This week in 1971, 50 years ago: The Alexandria City Council met in a special session to consider charter reforms and unanimously passed a motion to study and bring to public vote a change which would call for a city manager. The city is now ruled by a mayor-council. The mayor and the council are all elected, part-time officials. A city manager would be a full-time man hired by the council. He would basically be responsible for the operation of the city but would answer to, and be guided by, the council.

1971, 50 years ago: The idea to make something of the concept “Shop in Greater Alexandria, population 12,871” came from Joseph Perino who passed it along to our Chamber of Commerce Manager Harvey Hammergren. It comes from the fact that in the last 10 years so many people have moved to the lakes surrounding Alexandria that the population figure of the city itself is not realistic. The three townships which hold the most populated lakes are Alexandria, LaGrande, Lake Mary and Carlos. So, according to Hammergren, Alexandria is now counting what might be considered suburbs and that is indicated by saying “Greater Alexandria.”

Several hundred people visited the new Community Center in Evansville. Built with the aid of a federal grant, the center is attached to the school where it can be used for both school and community needs.

1996, 25 years ago: Jill Wagner of Alexandria has been named the 1996 Young Careerist by the Alexandria Area Business and Professional Women. Wagner is the manager of Professional Real Estate Service/Abstracting by Professionals in Alexandria. She is licensed by the State of Minnesota as an abstractor, closer and title agent.

The Fireside Steak House has been sold. Richard “Sonny” Osterberg has retired after serving the Alexandria area with quality food and beverage service for 60 years. The Fireside was purchased by Mark Weston and Mary Trewin who are former residents of the Twin Cities and collectively share more than 30 years in the food and beverage industry. The supper club will close for remodeling until May 2 and re-open as Weston Station.

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2011, 10 years ago: This is National Surveyor’s Week and to kick off the event, surveyors from Widseth Smith Nolting set up their equipment and positioned the Big Ole “2011 Control Point” in Big Ole Central Park. The point is precisely located at Latitude N 45 degrees 53’ 26.79987 and Longitude W 95 degrees 22’ 37.66931 – give or take a few millimeters. That specific spot on Earth can serve as a reference point for local surveys. It was an opportunity for the public to see survey equipment up close, ask questions and learn what surveyors do.

Just for fun 1971 – 50 years ago: Gasoline prices were way, way down again this week, and most stations sported signs for regular selling at 23.9 or 24 cents a gallon.

1986 – 35 years ago: Gasoline prices are lower than they have been for many years after plummeting to 83.9 cents a gallon. The price drop is attributed to a price war that started a month ago when the same gallon cost $1.20.

Sports trivia 1971 – 50 years ago: Six Alexandria Aquateens and their director, Suzie Trumm, attended a workshop and clinic in Detroit Lakes. The clinic was conducted by Sally Callahan of St. Louis Park and covered all areas of synchronized swimming such as demonstration of stunts, coaching techniques, drills and training ideas, judging, routines and shows, competition and show costumes. Girls from Alexandria attending were Randi Toft, Julie Tessmer, Mary Mateer, Kathy Hintzen, Ranae Maloney and Kathy Smith. Mrs. Ken Tessmer assisted driving the girls to the workshop. The Aquateens are sponsored by the Alexandria Recreation Department.

Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.