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OPINION: Sometimes eyeball-to-eyeball is best

When two entities, especially those who are working for government institutions, attempt to complete a deal, many factors play into getting a final approval for said deal.

Such has been the case between the City and the School District of New Richmond.

Over the course of the past several months, the city and the school district have been like two ships passing in the night when the subject of a master plan for the old school was brought to the floor.

Passing several versions of the document from one to the other became a monthly ritual. It was a document, simple in its concept, that kept being passed from the council to the school and back to the council for rewrites and interpretations.

When the city's original draft of the document made its way to the school board, members of that body indicated their displeasure with the language — most specifically the use of the term "commercial."

The school board had made it clear to the city that they did not approve of using the space for any type of commercial venture and while city officials said they had no intent of building a strip mall on the property, school officials wanted to be sure.

And that's a good thing.

But for something as simple as fixing the language on a document that could hold sway on the development of that property for a new library, it was more complex than anyone thought.

Could this three-month delay have been completed sooner if the representatives had, early on in the process, simply sat down and looked one another in the eye and discussed their individual stances?

Probably.

When the representatives did just that, the process began to move and finally came to an end Monday night when the school board approved the document.

Had that personal meeting not been held, it was a distinct possibility that the city would have had to look for an alternative site on which to build a new library — at an increased cost to city residents.

That didn't happen, and that's also a good thing.

It's amazing what can be accomplished with a simple meeting of the minds.

We're glad the deal is done and now the city and school can move ahead on the purchase agreement and the building of the new library.

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