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Notes From The Capital

From Paul Anderson - State House Representive 12B
Monday, April 27, 2015

paul anderson 150Action has switched from daily committee meeting to long floor sessions in the Minnesota House as we debate and pass the major omnibus spending bills that will provide the funding to operate state budgets for the next two years beginning July 1.  In all, there are ten spending bills that need approval, and we worked through half of them in the past week.  The others, including House Republicans’ nearly $2 billion tax cut bill, will be up for debate this week.

One of the spending bills passed last week was the transportation bill, which will now go to a conference committee with the Senate.  Included in House plan is a $25 million appropriation for cities under 5,000 population that will assist them with their local transportation needs.  In total, it raises $7 billion over the next ten years without any additional gas taxes.  Currently, both the Senate and Gov. Dayton have a different plan in that they are proposing a sales tax increase on fuel, which would go up or down annually, based on the wholesale price of gas. Sixteen cents per gallon would be the minimum increase under their plan, with additional hikes as the price of fuel goes up.

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Friendly Garden Club Looking For Donations

Friendly Garden Club looking for donations for flowers at Starbuck beach

Friendly Garden ClubOver the years the Starbuck Beautification Committee and the Friendly Garden Club have beautified and enlivened Starbuck with hanging flower baskets, flower planters and flower beds in the downtown area, the park and the beach.
Last year with the help of the city, the VFW Men’s Auxiliary and members of the Friendly Garden Club created the flower beds by the beach house (which was renovated and the snack shack open) were expanded and a tiered flower/rock garden was built and planted at the south end of the beach by the boat landing. They received many compliments and saw a much increased use of the beach during the summer. The necessary funds were raised from local businesses and organizations to cover the increased flower planting, watering and fertilizing.

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Notes From The Capital

Property taxes and who pays them

paul anderson 150The subject of property taxes and who pays them is a topic that always seems to create discussion.  We have heard the explanation of how local property taxes are made up of a three-legged stool, with the three legs of revenue being agricultural land, residential homes, and commercial/industrial property.  In recent years, because of the rapid escalation in farmland values, there has been a shift to more of the total property tax bill falling onto that category.

With the farm economy humming along with high commodity prices and profit margins comfortably in the “black,” at least for crop farming, there wasn’t much sympathy as taxes on ag land increased by large amounts.  That scenario has completely changed in the past year as commodity prices have plummeted to less than one-half their peak values, and profit margins have disappeared.  And even as land prices stabilize and begin to drop somewhat in value, it will take several years for that to show up in lower property taxes.  As a result, farmers are looking at their tax statements and realizing that this is now a significant input cost, one that is adding to their negative cash flows for the upcoming year.

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Starbuck Community Clothing Swap Coming UP

Semi-Annual Starbuck Community Clothing Swap

            The Semi-Annual Starbuck Community Clothing Swap sponsored by Starbuck Horizons is coming up on April 9, 10 and 11 at the Minnewaska Lutheran Home Commons. Drop off the clothes you don’t want on Thursday, April 9 from 3:00-7:00 p.m. Pick up the clothes you do want on Friday, April 10 from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 11 from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. All community members are invited to either drop off and/or shop for ‘new’ to you clothes. This is a free event with no obligation to bring or take anything.

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Starbuck Punch Card Promotion

Starbuck punch card promotion offers chance to win $50 in gift certificates

 As part of a Starbuck Chamber promotion and local businesses Starbuck is running a punch card promotion to encourage people to shop local.

 How it will work
 A person will have to enter all 12 of the participating businesses and receive a punch on their card. All cards will stay in the drawings for $50 worth of gift certificates for the 12 weeks. A $50 winner will be selected each week. Punch cards can be picked up at the Chamber Office or participating businesses. Drop off for the cards is at the Chamber Office or Peddler Dan’s if Chamber is closed.
 Participating businesses include Minnewaska Bait & Tackle, Peddler Dan’s, Little Angels Consignment, Precision Body & Frame, Minnewaska House, Samuelson’s Drug, Starbuck Bakery, Tom’s Food Market, Minnewaska Liquor, Creative Images Salon, Kruger Farms, Water’s Edge.
 The intent of the punch cards are to promote buying local and supporting neighbors, strengthen the local economy, increase area jobs, circulate money in the community, reduce environmental footprint and to save time and win $50 in gift certificates.

 The promotion will have drawings every Wednesday from April 1- June 17, for a total of 12 $50 winners. One entry per person.



 The promotion will have drawings every Wednesday from April 1- June 17, for a total of 12 $50 winners. One entry per person.

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Starbuck Approves Interim City Office Staff

By Zach Anderson
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The Starbuck City Council approved interim city office staff on Monday evening, selecting Joan Kerkvliet as interim clerk/treasurer, Jan Norby as interim deputy clerk and Bonnie Rasche as assistant (when needed).
The interim staff was needed due to the resignation of city clerk/treasurer Andrea Swenson; the council accepted Swenson’s resignation at the same meeting.
The pay rate for Rasche will stay at $11 per hour. Norby’s rate was set at $15 per hour. Mayor Gary Swenson and council member Lyle Katzenmeyer said they would meet with Kerkvliet to discuss pay rate and also what changes need to be made in the office.

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Quilt of Valor Presented

Richard Hollermann presented with Quilt of Valor

HallermannHow do you begin to say “thank you” to a veteran—especially one who has sacrificed so much during service to the nation? If you’re a quilter like Charlotte Norlien, you begin with a piece of fabric.
On Feb. 16, Norlien presented Richard Hollermann, a Vietnam veteran who lives south of Farwell, with a Quilt of Valor. The quilt was Norlien’s way of offering comfort, healing and sincere gratitude to a veteran touched by war.
Norlien said she had seen a PBS program about the Quilts of Valor Foundation and was determined to make a quilt for a local veteran—the Fons and Porter quilt pattern, in particular.

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