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Rushford-Peterson School Board: Good news/bad news in R-P financial picture


Thu, Dec 23rd, 2004
Posted in Features

Last Tuesday the R-P school board received the proverbial “good news/bad news” scenario from Darwin Viker of the Larsen Allen Weishair accounting firm.

The good news is that the district is successfully “in the black”; in fact, all the budget tightening of the past few years has allowed for substantial improvements in the district’s financial picture. Viker reported that the district had increased its net assets by 24.4% over 2003, and has reduced long-term liabilities by 9.4%. The general fund balance was up by nearly $300,000 from a 2003.

The bad news is that none of that good news will matter if something doesn’t happen with education funding at the state legislative level and “we’re just not hearing any good news about that (likelihood of new state funding),” said Viker.

For the most part, Viker presented what appeared to be standard auditing fare, and said his firm expressed “a clean opinion on your financial statements.”

Viker showed comparisons of the district’s spending in certain areas as compared with the state average. For example, in the areas of maintenance & heating, transportation, and capital expenditures, District 239’s spending is higher than the average Minnesota district, attributable mostly to the district’s rural location and aging facilities. In other areas, such as debt expenses, the district spends less than the state average.

But the current issue financially is lack of any new state funding on the horizon, and what might be called creative accounting in the formula that allows the state to temporarily withhold up to 20% of the payments to the district.

Viker pointed out that a full 83.6% of the money in the district’s general fund revenues comes from state aid, with another 11.1% coming from property taxes, which are in effect also dictated by the legislature.

“You’re looking at needing more expenditure cuts by 2006 unless the state comes through with some new funding,” Viker concluded.

Later in the meeting, Superintendent Miller led the group in thanking Jim O’Donnell for his willingness to stand in for Bruce Costigan, who left several months before his term was up.

“I have learned a lot about the district and past board decisions from you,” Miller said to O’Donnell, who has served on the board in previous years. “We appreciate your .....
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Commissioners’ Report: County government feeling the state pinch in small ways

Thu, Dec 23rd, 2004
Posted in Features

One strand seems to weave itself through each message presented by county department heads: the state is handing down mandates without providing any funding to aid in their implementation.

The state in its effort to have no new ..... 
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Rushford City Council Report: Final decision to be made on generators at next meeting

Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

At the December 13 Rushford City Council meeting, Mayor T.S. Roberton emphatically told the Rushford City Council that a final decision on the back-up generators must be made at the next meeting (December 27). Brian Krambeer of Tri-County Electric an ..... 
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Harmony City Council Report: Council bids adieu to Mayor Runkel

Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

Would you say “aye?” the motion read.   I would not, could not, Runkel pled.  Would you for the minutes, would you for the billings?  Not without seconds and not with our shil ..... 
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Wykoff man found guilty on meth charges

Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

A jury found William Paul Miller, 37, of Wykoff, guilty on charges related to the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Miller was found guilty of seven counts of manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, ..... 
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Commissioners’ Report: Bridge deficiencies top transportation funding needs

Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

John Grindeland, Highway Department, fresh from an AMC (Association of Minnesota Counties) meeting asked the commissioners at their Tuesday meeting to talk to legislators about the need for a renewed commitment to the state bridge-bonding program. Gr ..... 
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Heartland hearing set for January 25

Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) Citizens’ Board will consider an MPCA staff recommendation to approve a Supplemental Environmental Assessment Worksheet (SEAW) for the Heartland tire-burning plant at the board’s scheduled meeting on Ja ..... 
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Dance of the Oyster

Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

Christmas Eve was mostly about tradition, leaving out all semblance of good taste. I dreaded it and at the same time oddly looked forward to it. It was the only time of year I got to see the oyster dance, which was both beautiful and a little frighte ..... 
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The Aliga Christmas hunt

Fri, Dec 17th, 2004
Posted in Features

December brought to an end the long rainy season in Aliga, Gabon, a tiny African village stitched haphazardly to the sandy Bateke Plateau. No electricity. No roads. I know. I wrestled a Land Cruiser out there in 1983 to build a Peace Corps school. Ea ..... 
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