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July 18, 2013     Tri-County News
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July 18, 2013

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PROM()TER .-, RE(:RUITER Page 14 South Haven council seeks new member By lean Doran Matua, editor After the resignation of Tony Stanley, the South Haven City Council has a vacancy. The coun- cil may appoint a qualified indi- vidual to take that seat on the council until the next regular elec- tion. Qualifications include being 18 or older, a citizen of the United States for more than three months, live within South Haven city lim- its for at least 30 days, and be a reg- istered legal voter in the precinct. Anyone interested should contact the city office or the mayor. As of July 1, the municipal liquor store no longer sells tobacco products. There were six fire calls and eight rescue calls in June. The Fire Department will purchase an RIT bag (Rapid Intervention Team) Thursday, July 18, 2013 Le00als fat Government Tri-Count00News-w0000 !_-sss-- <!! Watkins council to repair Village Hall, Watkins pool with tools for emergency res- cue for mutual aid calls. There is a problem with parking too close to the Fire Hall near the ball field; "no parking" signs will be put up. The council approved doing needed street and sidewalk repairs. They will contact Rural Water to discuss water odor com- plaints and water flushing. South Haven Days, which are not a city-sponsored event, are July 26-28. The street dance will be from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday, July 27. The parade is at 11 a.m. Saturday, with an open house at the Fire Hall afterward with activ- ities and prizes for kids. The next meeting of the South Haven city council will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, at the new city hall. EV-W school board adds staff for mental health the Healtth & Safety Budget for FY 2013-FY2!015, and the district's Crisis Management Plan of Action. The board unanimously approved expanded expenditures on mental health services, as made possible by increased state fund- ing. Specifically, a new position will be created: Mental Health- Student Services Administrative Assistant. The job entails two days a week, 8-hour days, and the per- son in this position will take care of the volumes of required paper- work, for example, so that men- tal health staff can spend more of their time working with students. The total cost will not exceed $8,772, again made possible by state funding. Homeschooled senior students must now have 11.75 credits at Eden Valley-Watkins High School in order to be included in class ranking. Superintendent Mess- man explained that this is com- mon practice. The class ranking is necessary to be designated as vale- dictorian or salutatorian, and can be important to qualify for college scholarships. It is still optional for students and their families, and the credits may be taken online. The next school board meeting will be Wednesday, Aug. 14, with another Wednesday, Aug. 28. 1221 Looking for promoter / recruiter in Upper Midwest. Prior business ownership or sales experience a plus. 75K + First Year Position requires NO need to relocate. Call (218) 303-4222 By lean Doran Matua, editor At its July 10 meeting, the Eden Valley-Watkins school board named the Tri-County News as its official, legal newspaper for the 2013-14 school year. Official banks are State Bank in Eden Valley and Farmers State Bank of Watkins. Summer construction work is being finished up, with new side- walks and spillways, stage work being done, and floors being redone. Landscaping work will be done in early- to mid-August. Public meetings for strategic planning for 2013-2018 have been completed, and the resulting data has been condensed into a vision statement, mission statement, and core values for the district. The Eden Valley-Watkins School District is committed to" Academic opportunities and professional development Safety, security, and a wel- coming environment Enhancing and utilizing tech- nology Strong fiscal policies and pro- cedures Community service and part- nerships Enhancements of facilities, structures, and space The board unanimously approved the district's insurance, By]ean Doran Matua, editor cil before they are paid, but a list running now, after repairs were Sgt. Joel Engler presented the of routine bills and necessary made. He is looking into the pos- Sheriff's report at the council's July 11 meeting. Deputy Josh Case, who usually polices Watkins, is out on two weeks leave after the birth of his baby. Engler and other deputies will patrol Watkins until Case returns. The Sheriff's office will again host a National Night Out event in August. The council voted unanimously to have Faber Building Supply install a steel roof on the Village Hall after Kostreba does tuck- pointing and other work. Loose brick and cracks in the building will be repaired before putting on the roof. Faber will install a new handicap ramp on the side of the building once the tuckpointing is completed. Waterproofing will include cement work at the base of the building, before the new ramp is installed, to stop the years-long flow of water into the basement. It was mentioned that the siren on the roof of the Village Hall no longer rotates; the Meeker County Sheriff's Office will have it checked so that it can be repaired. The council unanimously approved a formal request by Mies Outland for tax abatement on their proposed 3,000-square- foot Indian Motorcycle showroom addition. Mies is working with the city, the Economic Development Authority, and Meeker County on this. Now that Cosmos has com- pleted its Ag District plan, Wat- kins will consider one as well. This would allow for land of 25+ acres within city limits to be taxed as agricultural land. The issue will go to Planning & Zoning, then a pub- lic meeting must be held. The pro- cess would need to be completed before Aug. 1 (which is not possi- ble); once passed, it will not affect taxes until 2015. Ben Aho presented the Wat- kins Ambulance report. Kelly Kel- ley was appointed treasurer after a unexpected resignation. They are working to simplify account- ing practices. The city's auditor requests that all ambulance bills be approved by the city coun- equipment purchases will be cre- ated; those bills can then be paid as they arise, up to approved lim- its. A credit card/gas card was dis- cussed for the ambulance to have so that it can refuel as needed, at any time of day or night. They cur- rently answer about 350 calls a year, but Aho expects it soon to be 500. They sometimes get back-to- back calls and can be gone for up to six hours at a time. Nora Rohrbeck gave her report on the Watkins Pool. Everything is going well, and beyond expec- tations. They passed their inspec- tion. She's got a great staff, daily numbers are up, lessons are going great, and there hasn't been a sin- gle