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Editorial: A "pretty big loss" for a community

A devastating fire last month in Rushmore -- flare-ups continue to this day -- has had a major impact on that community. Now, another blaze will undoubtedly leave a lingering effect on a southwest Minnesota city.

The primary source of groceries for Westbrook area residents, Maynard's, burned to the ground this past Saturday afternoon. Fortunately, all customers and employees got out of the store safely. Even though there is a convenience store in Westbrook, however, the subtraction of the city's main grocery shopping location is "a pretty big loss," as Westbrook Mayor Rocky Kolar said.

Kolar said that he planned to visit with the owners of the Maynard's store, adding that he hoped they would be willing to rebuild or find another location within the community. We obviously can't speak for the owners, but we would like to believe they would continue to fill the needs of consumers in Westbrook and surrounding towns for years to come.

After all, several small communities around southwest Minnesota face a difficult challenge in maintaining their individual identities. A grocery store in a town such as Westbrook is a commonality shared by the city's residents, and therefore an important resource.