A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 4 years 8 months
GROVE CITY -- In a bold step to reduce expenses and yet meet the needs of students, the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District has reduced its administrative team to the bare bones. Some say it could be a model for other small districts to follow. Starting next year there will be just two people in the top roles of superintendent and principal for the 787 students that are spread out in three buildings located in the district. In the recent past, ACGC had a superintendent, one elementary principal and one junior/senior high principal.
WILLMAR -- There was a shaky start Tuesday to the process of getting community feedback on what kind of equipment and services the University of Minnesota should provide for a research laboratory and business development center that will be built on the MinnWest Technology campus in Willmar. There were a few blank stares when a facilitator prodded the crowd to voice votes on things like Oliogonucleotide and peptide synthesis and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy. Part of the problem was that many of the participants really didn't know what the "Mid-Central Biosciences R
WILLMAR -- A bill that would prohibit the state from buying any product made by Jennie-O Turkey Store isn't expected to go far this legislative session. "It will not be heard and it will not be considered," according to Rep. Al Juhnke, DFL-Willmar. "It's meaningless at this point. I'm not concerned," Juhnke said. Rep.
WILLMAR -- When it comes to unemployment, the good news is that Kandiyohi County has the lowest unemployment rates in the 11-county area.
Every year a county or city assessor does a drive-by survey of every parcel of property in the district. Once every five years assessors are required to conduct an inspection of the inside of a home, said Kandiyohi County Assessor Tim Falkum.
From start to finish, it takes about two years from when information about market values is gathered until property taxes on that parcel are paid. That lag time is part of the problem when it comes to understanding high market values when homes are selling for far less. "An appraisal is an estimate of property value based on historical data at a set point in time -- Jan.
It happens every December, during Truth-in-Taxation hearings or final government bud-get hearings. Angry property owners -- gripping their tax statements -- complain that their property values were set too high by city or county assessors. So sad. Too bad. Too late! Those objections need to be registered in early April for any change to be made. Waiting until December to complain only results in frustrated property owners who feel they have not been heard and have no recourse.
Figuring out how much someone should pay in property taxes is kind of like making sausage. When property owners receive the notice of valuations this month, they will have part of the recipe. The value of your home is "not tied as closely to taxes as you think," said Diane Swanson, an assessor for Kandiyohi County. When a person's property values increase County Assessor Tim Falkum said he often hears, "Oh, the county must need more money." But that's not how it works. "We don't increase the value to get more money," said Falkum. Assessors could double the market value of every home and
PENNOCK -- In the past 18 months, there have been three car-train collisions at a railroad crossing in Pennock. A resolution signed Tuesday by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners to participate in financing to install crossing arms could prevent more accidents from happening there in the future. "It's really going to be nice once they get them in," said Chuck Diederich. "I'm going to be happy as heck." As a member of Pennock's rescue squad, fire department and City Council, Diederich is all too familiar with the dangerous crossing on County Road 1, just off U.S.
WILLMAR -- A new Kandiyohi County ordinance on septic systems that was planned to go into effect in May has been tabled for an undetermined amount of time. The change will mean significant financial savings to some residents. The county commissioners were expected to give final approve to the new ordinance Tuesday, following approval last week by the planning commission. The proposed ordinance contained new state regulations that counties were required to adopt by February of 2010. But Eric VanDyken, Kandiyohi County assistant zoning administrator, said the Minnesota Pollution Control Agen