A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 4 years 10 months
WILLMAR -- County assessors and farmers have been stewing about how to handle revisions to the state's Green Acres land preservation program. A last-minute legislative change made this spring is creating extra work for assessors and has the potential to cost farmers more money in higher taxes. What's more, the new law could actually end up increasing land development instead of preserving it because of new limitations to the type of land that can now be enrolled. There were "unintended consequences" to the new legislation, said Rep.
WILLMAR -- Sen. Joe Gimse and Rep. Al Juhnke agree on at least one thing -- the $5.3 billion budget deficit that's expected to cast a dark shadow over Minnesota during the next 2½ years is cause for concern and will require action. After that, however, the road kind of divides. Juhnke, a DFL'er from Willmar, said everything should be on the table when it comes to looking for solutions: Spending cuts, tax increases and federal assistance should all be considered. "Everything, absolutely everything, should be on the table," Juhnke said.
WILLMAR -- The proposed $60 million Kandiyohi County budget was laid out Thursday evening for public review during a truth-in-taxation hearing. The proposed net levy of $25,401,541 represents an increase of 6.8 percent. County Administrator Larry Kleindl identified significant new expenditures for 2009, including $1 million for corrective measures at the sanitary landfill. Also listed was $1 million to open a new cell at the landfill, $624,400 for a new emergency radio system, $450,000 for a new digital phone system, $455,000 in federal budget shifts for child welfare and $100,000 in state
WILLMAR -- A public hearing early next year will help determine if Kandiyohi County should continue taxing gravel mined in the county. The new tax was implemented just this year on a trial basis, with the commissioners agreeing to look at the results in two years. But new legislative changes that affect how counties can tax gravel and distribute the revenue generated is prompting the commissioners to review the program a year earlier. At its meeting Tuesday, the Board of Commissioners agreed to gather additional information prior to the hearing about how much tax revenue was generated and h
WILLMAR -- The continuum of care the state promised would be in place for adults with mental illness, after regional treatment centers closed, has some gaps in it and people are falling through. "It makes for some interesting times," said Carmen Clementson, a supervisor with Kandiyohi County Family Services, during a Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday. Kandiyohi County and with 17 other counties in the Southwest Minnesota Adult Mental Health Consortium have decided they "can't wait for the state to come up with a fix," Clementson said. Instead, entities in the 18-county
WILLMAR -- A proposed policy would give preferential treatment to repeat customers at Kandiyohi County campgrounds, but at the same time equalize opportunities for choice camp sites. "My whole goal was to get consistency across the parks," said County Administrator Larry Kleindl. He said he also wants "everybody to have an equal shot at campsites." The issue of assigning sites to seasonal camp-ers came up on Tuesday afternoon as the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners met as the park board with managers from the county's parks. While it would be rare to have someone turned away because
WILLMAR -- Developers of a 9,590-head dairy operation are seeking up to $20 million in low-interest municipal industrial development revenue bonds to help build the large dairy west of Willmar. If approved, Kandiyohi County would serve as a conduit for the tax-exempt financing for Meadow Star Dairy LLP. The business, which will be built in St.
WILLMAR -- For the first time since 2004, the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners will conduct a Truth-in-Taxation hearing for the proposed budget and tax levy. The public hearing will be at 7 p.m. Thursday in the board room at the Health and Human Services building. In recent years, the county levy increase has not been great enough to trigger a state-mandated Truth-in-Taxation hearing. This year, however, the proposed $60 million budget includes tax revenues of $27,672,752. That's a 7 percent increase from 2008.
GRANITE FALLS -- Stina Leiseth, 16, was killed Wednesday after the vehicle she was driving rolled and landed upside down in a small stream near her home. Leiseth, a junior at Yellow Medicine East High School, died at the Granite Falls Hospital. YME Principal Karen Norell said Leiseth was a "good kid doing what good kids do" when she was killed Wednesday in the single-car accident that happened just a quarter mile from her parents' rural Granite Falls home. Personable, academic and someone who came to school "happy, upbeat and ready to go," is how Norell describes the 16-year-old junior.
A swarm of fully grown tom turkeys crowded around Kim Gorans' feet Tuesday morning for their final Thanksgiving dance. The 42-pounders were scheduled to be shipped out this week for processing. Every year Gorans Brothers Inc., located in the Svea-Blomkest area, produces 44 million pounds of turkeys that is processed at Jennie-O Turkey Store in Willmar. The second-generation, family-owned operation is part of the massive web of farmers who keep Minnesota ranked No.