After my letter to the editor a good and respected friend of mine called me and we discussed our views on Perham. She pointed out to me that my letter should have ended with a solution on the old school and to her surprise I said it did. I also shared my true feeling on the direction where Perham is headed and it was bleak. I told her Perham is dying.
Look at main street - it's empty and business are closing. When you look at the paper there is always a new tax increase (levy sounds better) and new business is being started with help from the taxpayers. At school board meeting there is no public input, people have given up. On the front page KLN made a $5,000 donation but still owes the city $980.000 in surcharges that were never paid. On the second page a truly wonderful kind hearted person gave $7,000 anonymously to pay for overdue school lunches.
These are the George Baileys in Perham but the few are outnumber by the many Potters (movie reference). My friend shared her suggestions on saving and repurposing the old school that were community based ideas. I liked her positive outlook but it comes at a price. I said that it had been tried with the old hospital and that it is nothing but a hodgepodge of business that are hopefully paying the utilities. Some buildings are built for a reason and are hard to repurpose. Swifts building in Frazee for example and the old school. The one business in Perham that is showing constant and steady growth is the Bridge (formerly the food shelf) what does that say about our local economy and our future.
The truth about the new school and the new hospital is that it is not going to be paid for by one business or landlord in town including mine. The added cost is going to be pasted on to the citizens that spend their money locally. I know Mitch said the new school will only cost homeowners $10.50 per month. Oh Mitch you and your new math!
When Perham fails, the people will ask how did this happen and "locals in the know" will say You voted for it.