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Kimball, Minnesota
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April 18, 2013     Tri-County News
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April 18, 2013
 

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Thursday, April 18, 2013 Pa e 20 Le als Tri Coun News'wwwtricoun@newsmn iiil~li ~i~iii~!ii~iigi~!~i~i~!~!~i~i~iiii~:ig~:i~#~!~ii~: ~:~. Stearns County launches new City of Kimball passes audit; clean-up day is May 4 By Jean Doran Matua, Editor tractor to finish street and alley ing health and dental insurance free discount prescription savings Doug Host and Sarah Utsch projects thisspring, for employees. program of CliftonLarsonAllen, the city's The city has 7.8 months ofThe city clerk was asked about accounting firm, presented the expenses in the general fund (the any progress with Kim-Built. The Stearns County is pleased to come at no expense to the County. 2012 city audit with "no findings to state of Minnesota mandates at city is still waiting for everything join the Coast2Coast Rx Card Besides the discount on prescrip- report." The only deficiency nec- least 5 months), to be submitted. Kim-Built has program, tions, the card also provides dis- essary to report to the state is one Thecity's clean-up dayis May4, requested "rush processing" for The new Coast2Coast Rx card counts on dental, vision, veteri- common for all small cities and from 8-11 a.m in the same place when everything is turned in; a will allow all County residents, nary and hearing services; plus school boards: lack of segregation (the parkinglot betweenAM Maus special meeting may be called as of duties when it comes to finan- and Gohmann's Foods). needed. regardless of income, age, or discounts on lab and imaging tests health status to participate in the and diabetes supplies and equip- cial transactions; there are too few The city is unhappy with theThere was discussion of the program and save on the cost of merit for all family members,employees to provide the usual current building inspector, Scott wastewater irrigation land rental, their medications. This program Martin Dettelbach, Chief Mar-checks and balances available in Qualle of MNSPECT in Waco- but no decisions were made. And saved cardholders throughout the keting Officer of Financial Mar- larger towns, nia. One reason cited was a build- more information is needed before nation an average of 60 percent in keting Concepts, Inc of Ponte The city closed on a $3.537 mil- ing permit requested last sum- approving replacement of check 2012 on the cost of prescription Vedra Beach, Florida, the issuer of lion loan in March; this was the mer that has not yet been issued, valve(s) at the water plant. drugs. Even pets and other people the Coast2Coast Rx free discount selling of the bond for last year's The council unanimously agreed The next meeting of the Kim- living outside the County are able card, says "we are pleased to work water/sewer/street work, sold to to look into finding a new building ball city council is Tuesday, May 7. to take part in the program. The with the County to help individu- Harvest Bank in Kimball. A punch inspector. list has been prepared for the con- The council approved renew- Rx card will be distributed free als, their families and pets com- of charge and may be used at all bat the rising cost of healthcare." pharmacy chains and most inde- Dettelbach added, "we appreciate City of Watkins hires pool manager, will hold clean-up day pendent pharmacies in Stearns all that the County and local phar- County and includes more thanmacies are doing to help those in By Jean Doran Matua, Editor need to be made to the pool before 60,000drugs in its formulary, need." Nora Rohrbeck has been it can be filled for the season. "With healthcare costs on the The Coast2Coast Rx card willappointed pool manager in Wet- Sign-up for lessons will be May 4 rise, prescription drug discounts be available for residents at most kins. Jacob Forcier and Natalie at the Watkins Village Hall (see will help ease some of the finan- participating pharmacies, gov- Stein are to be assistant managers, page 23). cial burdens individuals and fam- ernmental offices, libraries and They will have their hands full in After a few years' absence, ilies are facing at a time when they County health facilities. Resi- the days and weeks to come: sign- the city decided to hold a clean- need it the most," said Commis- dents will also be able to print the upsforsummerswimminglessons up day this year. It will be from sioner Jeff Mergen, Chair of the Rx card and view the nearest par- are coming up, but first the pool 8-11 a.m but a date has not yet Stearns Board of County Corn- ticipating locations at www.coast must be emptied and prepared for been set (needs to be coordinated missioners. "There are no eli- 2coastrx.com. theseason. Once the snow and ice with West Central Sanitation). gibility requirements so the Rx The Coast2Coast Rx card willis out of the pool, Rohrbeck and The city will forgive the sewer card is expected to have a sizeable provide residents with a valu- new City Works Director Steve portion of water/sewer bills for impact on uninsured residents able tool to help maintain their Geislinger will assess what repairs Randy Kramer's residence and for or residents facing high insur- health and well being at an afford- once deductibles. If a particular able cost. Other Minnesota Coun- drugisn't covered under aperson's ties in the program include Blue health plan - they can use the card Earth, Douglas, Fillmore, Hen- to save on those prescriptions." nepin, Redwood, Steele, Wadena, Providing savings for resi- and Wantonwan. dents through the Rx program will : [ THE MINNESOTA DISPLAY AD NETWORK J It's the no-stress way to place your newspaper ad in | multiple publications. We can place it statewide or regionally. You'll place one order and because you only get one bill, you only write one check. Your newspaper represenialive cm provide cornplee details. The 2](4 Network is a program of the MNA, phone 800-279-297g Nora Rohrbeck, new manager of Steve Geislinger, new City Works the Watkins pool. Director for Watkins. Staff photos by Jean Doran Matua. the Watkins Elementary School as it was shown that the water used did not go down the sewer. The council, however, decided unani- mously to redraft the ordinance in order to limit the number of such requests. Watkins Ambulance will sell one of their trucks, one that hasn't been used in 15 years. There was discussion about changing the wall panels in the