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County decision disappionts

Darts and laurels; cheers and jeers; pats-on-the-back and kicks-in-the-pants - whatever the terms, following are a few points we think deserve comment.

Darts and laurels; cheers and jeers; pats-on-the-back and kicks-in-the-pants - whatever the terms, following are a few points we think deserve comment.

L Last summer we thanked Henrietta Township and Park Rapids city officials for approving an orderly annexation agreement. The task force provided good leadership and a sense of stewardship to move our community forward.

Imagine their disappointment when a majority of county commissioners ignored the subsequent work of the township-city joint planning and zoning effort and failed to approve a resolution to give up jurisdiction of the county's subdivision ordinance in the area the agreement covers. The commissioners' decision was unapologetically political and showed bad faith and lack of respect for other local units of government.

J Road construction in Park Rapids is bringing out the best in some people. We have seen drivers stop to allow others to make left hand turns so traffic isn't backed up for blocks. Nice. When the stoplights at the intersection of Highways 34/71 were out of commission, drivers took turns just like they're supposed to. We all need to remember to take a little extra time and find within ourselves a little more patience as traffic picks up.

J Hats off to the city for the new playground equipment and other improvements under way at Depot Park.

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The city with help from staff of the Headwaters Regional Development Commission is working on a master plan for parks and trails. Unfortunately, there was a poor turnout for Monday night's forum intended to collect ideas on amenities people would like to see added to existing parks. It is likely there will be other opportunities.

J One of the hardest working groups in the community is the Wind Generated Energy Committee. Committee members are writing grants and have been successful, but it will take more money to insure a wind turbine is installed this fall. Stay tuned.

Speaking of donations, the Park Rapids Rotary Club has begun soliciting for money for the 4th of July fireworks. To mail a contribution, make checks payable to the Park Rapids Rotary Club and send to PO Box 704, Park Rapids, MN 56470.

J On a much grander scale, the groundbreaking for the expansion of St. Joseph's Area Health Services and Dakota Clinic represented the spirit of leadership and cooperation that will help our community grow and continue to serve as a regional healthcare center.

The ceremony provided another opportunity to celebrate and to be grateful for those who are willing to invest in Park Rapids' future.

J To summer - green, growing, glorious days - when we don't have to think about driving on icy roads or making sure we have enough hats, mittens and boots.

Instead, we can head to the lake, golf course, bike trail or flower garden. Or attend one of the many organized events coming up here and in neighboring communities. Living here is about making the most of a short, but wonderful season.

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