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Notes From The Capital PDF Print E-mail
News - State Legislators Comments
Written by Paul Anderson - State House Representative 12A   
Monday, 28 July 2014 15:57

Monday,  July 28, 2014

One of the major pieces of legislation passed during the last session takes effect on Friday of this week (August 1).  On that date, the state’s minimum wage will increase to $8 an hour for what the state considers “large employers,” those with annual gross sales over $500,000.  The wage is scheduled to increase again to $8.50 next year and finally to $9.50 on August 1, 2016.  The rates for small employers, those with under a half million dollars in annual gross sales, are lower with the numbers being $6.50 this year and moving up to $7.75 in two years.

There is no “tip credit” associated with the bill, and restaurant owners, among others, are concerned they will have to cut staff or raise prices to cover the increased cost.  The legislation does contain an “inflation factor,” giving the commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry the authority to increase the minimum wage by up to 2.5 percent annually, based on what’s known as the Implicit Price Deflator.  This inflation factor is problematic for some and was one of the reasons this bill was stuck in conference committee for nearly a year before finally being passed.

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The Legislative Energy Commission was scheduled to meet this week to hear updates on propane supply and delivery in Minnesota.  The commission, established back in 2008, is directed to evaluate the energy policies of the state.  They will also hear testimony concerning the extension of natural gas pipelines in Minnesota, some of which is already happening in Stearns County.

I’m concerned that we could be facing a situation similar to last year, when propane prices rose to high levels and the supply grew short.  Our state has lost access to a pipeline that formerly supplied 40 percent of our state’s propane needs.  We were told at a transportation meeting recently that it will take 4,000 railcars to make up for the loss of that pipeline.  Several companies are increasing their storage capacity, and some farmers are also putting in larger tanks for corn drying.  However, if the crop comes in wet again this fall and if our winter weather is colder than normal, as it was last year, we could be facing problems again.  Contracting is one way to lock in the price of propane, and prices are usually lower in the summer months than during the main heating season.

The state released numbers last week showing just how many crude oil trains pass through our state.  Fifty trains per week, each carrying approximately one million gallons of North Dakota crude, go through Minnesota every week. The highest number is on Burlington Northern Sante Fe tracks between Moorhead and the Twin Cities.  The Canadian Pacific railroad doesn’t handle the volume of crude that the BN does, and there are fewer oil trains on its tracks.

In a related matter, MnDOT is studying the safety risks at some 500 road crossings in the state that pass over railroad tracks carrying oil trains.  They will identify the highest risk intersections and then make improvements at those locations.
 
Glimses From The Past PDF Print E-mail
News - Historical Society News
Written by Merlin Pederson - Pope County Museum   
Monday, 28 July 2014 09:49

From the Glenwood Herald July 30, 1914


Finally our dreams are coming true. Our splendid possibilities as a summer resort will be developed. Mr. O.J. Martin who has worked in season and out of season to bring the realization of our hopes authorizes us to say that we shall finally have a summer hotel; that a deal has been agreed upon which he is satisfied will appeal to the business interests so favorably that they will get back of the project. In fact those whom he has canvassed have shown their faith in the proposition by making liberal stock subscriptions. Beal brothers head the list with a subscription for $500 worth of stock, Postmaster Serrin has signed his “John Hancock” for $300 worth and others have subscribed $100 or more. The proposition which Mr. Martin decided was sufficiently favorable to warrant him in pushing it was made by the Southern Alberta and Minnesota Land Company. The site which is offered is Woodland Point and Shallow Pond with surrounding territory, comprising in all about 60 acres. This property is offered for $5000 and the company is willing to take stock in the summer hotel corporation for $3500 of this amount, the balance to be paid in cash. Mr. Martin states that the proposition is meeting with general approval and that he is meeting with flattering success in his efforts to secure stock subscriptions. He says that a summer hotel and one of the best in the country is assured and that a meeting will be called in the near future of subscribers to stock for the purpose of organizing and agreeing upon articles of incorporation.
Read more...
 