Ambulance garage, and a decontamination shower there as well. Handicap parking spots down- town were discussed again. Meeker County approved one spot for Wal- ly's Caf6 (two were requested). The standard is one handicap spot for every 25 vehicles. There is a sign posted for a handicap spot on the 2rid Street corner at Central Ave- nue. It will not be enforced until the street and curb can be painted (as weather allows), but it will be enforced: $700 fine. The citywill ask Bolton & Menk, the city's engineers, to supervise and inspect any maintenance work needed on the city's water tower this summer. The next meeting of the Wat- kins city council will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 9. (The time is set back to 7 p.m. for the summer and fall.) EV-W School Board goes paperless, prepares for budget ByIeanDoranMatua, Editor chosen chemistry instead of phys- school up to Hwy. 22, north to The Eden Valley-Watkins ics for the tenth-grade requirement Corner Bar, and then back to the School Board is moving forward beginningwiththeclassof2015, school. The current temporary with plans to go paperless. Using Activities Director Dave Schnei- line goes under the new gym, and BoardBook, a web-based secure der presented a district facility use that line must be closed off once system, all documents pertain- fee schedule that was approved, the new line is in. $150,000 has ing to the board will be accessible Superintendent Messman pre- been set aside for this project that to board members online using a sented an update on the school's will be coordinated with the city's computer or tablet reader. Agen- building projects. Key locks have workthis summer. das, minutes, financial reports, been updated and new key fobsThe board approved the cap- policies and more will be kept will be distributed to staff. The ital outlay budget for 2013-18. It online, searchable by board mem- punch list for contractors contin- calls for $205,000 in capital expen- bers and school administration, ues to be worked on. In early June, ditures in 2013-14, $205,000 in No longer will multiple sets of some of the floors are scheduled to 2014-15, $202,000 in 2015-16, and board packets need to be photo- be replaced, landscaping will be $202,000 in 2016-17. This includes copied and mailed out before each done, and a top coat of asphalt will additional expenditures for the meeting. It is anticipated that the be applied to the parking lot. The high school stage, as planned. cost savings each year will pay for board will open bids for Phase II Testing at both the elemen- the system, about $2,000 a year. (which was revised) April 11. The tary schools and the high school is The board's g0al is to have Board- board has three years to utilize under way this week. Book up and ready for the June bonding funds, and their first pri- Senior high awards night will board meeting, ority is an air handler at Watkins be at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, Science curriculum was pre- Elementary. The high school has immediately following the schol- sented to the board, as it is up for accepted a vendor for installing arship night program at 7 p.m. cyclical review. Sharon Borgert, a stage in the new gym, and work Fine Arts awards will be included Heidi Kuechle, and Dave Dziengel could begin in 2-3 weeks. A new in the awards program, in hopes of presented, and the board approved sound system should be installed increasing attendance. the new curriculum that had gone in the old gym in time for gradu- The 5Kwalk/run for grades 7-12 through extensive review and plan- ation (which will be held in the and staffis scheduled for Wednes- ning, andadetailedreportprepared, old gym since the stage in the new day, May 15. The new curriculum is very rigor- gym won't yet be ready). Graduation is Thursday, May 30, ous, with each grade level building With the upcoming city project in the old gym (for the last time). on the previous grade. Grades K-3 (streets, water and sewer lines), Maintenance of the city ball- now have books, where they used the school will need to install a field (used by EV-W schools as well to only have science kits. EV-W has new sewer line, from the highas the Hawks baseball team) was cuts discussed. Costs are shared with the school, city, and Hawks. The board has begun its strate- gic planningprocess. (Read more about this in Mr. Messman's col- umn on page 11.) The first meet- ing was last week, and the pub- lic is invited to participate in this process, in meetings from 5:30- 7 p.m. on Wednesdays, May 15, 22 and 29, in the high school library. The goal is to have a large, diverse group that can give effective feed- back to the board. This is the best way that the board can be respon- sive to what residents want and need in its schools. A large unknown for the school, looming ominously, is the Afford- able Care Act. Superintendent Messman is closely watching it, and has summarized the 2,000-page document into a 1 1/2-page list of possible impact on the school dis- trict. It is not yet known if schools will be included, but at this point it is assumed that they will. If the dis- trict does not participate, it could face a $180,000 penalty the first year, with penalties increasing each year. R is a complex issue, and many aspects of it are still unknown. The board's approach will be to wait and see what develops by the end of the state legislative session May20. They will have until Oct. 1, 2014, to imple- ment Affordable Care (if required to). There will be time to restructure employee contracts before then, if needed. With this large, addi- tional expense looming in the dis- trict's future, the superintendent and board are preparing to consider budget cuts that will allow for the added health insurance expenses (or penalties) that seem to lie ahead. An initial list of potential expense reductions and revenue increases was presented to the board at the April 10 meeting. These include retirements, raising fees, eliminat- ing low-enrollment elective courses, and support staff reduction. These are options and everything is up for discussion at this point. Unrelated to budget cuts, a letter of nonrenewal of teach- ing contract has been sent to Tara Wood, a probationary teacher and speech pathologist. Because she was hired with a waiver of licen- sure for speech pathology, this is a required end-of-year step. The job has been posted, and Wood may re-apply for the job; she could be rehired, with another waiver of licensure, if no licensed candi- dates are found. The next board meeting is Wednesday, May 8.