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Applause, A Pause

APPLAUSE to the new mural recently installed along the south side wall of the Photo Magic building. Large, colorful and highly visible with its placement right on Main Street, the mural is a pride-inspiring addition to Perham. Featuring loons, water and a rolling, pine-treed landscape, the mural says something about who we are as Minnesotans. And the fact that we cared enough to create, fund and go through the effort of installing this mural here in town says something about who we are as a community. More will be added to the mural this summer to keep the artwork flowing onto the sidewalk, and we’re excited to see the finished piece. What a great addition to Perham.

APPLAUSE to all our local mentors. January is National Mentoring Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the volunteers who give their time and energy to make the world a little better place for youth. Those who get involved always have the same story to tell later, of how rewarding the experience has been for them, as well as for the children they mentor. Interested? Check out Perham’s Kinship program, at

APPLAUSE to the Perham Area Community Center’s new hours. The 24/7 availability of the city’s health center can only be a good thing for members, providing flexibility for busy schedules and leaving the door open, literally, for more healthful living at any hour of the day or night, whenever the mood for a workout may strike. The change comes at a good time, too, as crowds flock to the gym to work on their New Year’s resolutions.

A PAUSE to increased rail traffic, and increasing concerns about rail safety, along Minnesota’s crude oil freight train tracks. Perham sits right along BNSF’s main line through the state, with five or six oil trains traveling through town each day. The fear of a possible derailment or other disaster isn’t something that’s worth keeping people up at night, as such events are few and far between, but derailments have happened in Perham before and there’s always a chance that another one could happen again. With how close our City Hall, police and fire station, and Main Street businesses are to the tracks, it is something to try and prepare for as best as possible. Those who live or work near the rail line should have an evacuation plan in place in case of an emergency, and residents should talk to city leaders and their local legislators about supporting rail safety laws and regulations.

APPLAUSE to an influx in affordable housing in Perham. Following the release of a study that confirmed the city’s need for more affordable housing for its workers, families and seniors, local developers have stepped forward to try and meet that need. A new apartment complex, a modular home development, and temporary housing for Barrel O’ Fun’s next batch of temporary foreign workers are all projects that will help prevent workers from having to commute to Perham from other neighboring communities, and will provide places for people to live, contributing to economic growth in the city.