The Renville County West School Board passed some policy statements at their meeting this week, according to Supt. Jon Widby. He says they also discussed meal prices for next year. They decided they met the current guidelines in terms of pricing and will not be raising prices for student lunches in 2013-2014.
The City of Morris is preparing to take on a $3 million bond, though only a portion of that bond will be new debt. In addition to financing for the demolition of the old elementary school building and road construction on Morris' west side, the bond issue will refinance a 2005 bond, potentially cutting the interest rate in half. Bond consultant Mark Ruff spoke to the city council Tuesday night about lumping all three financing pieces together. By creating a single bond issue, the city increases its chances of finding a competitively low interest rate. The bonds will go on sale on April 23rd. The city will likely choose an 8-year lock-out period for repayment, meaning the earliest the bond could be paid in full would be 2021.
With increased regulations and monitoring of a number of water-related issues, including run-off, chemical treatment, and sustainable reuse of water, researchers across the state are seeking better ways to keep water supplies clean. University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, while visiting the Morris campus, discussed the U's contribution to water research. We can only borrow water, he said, not use it. We have to be able to return it in a sustainable way. Although water research spans several of the University's campuses, Kaler notes research at the Morris campus will continue to focus primarily on food, agriculture, and renewable energy.
The University of Minnesota, Morris Theatre Discipline will close its 2012-13 season with a children's show: The King Stag, adapted from a traditional Italian fairytale. The King Stag tells the story of the compassionate and romantic King Seren, who wants nothing more than to find a young lady who truly loves him. The King Stag will be performed in the Raymond J. Lammers Proscenium Theatre through April 18th. Public performances will take place on Friday night at seven and Saturday afternoon at one.
Representative Mary Sawatzky says they’ve proposed a $550,000 grant for the Kandiyohi Area Transit Joint Powers board for an additional bus storage garage at their facility in Willmar. Sawatzky says she understands they have some buses that are sitting outside so this would be a nice asset for them. Also, she says, they have some funds going toward local bridges, roads and wastewater infrastructure. Sawatzky said they haven’t been taking care of a lot these needs in the past years and if they continue to have these bonding projects occur, it brings people to the table and to jobs.
Sarah Stradtherr with the Hotel and Hospitality Group in Alexandria was at this week’s city council meeting to ask for permission to do a ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ event on April 30th. City Administrator Jim Taddei says they’ll be walking from Big Ole, down 3rd Avenue and back on Second Avenue. The purpose of the project is to raise awareness to stop sexual assault and gender violence in the community. It was endorsed by the council. Connie McKay with the Chamber was given permission to use Big Ole Park to block off a portion of Second Avenue for the Ribfest which is scheduled for May 24th to the 27th.
Robbin's Island Park in Willmar has been temporarily closed by the Willmar Park & Recreation department due to wet & muddy conditions. Several vehicles have torn up the grounds by going off the roads and "mudding" with four wheel drive vehicles. This has damaged several of the grass areas of the park. The park will reopen once the grounds can withstand vehicle traffic. Anyone who has information on the damage, is asked to call the Willmar Police Department.
Tuesday, the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Office was a contacted by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office to check the welfare of a person south and east of St. Leo, MN. Lyon County Deputies used cellphone data to locate the individual’s phone in that area. Deputies from Yellow Medicine County and Lyon County arrived at an unoccupied residence and noticed that the vehicle of the individual was located in the garage at the house. While checking the home for the person, deputies made contact with 41 year old Shane Johnson. Upon contact with the officers, Johnson shot himself and was dead at the scene. His body was transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy. Assisting at the scene was the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Yellow Medicine County Coroner.
The Lac qui Parle State Park is looking for volunteers interested in helping with a variety of summer youth educational programs at the park. Volunteers will assist with fishing, canoeing, archery, nature crafts, outdoor games and more. Equipment and materials will be provided. For specific event dates and activities, or to learn how to sign up as a state park volunteer, call Cara Greger at the Lac qui Parle State Park office.
The Kerkhoven City Council has approved moving forward with a bid from Thorson Construction to redo the south side chlorinator shed. The total cost is $1755. The council also approved a contract to have a company come in annually to check over the lift station. The council also approved ambulance contracts for the township of Kashel and the city of Murdock, and approved a couple of conditional use permits. Mayor Brian Thompson says they also had a report from the employee committee on a recent meeting regarding the maintenance department employees. The council was notified that Dan Selander of Benson, the HR individual hired by the council, is satisfied with the maintenance supervisor’s abilities and judgments to determine procedures, etc.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation advises motorists to use extreme caution due to blowing snow, reduced visibility, and slippery conditions. The wet, heavy conditions have made travel hazardous throughout west central and southwestern Minnesota and motorists should plan accordingly or delay travel when possible. Conditions are not expected to improve until the snowstorm passes through the area. Officials do not anticipate any highway closures at this time; however, motorists may encounter brief lane and road closures where stalled vehicles and crashes occur.
According to Alexandria City Administrator Jim Taddei, the council has approved a recommendation for a revolving loan fund request from a business on 403 3rd. Avenue East for $50,000. The total cost for the rehab project is $125,000. The council approved the bid on a 3-2 vote. The council also authorized its city engineer to advertise for bids for the Phase 4 early annexation area waterline project. The bid opening is May 7th. Taddei said the council will hold a work session April 22nd to review and discuss a proposed Broadway reconstruction project in 2014. Taddei said this is a major project.