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Et Cetera ...

January 28, 2012
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

Contract is just right

We commend Fairmont Area Schools and the district's teachers for reaching a contract settlement that is necessary and wise. The deal includes no salary schedule increase, no additional health care costs and a phaseout of health insurance costs for retirees.

The school district is likely going to ask voters to approve a referendum this fall. That is because district finances are hurting. Which means the contract settlement was a necessity. And it was smart because voters need to know that shared sacrifice is in play.

Selling 'park' makes sense

The city of Fairmont hopes to sell a scrap of lakeshore property known as Nelson Park. It is located in the 900 block of Albion Avenue, and amounts to a steep, wooded embankment with some crumbling concrete steps. At one time - decades ago - this was a popular swimming spot. No longer.

Given the lack of public interest in use of the site, it makes sense for the city to sell it to someone who may want access to Budd Lake. Anyone interested can call City Hall at (507) 238-9461.

Bank wins state grant

We congratulate Bank Midwest on receiving a $33,000 state grant to investigate cleanup of the former VFW site, where the bank plans to build a new facility. The site has been found to be contaminated with creosote wooden blocks buried there years before the VFW ever put up its building.

It hardly seems fair to everyone involved to have to be dealing with this kind of environmental concern. The bank would just like to move ahead with its plans. The VFW stood on the site for decades without anyone ever worrying about creosote. We wish the bank the best of luck as it proceeds.

Make a smooth change

The city of Fairmont seems headed in the direction of making community development director Mike Humpal its new administrator. That makes sense, given Humpal's years-worth of effort in learning the ropes.

It also makes sense because Humpal's mentor has been current administrator Jim Zarling, someone who has earned great respect from elected officials, city staff and citizens. As the city draws near the date - May 30 - when Zarling will step aside, it is becoming clearer and clearer how much he will be missed. Yet no one serves forever, so the city should aim for a smooth transition that utilizes the knowledge and wisdom Zarling has given others.



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