complaint this season. Zumba classes began last month, and water aerobics classes are being added. Mayor Dennis Loch plans to pay for a day of swimming for anyone who wants to come, in a "Swim with the Mayor" event. (See the ad on page 3.) The council discussed plans for pool repairs in the fall. The close date for the pool this year depends, in part, on staffing availabil- ity, as many will be headed back to school. The pool may be open Labor Day weekend, regardless of the close date. As soon as the pool is closed for the season, it will be drained. The south wall of the pool needs to be dug up and reinforced so that it no longer shifts, causing cracks. The interior of the pool will be sandblasted. Existing cracks will be patched using a 30-day cure flexible cement. It must then be painted, and then refilled in preparation for winter. This, may be a tight schedule if winter comes early. The city will put out an RFP for bids on needed pool repairs now rather than waiting for fall. Virl Liebrenz was hired part- time in the Public Works Depart- ment. He loves his job, and by all accounts is doing great. Public Works director Steve Geislinger reported that vol- ume is about one-third now that a check valve in the water system had been replaced. Irrigation is sibility of cost-sharing with Xcel Energy on roof solar panels for the city. The new snow plow worked great; they can now replace the road grader (which is rarely used) with aloader; the council approved this. At 1st and School, an ll-foot gap will be replaced with a sewer line connection; water has been diverted to the manhole in the grass, but it hasn't been connected to anything; now it will be con- nected to the city sewer system. Watkins Clippers manager Bruce Geislinger asked what will be done about irrigating the ball field, and who will pay for it. The city will install a high/low meter so they can see how much water is actually used by the elementary school versus the ball field irriga- tion. The city will continue to pay for water used for the ballfield. In other business, the coun- cil accepted the retirement of Joe Kramer from the Fire Depart- ment effective July 1, approved the appointment of Michael Knisely to the Fire Department, donated $2,500 to the Kraut 'N Wurst parade (and approved doing so each year, without the commit- tee needing to request it each time), will keep the LMCIT insur- ance and not waive the statutory tort limits of $500,000, noted that storm damage from June 20 at the ball field will be handled by insur- ance, declined to donate to the Southwest Initiative Foundation again this year, closed the GO Bond 2009 Fund (that was refinaneed earlier this year), agreed to write off approx. $1,700 in remaining uncollectible debt fromSteart Aggregate, tabled consideration of a Small Cities Development Pro- gram grant for housing rehabil- itation until next month's m@et- ing, approved a liquor license for St. Anthony's parish picnic Aug. 25, and approved closing streets again for their picnic (to allow workers to come and go with deliveries, etc.). The next meeting of the Wat- kins city council will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8. Watkins pool success By Nora Rohrbeck, Pool Manager The Watkins pool has been opened since June 3. The first two weeks were chilly and weather closed the pool 5 days. However, since that, the pool's attendance and concessions are increasing every week. They Reached a total of 96 swimmers Monday, June 24. Many other days have been close as attendance for just open swim con- tinues to see high numbers. Thanks also for the weather cooperation. With swimming lessons in session and open swim following, the pool has been busy. This is an amazing site as you drive by to see the kiddie pool full with children and mothers having fun in the sun at the Watkins Swimming Pool. Monday, July 15, the second ses- sion of swimming lessons is still in session. The swimming les- sons are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for this group. Open swim is from 3-8 p.m. The last session of swim- ming lessons will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 22-25 and July 29-Aug 1. This year the total number of children enrolled is 300. This is a little higher than last year's. My goal is to see the Watkins Pool increase that number sub- stancially next year. The feedback from the parents this year is posi- tive, and while learning the ins and outs of what lessons consist of, i feel next year will be even better. When the pool opened, it was in need of pool toys and items to help instruc- tors teach their students. Pool toys have been purchased with money from the fundraiser. When I arrived at the pool one evening from pur- chasing these items, the staff was so excited that they said it felt like Christmas (smile inside). When I began my position as pool manager, items that would help the instructors were just not able to be in the pool's bud- get. Understanding how cost can effect even the smallest of items is an eye opener. With the continued efforts of the pool committee, the increase in pool attendance, spe- cial classes being offered, and pri- vate pool parties booked; the direc- tion is on point, and the pool is see- ing great things. The concession area has many new treats available. Customers can choose from candy, chips, pop, water, Gatorade, and a variety of ice cream treats! We are also selling swimming goggles this year! With the summer half over, the push is onI Water aerobic classes will be held on Tuesday and Thurs- day evenings from 8-9 p.m., the start date is being scheduled, any infor- mation regarding these classes will be posted at the pool, on the pool's recorded message, the City of Wat- kins webpage, or check out the mar- quee. The pool committee is meet- ing this week with plans of another teen night for mid to late August. Several different ideas will be dis- cussed. Events and projects will be underway using some unique ways to raise money for the pool. Also, the fund remains open for anyone wishing to make a contribution at the Farmers State Bank of Watkins. Watkin's mayor, Dennis Loch, approached me as soon as the pool opened with ideas of how he could contribute to the pool. He has offered to pay for EVERYONE to swim at the pool, his treat! So mark your calendar, "Come one, Come all" it's on the mayor, Sun- day, July 28, from 1-4 p.m. Come and swim or visit with the mayor at the pool. Check out our facility. The council made the deci- sion at the June council meeting to fix the pool immediately follow- ing the conclusion of the season. Many exciting and new features are continuing to happen for the Watkins Swimming Pool. Every day is a new one for this facil- ity, which will be celebrating its 20-year anniversarywhen reopen- ing next summer. I can't think of a more appropriate way to mark this celebration! Stay tuned for more updates and events featuring the Watkins Swimming Pool.