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The facts on the R-P school project Response to Stan Gudmundson letter regarding R-P Schools


Mon, Jun 1st, 2015
Posted in Peterson Commentary

By John Linder

More than six months ago, the voters of the R-P School District passed a building referendum helped by the generous support of the state. It is unfortunate that a small butvocal group that opposed the referendum are still making claims of theft, deceit misappropriation of public funds and incredibly, voter fraud.

A recent article by Stan Gudmundson makes these unsupported charges. He laments that no agency will pursue his claims of wrongdoing. Unlike him, they understand that it is difficult to find evidence of wrongdoing when none took place.

First, lets take a look at his claim of a paper trail for FEMA, state and insurance money regarding flood damage. There is an extensive paper trail. These agencies do not hand out bags of cash with no accountability. They require estimates and repair invoices. Furthermore, there have been numerous audits and like all public institutions, the school records are public documents, available for inspection and copying. Before and after the referendum, many citizens asked to review these and other documents. No hidden slush fund exists.

Second, he complains that the state will not pay 55% of the construction cost. What he fails to mention is that at the time of the referendum the projected interest rate of the bond was expected to be around 4%. As it turns out, the bond rate is 2.72%. This will result in a savings to the taxpayers of $6 million over the 20-year life of the bond. With the $2.2 million premium paid by the bond company, the actual amount of interest paid will be reduced by over $8 million from the projected amount at the time of the referendum. Since the cost to the R-P taxpayers is less, the state formula for reimbursement will be proportionally less as well.

Thirdly, he questions the guarantee from the state. Debt equalization has been used by the state for years to fund school districts based on their relative tax base. They have never defaulted on this obligation. In addition, like general education aid, it is appropriated automatically and does not require any legislative action once it is in place. This is necessary for school districts to plan their budget cycles and to insure that favorable bond ratings are available to keep interest rates as low as possible. In our case, the bond company was convinced, as they were willing to pay a $2.2 million premium to obtain state guaranteed bonds of the highest rating.

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Peterson approves bid for County 25 project

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Jun 1st, 2015
Posted in Peterson Government

By Kirsten Zoellner At a special meeting of the Peterson Council, Wednesday, May 20, the city council voted unanimously to approve the bid for the reconstruction and utility work of County State Aid Highway 25. Two bids were received by the county, ..... 
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Rushford enacts moratorium for interconnection to electrical grid

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Jun 1st, 2015
Posted in Peterson Government

The Rushford City Council approved the recommendation of the Electric Utility Commission to initiate a moratorium, for up to one year, on the interconnection process for distributed generation systems with the Rushford municipal utility system. The ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson announces 2015 summer meal program

Mon, May 25th, 2015
Posted in Peterson Education

This summer, all children ages birth to 18, REGARDLESS of income level, will be able to eat FREE breakfasts and lunches at school Monday thru Friday beginning June 1-September 2 during designated serving times. Breakfast from 8-9 a.m. Lunch fr ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson hears caution from public, board members

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, May 25th, 2015
Posted in Peterson Education

The Monday, May 18 R-P School Board meeting was limited in agenda mainly to changes in staffing, end of year housekeeping, and approval of both district and Minnesota Department of Education policies. However, both public comment and board member co ..... 
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Rushford Village approves 2015 Pavement Management

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, May 25th, 2015
Posted in Peterson Government

The Rushford Village Council voted unanimously to approve the 2015 Pavement Management at the Tuesday, May 19 meeting. The council also approved a resolution for plans, specifications, and the advertising of bids for the road work. Bolton & Menk eng ..... 
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Yvonne June Jonsgaard

Mon, May 25th, 2015
Posted in Peterson Obituaries

Yvonne June Jonsgaard, 79 of Peterson, died Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at Lake Winona Manor. Yvonne was born June 12, 1935 to Harvey and Bernice (Muns) Johnson in Choice, Minn. She was raised with her siblings on a farm. When she was 18 years old, Yv ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: Disaster-free zone

By Jeremiah Munson

Mon, May 18th, 2015
Posted in Peterson Journal Student Writing Project

By Jeremiah Munson Recently, Nepal has been hit with some severe and devastating earthquakes; a quake of magnitude 7.8 followed by a magnitude 7.3 less than three weeks later. The body count from the first earthquake has surpassed 8,000 people and ..... 
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Peterson wraps up, discusses a series of issues

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, May 18th, 2015
Posted in Peterson Government

The Peterson City Council breezed through a relatively full agenda Wednesday, May 13, as many of the items were brief updates to long-standing agenda items. The County Highway 25 Project in Peterson is now just around the corner. The county-led pr ..... 
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