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City column: Community is there when it counts

Over the years, the city has conducted a professional survey of residents. One of the most notable findings of the survey company was "an exceptionally high 85% rate (for) the general sense of community as either 'excellent' or 'good.'" The survey also found that Rosemount residents have strong ties to their neighborhoods.

Last week, a severe thunderstorm struck Rosemount. While areas throughout the city were impacted with high winds and power outages, damage was particularly severe in the very southwestern section of Rosemount. Many streets were blocked with large trees and branches.

Police and fire personnel responded quickly to emergency calls and public works crews were immediately called out to begin opening the streets. Within hours, plans were made to chip and pick up the huge piles of trees and branches. The public works crews in particular appreciate the many thank-yous received both in person and passed along through City Hall.

But the most striking aspect of Rosemount's response to the storm was to see how neighbors immediately went to help other neighbors. One home's roof was significantly damaged and at dawn many of the neighbors were already helping to remove the trees. More neighbors helped re-cover the roof before another round of storms arrived. At another house, a large group of people gathered to pull branches from the yard.

I saw a local pastor helping another neighbor down the street. I am often impressed by how our churches respond to individual families in need of all kinds of help, such as the family of a service member serving overseas who needs quick help getting their house ready for sale. This work is often quiet and behind the scenes, but tremendously effective.

Both surveys and stories like these show that the spirit of neighbor helping neighbor has marked Rosemount since its beginning 153 years ago and is still alive. In the 19th century, cooperation among neighbors was often essential for day-to-day survival. Today we have more sophisticated public safety and public works departments and other institutions to help. But there is still no substitute for people helping their neighbors nail a roof back together or clear a driveway for a neighbor in a snowstorm.

The community will soon come together again for all of the fun of Leprechaun Days. It is good to know that we always come together when it really counts.