Short Takes

Tax abatement appears to be working

THUMBS UP:

Maybe too soon for a complete assessment, but a tax abatement program to spur new housing construction in Lyon County is getting off to a good start. A tax abatement is a reduction of taxes granted by a government to encourage economic development. On Tuesday, commissioners examined their first group of applicants for single-family and apartments. After a public hearing, they approved four different abatements on new housing in Marshall, Minneota, Balaton and Rock Lake Township.

‘J-turn’ ready for motorists

THUMBS UP:

Hooray, things will get back to normal on Highway 23 in Marshall. The Minnesota Department of Transportation declared the reduced conflict intersection project is complete. Some people questioned the need for a “J-turn” at Lyon Street. However, now that the “J-turn” is in place, it should only help in reducing crashes.

Sidewalks good for communities

SIDEWAYS THUMB:

It’s kind of surprising that it has taken this long, but the city of Tracy is on its way in establishing a “City Plan” for sidewalks. The council on Tuesday expects to hold a public hearing on the matter after the start of the new year. While some property owners don’t care to maintain sidewalks from snow and leaves, they are important assets to a community. Sidewalks provide safe passageways for pedestrians by keeping them off streets and roads. In some neighborhoods, it provides safe areas for children to ride bikes and tricycles. Sidewalks also provide links from one neighborhood to the next. And also provide opportunities for recreational walking. It’s vital for a city to have a clear policy in adding or replacing sidewalks during infrastructure construction projects or any new housing construction.

The good and bad from election day

SIDEWAYS THUMB:

Lyon County Auditor/Treasurer E.J. Moberg reported that 73.6 percent of eligible voters turned out to cast ballots on Nov. 6. That’s the highest turnout in a non-presidential election year since 2002. Turnout statewide was 63.8 percent. The Lyon County and statewide turnout is pretty good. The percentage of voters participating nationwide was at 49.3 percent. That’s the highest turnout since 1914. But more work needs to be done to get those voting percentages even higher. While voter integrity must be maintain, voter suppression is still practiced in some states. That’s not right.

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