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How will 2020 be different?

As you read this, you most likely will have already ushered in the new year - yes, 2020!
I, for one, am not sorry to leave 2019 in the past. As Citizen Editor Rahn Larson pointed out in the above editorial, weather really reeked havoc with almost everything in 2019. Most notably, it created major headaches and cut into the livelihood of area farmers.
To a much lesser degree, it created problems for the baseball field at Island Park. Another flood early in the spring covered the field and forced the baseball season to move to the Windom Rec Area again in 2019.
On the upside, the flood waters receded and grass began to grow at the ballpark, so much so that football returned to Island Park. Unfortunately, the young growth of grass was damaged by a couple of football games played on the field in wet conditions. Consequently, it appears there won't be any baseball played at Island Park in spring 2020.
This is what many feared might happen. Without a year's growth to get the new grass established, we may have now moved into a cycle that has turned Island Park into a football field only. The grass is damaged in the fall by football, is regrown in the spring and summer (with no baseball played on the field), which allows football to play on the field again the following fall.
Some are speculating that there might be enough regrowth in the spring that amateur and legion baseball could be played on it this summer. For now, that's a wait-and-see situation.
Which brings us back to the question that's on everyone's minds: How will 2020 be different?
If there's one thing that would make 2020 significantly different - and better - it is a milder weather pattern. We can only hope that Leo Bartosh's onions yield little moisture today.
Indeed, an average winter with below average snowfall and no late March or early-to-mid-April snowfalls would get 2020 off to a positive start. That would get farmers into the field on time in the spring, while a normal summer with plenty of growing degree days would get them back into the field in early to mid September, rather than late September to early October.
Such a scenario also would bode well for Island Park. The West Fork of the Des Moines River went into winter at about 14 feet. It would have been much nicer to see the river at 11 or even 12 feet, which it was in September. However, 14 feet is acceptable if a mild winter and mostly dry spring gets the grass growing earlier than normal.
Again, that's only what we can hope and pray for.
New construction
Aside from weather, 2020 holds some exciting beginnings. For instance, new facilities will be completed. The new Windom Area Elementary School is slated to be ready for the start of school in the fall of 2020 along with the new Career & Technical Education Center, which breaks ground this spring. The Citizen will provide an elementary school building update in the coming weeks with some photos inside the school.
If you've driven by the construction site recently, you probably noticed that exterior brick work continues. That brick work has now shifted to the east side of the building, meaning the north and west sides are now finished.
A couple of other new construction sites expected to be finished in 2020 are the new Avera Clinic, being constructed on the hill to the southwest of Windom Area Health, and the new 42-unit apartment complex being built near Cottonwood Lake.
That's four new buildings Windom residents will have the opportunity to inspect in 2020.
Let the new year begin!


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