THUMBS DOWN: Gas prices are considerably lower than they were this past spring and summer, but that's little solace when you compare Marshall's prices with surrounding cities. The price for a gallon of gas at Casey's in Marshall is $3.23, while at Tracy's Casey's it's been at $3.19 for a couple of weeks. The Independent has attempted to inquire about the varying prices at the separate-but-equal locations, but our calls to corporate headquarters were never returned. Why is gas in Marshall consistently higher than area towns? Good question, and one what we've asked in the past but got little in the way of answers. What makes it even more frustrating is the price for a gallon of gas has fallen below the magical $3 mark in Sioux Falls, S.D. It's as low as $2.95 there. This is one case where shopping locally certainly doesn't pay.
Stadium needs to keep momentum now to free up legislators next year
SIDEWAYS THUMBS: It doesn't appear the stadium dust will be settled by the time the 2012 session convenes on Jan. 24, and that's unfortunate on different levels. The stadium bill needs to get done this year, or the team might be off to new digs in California. But as important as it is, we worry about stadium issues monopolizing our legislators' time this winter. We want them to focus on their day-to-day business, such as potential local projects seeking money in this, a bonding year. We want them to focus on major reform ideas that will speed up the permitting process in the business and ag sectors. The Vikings can't wait, but let's hope by the time our elected officials get back to work they won't have to work too much on the stadium.
THUMBS UP: The Marshall City Council made the right call in holding the line for the 2012 levy. The council voted 4-3 Tuesday to adopt a zero levy increase. It's a good move, considering the ripple effect of even higher taxes could very well reach renters in Marshall.
No pets at the park?
THUMBS DOWN: A proposed amendment heard before the council this week would ban pets (but not service animals) from Marshall's new Memorial Park. This somewhat defeats the purpose of a public park, does it not? The park and its special memorial should be open for viewing to anyone; excluding someone just because they're holding a leash with a dog hooked to the end of it is wrong. Most dog owners know enough to clean up if their pooch leaves a present. If they don't and they're caught not cleaning up, fine them but don't tell them they can't appreciate the park just because they happen to be walking their dog.