THUMBS UP: It is encouraging to see progress being made in the project to convert the former New Ulm Middle School building into apartments. It has been a few years since the idea of converting the old school building into a residential complex was floated, and there were a couple of hiccups. But the Community Housing Development Corporation, which took over the project, has been following through, and tenants are expected to be moving in in January 2020.
THUMBS UP: The New Ulm Economic Development Authority OKed some needed funding for a pair of city projects this week. The EDA approved $100,000 for the Hermann Heights hillside stabilization project, and $150,000 for the German Park amphitheater reconstruction project. Both are expensive projects, but they are projects that will have an impact on the local economy and on tourism. Hermann Heights is the home of the Hermann Monument, one of New Ulm’s top tourism attractions. German Park is the showcase park for New Ulm, and the amphitheater improvements will make it much more usable. And, the German Park project is being funded mostly by private donations, and the fundraising continues.
THUMBS DOWN: Where would we be without the Heart of New Ulm? The latest report from the Center for Disease Control on the rate of obesity around the country came out this week, with results for 2018, and the Minnesota populace is up above 30 percent, up from 28.4 percent the previous year.
Brown County’s rate is 32 percent, according to a different report released last month. This comes after 10 years of the Heart of New Ulm report made us start to take notice of our health and our lifestyle habits. Many people have changed their eating and exercise habits in the area because of this. No doubt the Brown County results would have been higher without the impact of this program.
There is still a lot to do, as the study results this week show. The Heart of New Ulm is continuing as a community-based program, and we hope it will help bring more people to the healthier side of the weight scale.