Waterama Grand Marshalls PDF Print E-mail
News - Pope County Tribune - Starbuck Times
Written by Deb Mercier - Tribune Editor   
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 14:55

Grande Day Parade Marshalls

Glenwood Public Works Director Dave Perryman and the city crew start their Waterama preparations well in advance of the actual festival dates, working hard to get the city and its facilities in tip-top shape for Waterama’s visitors. Throughout Waterama, Dave and the crew are out in the middle of the night cleaning up the streets and public areas, making sure everything’s ready to go for the next day’s activities. It doesn’t just happen...these guys make it happen. They are truly the unsung heroes of Waterama! The Waterama Brass and the entire community are very thankful for the crews’ hard work, and are proud of their effotrs to make Glenwood look beautiful year-round.
Glenwood City Crew members are: front row (left to right): Mike Skeates, park crew; Trevor Larson, street department; and Mike Frederick, street department. Back row: Dave Perryman, Public Works Director; Gary Koubsky, water and wastewater operator; Tait Blair, water and wastewater operator; and Andy Jergenson, park crew.
Photo by Deb Mercier
 
Starbuck Stars End Season At Atwater PDF Print E-mail
News - Pope County Tribune - Starbuck Times
Written by Mark Beasley - Sports Editor   
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 14:53

Stars’ season ends in Atwater


The Starbuck Stars’ baseball season came to an end on Sunday afternoon in Atwater. The Chuckers took a 5-1 decision over the Stars, keeping their playoff hopes alive while ending the Stars bid to stave off elimination.
Starbuck tied the game at 1 in the top of the fourth inning, but Atwater scored a run in the bottom of that frame to retake the lead. From there the Chuckers would tack on three more runs to win the game.
Shane Bosek and Andy Toop each had two hits, including a double to lead the Stars offense.

County Line baseball playoffs July 20
Atwater 5                                                                                                                   Photo by Mark Beasley
Starbuck 1

Starbuck 000 100 000 — 1  8  2
Atwater 001 101 20x — 5 11 1

HITTING – Starbuck: Starbuck: Jake Amundson 1-4, Trenton Berg 1-5, Shane Bosek 2-4, 2b, Andy Toop 2-4, 2b, Mike Nielsen 1-4, Tyler Toop 1-4

PITCHING – (ip-h-r-er-bb-so)
Cory Holten (L) 6-8-4-3-2-0
Joe Heidelberger 1-3-1-1-2-1
Mike Andreas 1-0-0-0-0-1

 
Fight To Stop Eurasian Milfoil PDF Print E-mail
News - Pope County Tribune - Starbuck Times
Written by Corbin Corson   
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 14:51

MLA continues fight to stop Eurasian milfoil


The Minnewaska Lake Association (MLA) continued its five-year plan last week by again chemically treating Eurasian milfiol in Lake Minnewaska in an effort stop the growth of the aquatic invasive species (AIS).
For the second year, MLA contracted with Lake Restoration, a Rogers, Minn. company, to treat milfoil identified in different pockets around the lake.  This year, the MLA contracted to treat all 33 acres where the invasive species has been located.  Lake Minnewaska is the 13th largest lake in Minnesota at 7,110 acres.  Again this year, MLA was permitted to do the chemical treatments by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Last year, the first year the MLA contracted to treat milfoil in Minnwaska, about 15 identified acres were treated. 
“The treatment did cut it down in those areas so we wanted to treat all 33 acres this year,” said MLA President Mike Stai.  The lake association hopes to treat the milfoil every year for the next three to five years, “if we can continue to get the funding to do so.”
It costs the MLA about $400 per acre to treat the milfoil with DMA-4 herbicide, a checmical that kills roots and all of the invasive species.  The chemical is a selective chemical that “leaves most of the native plants unharmed,” according to Steve Symalla of Lake Restoration. He said his company treats Eurasian milfoil in many of the state’s lakes and says the treatment has been effective.
Stopping the spread of milfoil in the lake has become a priority for the MLA, and the MLA board continues to seek donations and state grants that will allow them to continue to kill the milfoil in the lake. 
Anyone who wants to donate specifically to the milfoil treatment or to the MLA can contact Mike Stai or any MLA board member.
 
