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Editorial: City forced to make difficult choices

Worthington City Hall (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)

We knew that cleaning up after last month's nasty weather was going to be a difficult process, notwithstanding any May 1 snowfall. Still, Worthington officials have every right to be concerned about the big sums of dollars leaving the city's coffers over the last several days.

Wednesday's Daily Globe noted that should necessary work be completed within four weeks after its anticipated Friday restart -- and if estimates given to the clean-up and site management contractors are correct -- the three bids to Ceres Environmental Inc. of Brooklyn Park, True North of Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, and the Nobles County Landfill total $1,120,375. Those are some mighty big expenditures for a municipality of Worthington's size, but what's a community to do?

As Worthington City Council man Mike Kuhle said during a Tuesday night meeting, "We really don't have any options, do we?" After all, the cleanup work must be done, regardless of when and/or if a Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster declaration is made. And, even if that declaration comes within the next few days, Mayor Alan Oberloh is already offering warnings that the money probably won't come exactly overnight ("There are towns that had disasters in Minnesota in 2004 that are still yet to be paid," Oberloh said Tuesday).

So, while spending significant money is difficult, it simply has to be done -- like it or not. We just hope our city's investment is ultimately rewarded by FEMA, and in a timely fashion.