Short takes

New design for city hall looks great, but what about the parking?


A decision had to be made sooner or later over the outdated and inadequate municipal building in downtown Marshall. Last week the City Council decided to stop kicking the can down the road and voted 5-2 to go with the plan to renovate the present building that was built in 1964. The building was originally built to house the police and fire stations. Because of the design of the building, there is a lot of unusable space at the ground level. The new design allows for the entire structure to be used for city business. And the design of the building should give the downtown area a boost. That’s the good news. However, there is one major flaw with this plan —  parking. Motorists heading to city hall often times face the challenge of looking for a parking space that is next to the building. There is plenty of parking in the downtown area if you don’t mind walking a little bit. But walking becomes an issue for people with mobility issues, so convenient parking is important. Unfortunately, it looks like the parking problem will continue.

Making sure nobody goes hungry during Thanksgiving week


The holidays always remind us just how generous people are in southwest Minnesota. Every year, Thanksgiving week starts with a community dinner at the Ivanhoe VFW on Saturday. While the dinner is spearheaded by the Food Shelf in Lincoln County, volunteers from the Greenleaf 4-H club and Catholic United Financial also help out. The dinner always attracts 300-400 people. And more dinners are delivered to people unable to find a way to the VFW building. Other communities in the region also offered dinners on Thanksgiving.

So many people are paying it forward thanks to using social media


Another pleasant surprise was reported in Saturday’s Independent. A Marshall truck driver created a “Pay it Forward” Facebook page. While social media has plenty of drawbacks, this is one example on how it can draw people in to do some good. As of Wednesday, the page had more than 1,800 members. And local restaurants in the area are also participating, setting up bulletin boards so patrons can donate dinners. Hopefully, this generosity will continue beyond these holidays and continue well into the future.