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Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

To news that Waseca Police Officer Arik Matson will be returning home on Monday.

Many have watched Waseca Police Officer Arik Matson’s journey since he was shot while responding to a report of a suspicious person on Jan. 6 in Waseca. After nine months in hospitals and rehabilitation centers, Matson will return home on Monday to Freeborn.

We encourage people to get out and line the streets in Waseca or Freeborn on Monday and in Albert Lea next Saturday to welcome him back to the community and thank him for his service.

Though his healing journey continues, he has made tremendous strides and is an inspiration to many.

We are excited to see him return.


To businesses considering opening in Albert Lea.

We were pleased to hear at the Albert Lea City Council meeting on Monday that Albert Lea is being considered as a possible location for a new 65,000-square-foot cold storage facility.

To help incentivize the project, the council voted to support an application to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development for funding through the Job Creation Fund and Minnesota Investment Fund. The project is expected to create 16 to 20 jobs.

We look forward to seeing if Albert Lea is selected for the project and are pleased with efforts being taken to bring in new businesses in the community.

Albert Lea is a great place to live, and we hope others recognize the value of what we have here.


To the passage of a bonding bill.

After a rough last few months for the state’s capital investment bill, the House and Senate on Thursday voted to pass a nearly $1.9 billion construction package.

Of the local projects that were considered for funding, legislators awarded $1.74 million to finish work on the Blazing Star Trail — a project that has been over 20 years in the making. The largest part of that project is a 100-foot pedestrian bridge over Albert Lea Lake, and when the trail is finished, it will run from Albert Lea to Hayward.

Legislators approved $2.68 million for East Main Street flood mitigation in Albert Lea, which will be critical as the road is slated for a mill and overlay in 2021. We look forward to seeing the flooding on this street be alleviated once construction is complete.

The bill also included a Section 179 conformity tax break for new equipment purchases for main street businesses and farmers.

Though we are disappointed $7.5 million in funding for continued dredging of Fountain Lake was not approved, we are glad these two important projects were included and hope that the dredging will be approved potentially next year.

We thank the legislators who supported the bill, which will not only provide a means for many projects to be completed around the state, but which will also provide jobs for many people in the process.