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Mayor's Minute: Thoughts from Sara Carlson, Alexandria Mayor The buzz on Broadway

We started this week off better all the way around!

We got enhanced signage for the downtown businesses directing pedestrians and drivers in the most efficient way of getting to the businesses. We also hooked up water so that the restaurants will not be without water during the rest of this project.

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The steam lines are all out and the water mains are going in. This is the “slow, hard work,” that Tim Schoonhoven described at our Council meeting Tuesday night.

The installation of individual water services to the buildings has begun. The installation of the footings for the new traffic signal poles at Fifth Avenue took place this week. Also, all the soil borings came back clean and they are laying sewer and storm water pipes as they go.

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This week I had the pleasure of talking with Dan Rooney, owner of Cowing-Robards. Dan had wonderful insight into our downtown past, present and future.

He showed me the newspaper articles of when his dad (Ed) and several others did a revitalization of the downtown in 1978, because in 1976 there were 13 empty buildings downtown and it needed a face-lift to bring business and people back downtown.

Of the current Broadway Project, Dan said he is “keeping it all in perspective.” They did see a drop in business, especially in the sports store. They’ve made adjustments and are fortunate to have the redone back parking lot.

He commented that in the scheme of things, this is short term and will result in something that lasts for many future generations.

He also said, “I am impressed with the activity and the construction commitment. Every day, everybody’s doing something! I am also impressed with the number of workforce on the street and I see progress every day.

“I like the movement and the fact that no one is standing around,” he stated. “It is a big commitment by many people. It is so great to see that people are concerned about the welfare of the merchant. Having our community come together is the best thing you could ever ask for!”

That says it all this week – lots of cooperation! The stores are open. Come down and shop and eat. Lots of people have commented about how fun it is to see the big machines and watch the progress.

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Contact me at or write to City Hall at 704 Broadway; or to the Echo Press at PO Box 549, Alexandria MN 56308.