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Rushford-Peterson catches a break; gets tangled in bully issue


By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, May 26th, 2014
Posted in Peterson Education

“We asked for a miracle, we got one. It wasn’t what we asked for but it was exactly what we needed,” enthused Superintendent Chuck Ehler. The comments came on the heels of notification that the education piece of the Omnibus bill, HF 3172, regarding debt equalization aid, received approval May 15, before moving on to the House and Senate where the entire Omnibus bill was passed. Governor Mark Dayton signed the bill into law May 20. “We are extremely excited,” continued Ehler.

The legislation was drafted by the district in partnership with Moose Lake School District after both unsuccessfully lobbied the state for financial assistance for facilities following the impact of natural disasters. Rushford-Peterson was hit with excess of $1 million in damages to the aging facility, portions of which date to 1903 and 1936, following severe flooding in 2007. The following year, the district sought state aid in building a new $20 million facility with no result. December 2012, the district brought forth a $15 million referendum for a new pre-K to grade five facilities, but it was denied by district voters unable to bear the steep tax increase.

“We have a plan moving forward to financially address issues. We said we’d do everything in our power to secure state funding and this will help,” added Ehler. Districts will be eligible for state aid in debt related to a new facility if they meet specific criteria. This includes impact of a natural disaster with damages over $500,000 after January 1, 2005, with repair and replacement ineligible for federal aid or covered by insurance. Qualifying districts would be required to pass a bond referendum for a new facility before securing debt equalization aid. Assistance could be as much as three times the typical debt equalization aid. Funds become available July 1, 2015.

If Rushford-Peterson seeks to build a $35 million dollar early childhood to grade 12 facility, the annual debt cost for a 20-year loan would amount to $1.2 million for the district taxpayers with an additional $1.6 million provided by the State, according to Ehler. “It is my hope the board will take a serious look at utilizing this legislation to continue moving forward with our new school initiative. We secured piece of legislation that will serve our districts and others in the future, should they experience what we did.”

The district has presented and the school board approved a draft time .....
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Hoffman Stables

Rushford Peterson Valley Farmers' Market gearing up for events

Mon, May 26th, 2014
Posted in Peterson All

The Rushford Peterson Valley Farmers’ Market got a great start May 7, thanks to a break in the weather and an enthusiastic crowd. Sunny skies and warm temperatures brought in customers to Creekside Park in Rushford, eager to meet the returning and ..... 
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Peterson talks chicken, ordinance enforcement

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, May 19th, 2014
Posted in Peterson Government

A city-wide garbage cleanup day is scheduled, but nuisance properties in Peterson may see more cleanup than they anticipated if non-compliance continues. At the May 14 meeting, the council continued discussion on zoning updates and the best route to ..... 
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ExpoCulinaria is less than a week away

Fri, May 9th, 2014
Posted in Peterson Arts & Culture

The menu is set. The cooks are ready to go. The wine and beer sommeliers have picked the beverages. ExpoCulinaria is less than a week away, and we’re ready for our guests. This annual experience of taste promises to be an evening of incredible fla ..... 
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RASA summer theater production auditions upcoming

Fri, May 9th, 2014
Posted in Peterson Arts & Culture

Rushford Area Society of the Arts will be holding auditions for this summer’s community theater production of ‘The Butler Did It”, on Thursday evening, May 15, at 6 p.m., and Saturday, May 17 at 9 a.m. in the Rushford Peterson High School Theat ..... 
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Homeowners see reduction in school taxes

Fri, May 2nd, 2014
Posted in Peterson Commentary

Homeowners of the Rushford-Peterson School District should find a pleasant surprise when they open their 2014 Property Tax Statements. They will see a reduction in school taxes due to equalization enacted by the legislature last year. A homeowner wit ..... 
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R-P runs into insurance snag

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Apr 25th, 2014
Posted in Peterson Education

At the Monday, April 21 Rushford Peterson school board meeting, the district acknowledged a snag with bids for insurance coverage. Board member Taylor Peterson sought clarification, as did local insurance agent Butch Johnson, who was present and addr ..... 
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Marvin Vernon Jonsgaard

Fri, Apr 11th, 2014
Posted in Peterson Obituaries

Marvin Vernon Jonsgaard, 83, of Peterson, Minn., died Tuesday, April 8, 2014. Marvin was born August 30, 1930 to Harry and Agnes (Bailey) Jonsgaard in rural Winona County. He served in army during the Korean War from 1951-1953 and upon his return he ..... 
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Rushford Peterson Valley triathlon event gains momentum

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Apr 11th, 2014
Posted in Peterson Features

The excitement surrounding Rushford Peterson Valley Tri-City Challenge and Conquer the Bluff is building. A project put forth by the Foundation for Rushford-Peterson Schools, the event is designed to bring awareness to the community and to raise fund ..... 
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