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Sunday, December 28th, 2014
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Rushford-Peterson responds to concerns; renews superintendent contract


By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Dec 29th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Education



Due to time constraints at the December 17 school board meeting, a special meeting was called December 22. The meeting was well attended by the public, as was the previous meeting, with more than 20 citizens waiting to hear the district’s response to recent concerns and the outcome of the superintendent’s contract.

A two-page memorandum from Tom Melcher, school finance director for the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), was presented in regards to the district eligibility for Natural Disaster Debt Service Equalization. Many in the district have argued concern over state aid. While not guaranteed, Greg Crowe, of Ehlers & Associates, the financial firm assisting the district with the referendum and new school initiative, has stated on multiple occasions that there is no reason to expect funding to be pulled by the state.

Per state statute, three conditions must be met in order to for the district to qualify for state aid for the New School Initiative, a $38.1 million pre-K through grade 12 facility. First, “The district was impacted by a natural disaster event or area occurring January 1, 2005, or later, as declared by the President, which is eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency payments (FEMA).” The community was impacted by a 500-year flood in 2007 and the Rushford facility, while not under water, did sustain damages.

Secondly, “The natural disaster caused $500,000 or more in damages to school district buildings.” This aspect of the eligibility requirements has been subject to much speculation and varying interpretation, according to James Noble, representative from the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor. Noble stated that the district will qualify for state aid, despite some of the $734,695.66 in FEMA grants and disaster aid being utilized for equipment, grounds, and hazard mitigation and not directly to the facilities themselves.

Melcher also echoed this assurance, noting that MDE had used restorative costs of school facilities to pre-disaster function and capacity as defined by FEMA. According to Melcher, this included “Essential components and steps other than just the cost of construction contracts for repairs to the main building.” These components include cleanup, planning, project management, and replacement of equipment and restoration of grounds.

The last piece of eligibility states, “The repair and replacement costs a .....
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Rushford-Peterson responds to concerns; renews superintendent contract

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Dec 29th, 2014
Posted in Peterson Education

Due to time constraints at the December 17 school board meeting, a special meeting was called December 22. The meeting was well attended by the public, as was the previous meeting, with more than 20 citizens waiting to hear the district’s respon ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Rushford-Peterson responds to concerns; renews superintendent contract

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Dec 29th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Education

Due to time constraints at the December 17 school board meeting, a special meeting was called December 22. The meeting was well attended by the public, as was the previous meeting, with more than 20 citizens waiting to hear the district’s respon ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Fillmore Central school board approves levy

Mon, Dec 29th, 2014
Posted in All Education

Fillmore Central held their Truth in Taxation hearing and set their budget and levy on December 23. There were no property owners there with questions about the levy or property taxes. The board discussed the 2014 payable 2015 taxes, and the budge ..... 
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Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation announces Reading Oasis room grants available

Mon, Dec 29th, 2014
Posted in All Education

Owatonna, MN - In an effort to promote early childhood literacy, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) is sponsoring community Reading Oasis rooms focused on children birth to age eight to enhance school readiness for our young children. A ..... 
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Levy confusion cleared up at Lanesboro Schools

Mon, Dec 29th, 2014
Posted in Lanesboro Education

Several people showed up at the Lanesboro school board meeting on December 18 with concerns about property taxes. Residents of Lanesboro recently learned their property taxes would be increasing due an increase in the levy. Superintendent Jeff Bo ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson faces tough questions on new school issues

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Dec 22nd, 2014
Posted in Peterson Education

Talk moves swiftly in tight-knit communities and recent rumblings over potential problems with Rushford-Peterson’s New School Initiative, and the subsequent referendum, led more than 55 citizens to pack into the high school biology room for the ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson faces tough questions on new school issues

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Dec 22nd, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Education

Talk moves swiftly in tight-knit communities and recent rumblings over potential problems with Rushford-Peterson’s New School Initiative, and the subsequent referendum, led more than 55 citizens to pack into the high school biology room for the ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Rushford-Peterson faces tough questions on new school issues

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Dec 22nd, 2014
Posted in Rushford Education

Talk moves swiftly in tight-knit communities and recent rumblings over potential problems with Rushford-Peterson’s New School Initiative, and the subsequent referendum, led more than 55 citizens to pack into the high school biology room for the ..... 
[Read the Rest]
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