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Economic complaints ...

April 22, 2008 - Lee Smith
If you live in Fairmont, sooner or later — usually sooner — you will hear someone complain about the state of the local economy. This despite a jobless rate of just 5 percent. Some people also tend to ignore the good and focus only on the bad. Human nature, we suppose. But Fairmont has added a soybean-processing plant in recent years, as well as seen quite the boom in medicine, as well as in elderly care. The medical center is the county's largest employer with about 700 workers. Presentation College opened here in recent years to train nurses, among other things. Retail behemoth Wal-Mart opened recently, attracting fast-food places like Wendy's and Arby's. Sisseton Saloon opened on the lake and condos are coming nearby. A business plaza will open on Highway 15 in the near future. Village Cooperative, a housing complex behind Shopko, is relatively new and still popular. An ethanol plant will open in May, along with another ethanol plant in Welcome. The Holiday Inn recently spent a bundle on remodeling and converting to a Green Mill restaurant. Area farmers are now enjoying commodity prices unheard of a few years ago. Corn is at $5.50 per bushel and soybeans are over $13. In the meantime, we maintain several large industries, including 3M, Avery Weigh-Tronix, Fairmont Foods, Hancor, Harsco, Redi-Haul Trailers, Kenway, Cloverleaf, Rosen's Diversified, Aerospace Systems, etc., etc. I don't write all this to be a cheerleader, but I think a reality check is in order. There are places in the country that are hurting. This just isn't one of them. Panic and worry are never productive. If you'd like to do something about the local economy, help it by being honest. Tell people we're OK and be positive about the future. This will do far more good in the long run.


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