HRA/EDA Continues Lowry Housing PDF Print E-mail
News - Pope County Tribune - Starbuck Times
Written by Zach Anderson - Starbuck Times New Editor   
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 14:49

HRA/EDA continues Lowry  workforce housing discussion


The Pope County Housing and Redevelopment Authority with Economic Development power (HRA/EDA) learned more about the potential building of workforce housing in Lowry.
The board discussed two acres of land in Lowry where the Lowry EDA has interest of building workforce housing. The site is west of Highway 114 contiguous to the ball field and the city park.
Executive Director Dick Dreher said rent for the new housing units would have to stay near $800 per month to be feasible. The eight units owned by the Lowry EDA are currently rented for $600 per month, said Dreher, and have long waiting lists. However, Dreher said, “There is no way we can hit that [$600] mark with new construction costs.”
Board Member Allan Rutter said in Cyrus they are facing a similar financial situation with a water project in town. “Our engineers put out bids and they came back really high,” Rutter said. “A lot of the contractors around here have gone to North Dakota to work because it is so lucrative for them. The ones down here are charging us North Dakota prices.”
Dreher stated that Stephanie Howe of studio e architects is working on a workforce housing project in Elbow Lake. He said he will take notes about what it cost to build there, because it will be similar to what would be built  in Lowry. The HRA/EDA can then use those financial figures to make a determination if it is feasible to build. Dreher suggested having a joint meeting with the Lowry EDA to define what roles each group wants to play in the possible project.
It was stated that the units would not be age restricted and that right now it is looking like two-bedroom units would be built.
“There appears to be a need for more workforce housing,” Dreher said.
Board chair Cody Rogahn asked how many employees were currently at Lowry Manufacturing.
Dreher said he guessed about 40 people.
Rutter said, “Most employees there are probably pretty established; it’s the future ones you have to look at.”

Villard workforce housing
It was discussed at previous HRA/EDA meetings that Massmann Automations in Villard has indicated a need for more workforce housing. “If Massmann continues to expand, they would like housing options for their employees,” Dreher said.
After a meeting with Villard Mayor Al Cooley and others, Dreher reported that they determined a site for potential workforce housing at the corner of Commercial Ave. and Central St. in Villard.
Dreher suggested that if the HRA/EDA does end up building in Villard that they start at four units and do the building in stages.

Broadband in Pope County
At a previous meeting the board discussed the need for broadband fiber optic cables for internet in unserved areas of the county.
Dreher said he will meet with representatives from the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) in August and discuss the area’s broadband needs in more detail. He also informed the board that in addition to the state broadband program grant of 20 million dollars for greater Minnesota, there is also a federal program with a maximum grant of $20 million out of a total $100 million for the entire country.
“The only problem with the federal money is that we have to put in an application by October 13,” said Dreher.  “We are trying to see what have to do to apply.”
The state grant funding has to have a local match of 1:1, so the service provider would have to match the grant amount.
“This isn’t anything we [HRA/EDA] are going to spend a lot of money on. We are trying to provide leadership and be a catalyst as much as we can be,” Dreher said.

In other action the board:
• Approved selling a lot at 610 Hagenson Street in Starbuck on contract for deed to Peter Grossman. Grossman, who lives in the house next door to the lot, plans to extend his yard, it was stated. Dreher will come back with a contract for deed at an upcoming meeting for approval.
• Mentioned that the first unit of Bay Meadows Phase II housing near Starbuck Airport should be completed and ready for residents to move in by Aug. 1.
• Heard from Rutter who told the board that a couple from Aiken mentioned to him they were impressed with the Starbuck Heritage Days parade. Dreher added that he had heard a lot of good comments as well, including a comment that it was the best organized small town parade.

 
Relay For Life - 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Community - Relay For Life
Written by Deb Mercier - Tribune Editor   
Monday, 23 June 2014 08:04
Relay For Life lights up the paths of Glenwood City Park

On June 13, local Relay For Life teams walked the paths of Glenwood City Park, the culmination of an annual effort to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. Nationally, the Relay For Life movement features community and campus events that offer an inspiring opportunity to honor cancer survivors, promote how individuals can reduce their cancer risk, and raise money to help end cancer. According to statistics posted on relayforlife.org, nearly 75 local participants raised more than $5,000 for the ACS.
 
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