of our community, we can enhance the appeal of Albert Lea as a destination for both residents and tourists, thus bolstering local commerce and entrepreneurship.

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The proposed investment of $9.8 million in long-term maintenance and energy-saving projects, coupled with federal funding of $2.45 million, underscores a commitment to sustaining these vital community assets. This referendum encapsulates a vision for the future — an investment in the vibrancy and resilience of our community. By allocating $9.8 million over 20 years, taxpayers can secure the long-term viability of these facilities while leveraging federal funding to maximize the impact of every dollar invested. It is our belief that the benefits of the improvements far outweigh the proposed investment.

We urge all residents of Albert Lea to support this referendum on April 9, recognizing it as a pivotal opportunity to safeguard our recreational infrastructure and foster a thriving community for generations to come. Join us in shaping a brighter future for Albert Lea!

Allen Hendriks
Chairman of the Board
Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce