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Tri-County News
Kimball, Minnesota
January 28, 2016     Tri-County News
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January 28, 2016

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D A I B_ ,,_ ........ ...... fan-ruXu , -,016 pII II Letters to the Ii = i Yes or no? We choose 'no' Yes or No, these two words have been necessary to prepare us for our future. The dividing this small town of Kimball for a Ag room also needs updates; it is focused couple months now. As a town we voted on a fitness center and a concession stand. "NO" on the referendum in November and Some people are saying that "no" vot- now we are being forced to re-vote on basi- ers don't care about the kids or their educa- cally the same question, only the board is tion. We would argue a NO vote is all about now asking for even more money! Seems to the kids and their education. An expensive, us our school board members are only con- fancy fitness center will have little impact cerned about what they want:.a "yes" vote on a student's education and will do little and the ability to spend taxpayers' money to make Kimball stand out. What is going to on unnecessary things. That was obviously make Kimball stand out is how well the stu- not what Kimball voted for in November. dents, teachers, and community members Although we did not attend the school represent the school. We want to attract board meeting on Dec. 9, we watched it on people to our school the right way! video. While watching the forum, it seemed Some argue, "If not now, when?" We pointless as it was apparent that the school would challenge everyone to see for your- board had already made up their minds, self our current weight room. It is already We cannot speak for everyone, but the peo- much bigger than it was two years ago. pie we have talked to agree that the school Kimball is NOT Paynesville. Paynesville is needs some updates to the science rooms made up of more than 2,000 people, more and improvements to the ag shop. We than double the population of Kimball. are voting "NO" on flashy things like an Kimball simply can't support a $3.2 million over-budgeted fitness center and a fancy dollar fitness center. concession stand that costs more than As recent graduates, weareveryproudof twice what most Kimball residents' houses Kimball'Area High School and what it pro- are valued. Why is our school board more vided for us. The size of Kimball allowed us Concerned about a fitness center than edu- to get to know everyone in the school and cational advances? the community. To us, it isn't about how As former students at KAHS, we know big the school is or how many fancy facil- first-hand that our science rooms need ities it has. It's about supporting our small some updates. We also know that one of town pride. these science rooms was not even utilized The Donnays until four years ago. These science rooms Shannon, Emily, and Hollie allowed us to accomplish everything Conscience tells me to vote 'yes' We are being asked to proyide two We need to deeply considerthe survival significant academic upgrades for the of ourschool now for the sake of its future. science and shop to provide a better and The future of the school is so vital to the safer learning environment for students, community, progress in our school should These classrooms are outdated and not be put ()n hold. She time to act is now to undersized to serve our student needs and maintain enrollment and encourage new interests. We are being asked to support the families to join our school because of what addition of a weight room/fitness center for we can and will be able to offer their chil- the students, dren to best prepare them for their future. This addition will allow the woods and Ihavetaken a tourofthe school to see for metals classes to have two separate spaces, myself the needs. My eyes were opened by provide a safer environment and the abil- the tour and hearing directly from admin- ity to offer more in the trade's area, This istration the challenges in existing spaces. weight room addition will also support the My grandchildren and all the students K-12 physical education classes and our athletic are very important to me, as they are to teams. The weight room/fitness center will many of us in this school district. We need first and foremost support the needs of the to support our elected school board mem- students. The district is simply extending bers and the administration in their vision access to the community through mem- to address the needs and provide the best berships. We are not being asked to vote on for our kids. state of the art upgrades and expansions, to My conscience tells me a "YES" is the build a new state of the art school nor are only way to vote. we being asked to vote for a community Terry Mahlum center. We are being asked to bring some Grandparent and district resident spaces up to date and allow other spaces to expand to meet student needs. Need a ride to vote? Voting for the school levy is Friday, Feb. 5, at KimballArea High School. If you do not have a ride to and from the polls, I am offering you transportation. Do not use "I did not have a ride" as an excuse not to vote. I do not care if you are against the levy or for the levy. I am offering transportation to any legal resident in the school dis- trict. Please contact me in advance at (320) 309-1769. Dave Van Vleet Now is definitely the time to vote 'yes' IhavebeenalifelongresidentofKimball. attended Kimball Area Schools and have I remember three grocery stores, two cloth- earned degrees in systems, electrical, and ing stores, six gas stations, a shoe repair mechanical engineering. Our school sys- shop, a movie theatre, a snowmobile fran- tern has done an excellent job of preparing chise, two hardware stores, a creamery, a students for their future. However, through drug store, three caf6s on Main Street, two the years of severe cuts, both academic local newspapers, an egg depot, a doctor's and vocational course offerings have been office, two dance halls, a dentist's office, a eliminated. With an excellent plan in place, barber and beauty shop, an elevator and a explained in the recent flyer mailed to all train depot. My, how Kimball has changed, district residents, we have an opportunity Small town America has changed, to update our school and bring back some Over the past five years, I have umpired of those opportunities our students once softball in Pearl Lake. I noticed a team of "had. Since the school is the heart of our Eden Valley-Watkins graduates versus a community, this is not the time to hold our team of Kimball graduates. Man for man, school system back. the EV-W players were stronger than their For an estimated $100 a year per house- Kimball opponents. I knew that these hold, we can improve our school district EV-Wgraduates had bought into the weight and as a result improve and keep changing training program EV-W provides. I believe. Kimball. Now is not the time to put this off. strongly that updating our weight program It is time to act. Reach out now and vote YES and exercise area at KAHS will improve on Feb. 5. athletes and our athletic programs. Bill Liedman My wife and I have three sons who all My 'no' vote: norash decisions, please It's not because I don't believe our chil- open to the public and who will be super- dren deserve the best we can offer them vising this facility? Most of the public will in education. I feel that we are being pres- not be able to make use of this facility from sured and rushed into voting for a levy 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., or when the school is open. that has already been put to the public for With all the activities the students will a vote and it was decided no. I have con- be using this room for, it is not likely that cerns that we are being forced to vote our it will be available for the public .anyway. opinion again, but have not received any This is NOT a community fitness center more information as to how this 5.7 mil- and should not be advertised as such. The lion dollars is going to be used. I agree, our present day weight room was remodeled school needs more technical classes and with help from generous donations, with wholeheartedly back the improvement of the understanding it would be available a woods/metal classroom. My concern is to the public. This past school year, during who is going to teach industrial arts to the open gym on Sunday and Wednesday eve- students? Is the $5.7 million going to sup- nings the weight room was off limits to the port additional teachers? I also agree that public. We the taxpayers were assured that improvements are needed for the science we would be out of SOD by June, now the rooms. Yes a new concession stand would district is saying by the end of 2016. Do we be nice, but at the cost of $300,000.00? But truly want to take on a 5.7 million dollar don't forget the elementary, where we hope debt while still trying to work our way out parents will make the decision to start and of SOD? Let's take this decision to improve stay in the Kimball Schools. We should our schools to a vote again in November, address any needs for improvement in that when there is a clearer picture of how building, but none of this $5.7 million is exactly the expansion will be done. Let's earmarked for the elementary. Much of list each of the building items separately so this money is reserved for the "multi-pur- they can pass or fail independently of each pose" room. What exactly does that mean? other. Let's not rush out and make a rash If this room is to be used for wrestling, decision to expand the school facility at the zumba, dance and PE classes just to name a cost of 5.7 million tax-payer's dollars. few, when exactly is this facility going to be Mary Filzen There are three more letters, from Tom Gregory, Dennis Loewen, and Jill Libbesmeier, on page 6. The Tri-County News is the official Newspaper of the Cities of Kimball and Watkins; the Kimball Area School District (ISD#739); Fair Haven, Forest Prairie, Kingston, and Maine Prairie Townships; and Clearwater River Watershed District. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Tri-County News, P.O. Box 220, Kimball MN 55353. The Tri-County News (USPS 639-180) is entered at the Post Office, Kimball, Minnesota 55353, as Periodicals. It is published Thursdays by Tri-County News, P.O. Box 220, Kimball MN 55353, Stearns County. LOCATIONS: Our office is at 70 S. Main St. in downtown Kimball. Weekday office hours are Monday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Our telephone and fax number is (320) 398-5000 or (320) 453-6397. E-mail can be addressed to news@tricountynews.MN. Our Web site is www.tricountynews.MN. We also havedrop sites at Ertl Hardware Hank in downtown Watkins. RATES: Subscription rates are $36/year ($26 for age 62 and older) in Minnesota; $46/year ($36 for seniors) elsewhere in the U.S. Single copy price is $1. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: 2 p.m. Monday (3 p.m. Friday if Monday is a holiday). OUR AWARD-WINNING STAFF: II BBBJB Jean Doran Matua, Editor and Publisher Maxine Doran: Typesetter, Circulation Marguerite Laabs: Photographer Sue Hughes: Creative Designer Jayne Harff: Office Manager Pat Garry: Staff Writer Mary Knaus: Sales The staff of the Tri-County News recognizes that it has a responsibility to report the news accurately and fairly, and that it is accountable to the public. Please contact our office if you feel we've fallen short of that objective. LETTERS: The Tri-County News welcomes letters COPYRIGHT: All content herein is the property promoting the exchange of ideas and opinions, of the Tri-County News and is protected by U.S. To be considered for publicationl letters should copyright law; content may not be reproduced address a topic of current or general interest. 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