"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Sunday, December 28th, 2014
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Guest Commentary: Rushford-Peterson School referendum


Mon, Oct 13th, 2014
Posted in Peterson Commentary

By Jennifer M. Wood

of Peterson, Minn.

The Rushford-Peterson School referendum has recently been presented as you are either for or against caring for the future of our children. However, I believe that knowing the truth, and knowing all of our options, can help us make the best decision monetarily for our community.

During the process of figuring out facts in this matter, I contacted Greg Davids who referred me to Jody Withers at 651-296-4141. Jody is an education policy specialist at the state level. Jody and I have had several conversations since, and he has spent time looking up details for me when I have questioned things that were being said during the referendum conversations.

From the information Jody has shared with me, there are a couple of mistruths that seem to be out there. First, the debt equalization is for districts that have sustained at least $500,000 in damages that isn’t covered by insurance or FEMA. In addition to meeting that test, the referendum passed needs to be a minimum amount of money in order to qualify for debt equalization at this higher rate. Jody and his team of specialists at the state did some calculating and told me that the minimum the referendum needs to be is around $7 million for our district. This is a far cry from the $16 million minimum that was stated at the public hearing in Peterson and certainly a far cry from the approximately $38 million dollar building, which requires the referendum to be passed for at least $39.9 million, or 105% of the cost of the project.

Next, it was recently stated by a member of the Vote Yes committee that this money was NOT available for remodel or repair, only for building new. This is completely inaccurate and its important people know this prior to making their choice on voting day. To make sure that I did indeed understand what was previously told me, I called Jody again to verify this. He sent me the exact wording in statute 123B.535 subsection 1 part 3: (3) the repair and replacement costs are not covered by insurance payments or Federal Emergency Management Agency payments. He said this means you can repair, remodel or replace the damaged building.

Jody went on further to state that although technically you can replace with a larger building than just what was damaged (as is proposed with grouping the middle school into the project), there is a good chance that when this statute costs the sta .....
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Chatfield’s heartfelt thanks to legislators

Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in Chatfield Commentary

After repeated attempts over the years to secure state funding for the renovation of the Chatfield Center for the Arts, the tenacity of a dedicated group of the center’s promoters paid off. Legislators who were instrumental in getting the Center f ..... 
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Harmony Fire Department hosting smoke trailer and fire house public event

Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in Harmony Commentary

For Fire Prevention Week, the Harmony Fire and Ambulance Departments, in conjunction with Fillmore County deputies, will be coordinating an open house event on October 7, 2014, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the public. While enjoying refreshments, h ..... 
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R-P Community Education to host “Meet the School Board Candidates” forum

Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

This October 13th, the Rushford-Peterson school district will have the opportunity to elect three people to the Board of Education. Eight candidates are vying for these seats: Dave Ansell, Len Strapp, Joyce Iverson, Ryan Oian, Evan Meier, Dean Mie ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson bond levy: an unnecessary financial risk

Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Michael Machutt Rushford, Minn. We are being asked to commit to a minimum of $56,000,000 of debt ($38,000,000 in principal and $28,000,000 interest) in order to build a new K-12 facility. $56,000,000 is the minimum because there are still unf ..... 
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Growing philanthropic resources for southern Minnesota

Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

This is an important time of year for Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF). We are wrapping up our annual update visits with local city and county government leaders, requesting their continued financial support of the work we do. In addi ..... 
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One Moment, Please... Making history

Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Did you notice something new in the Fillmore County Journal this past week? We published our first-ever feature titled “A Journal Flashback,” recognizing the humble beginnings of what you are reading today. As we approached the newspaper’s ..... 
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Correction

Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

In the September 29, 2014 issue of the Fillmore County Journal, in the Fillmore County Police Reports, the following items were mistakenly associated with Thomas Paul Wunderlich of Winona, Minn., “8/29/2013, DWI-Operation Motor Vehicle Under Inf ..... 
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In search of truth and courage

By Yvonne Nyenhuis

Mon, Sep 29th, 2014
Posted in Lanesboro Commentary

I always feel sad when I see the furry bodies of animals that didn’t make it safely across the road. I imagine their fear and pain at the moment of their death. One day as my husband and I cruised along “County 8” ,I saw a dark lump to my ri ..... 
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