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The Ortonville Independent
Ortonville, Minnesota
February 17, 2009     The Ortonville Independent
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February 17, 2009

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(continued from previous page) Department. Discussion and questions followed about snow removal, tows and snow removal notifications over .the cable TV network. Mayor Johnson asked how things were going. 6.b. Police Department 2008 Annual Report Review-Police Chief Curtis Hormann (cont.) with one less full-time officer. Hormann stated it is more of an administrative burden with one less full- time officer. He said, "it is going O.K." Curtis felt the department could not operate effectively with only two full-time officers. Discussion and questions followed regarding the Big Stone County Sheriff's Department moving the dispatch function to Kandiyohi County on the third shift. 6.c. Deer Hunt Report-Police Chief Curtis Hormann Police Chief Hormann noted the deer hunt went well again in 2008. Discussion and questions followed regarding whether or not there are better sites available for the deer stands. 6.d. OAHS Monthly Financial Report- Rick Ash, OAHS Administrator OAHS Administrator Rick Ash reviewed with the Council the December 2008 OAHS financial report. The fiscal year commenced on October 1, 2008. The Fiscal Year Operating Margin through December 2008 was $601,604. Year to date admissions totaled 164, which exceeded the projected budget. Uncollectible Accounts totaled $22,000. OAHS is on budget year to date from October 2008 through December 200& Ash reported cold weather has slowed construction progress during the first half of January 2008. The Capital campaign is going well and totals $1.75M inpledges and contributions out of a $2.1M goal. The transition of the provider-based clinic has gone well to date. Billing changes are in progress. CITIZENS TO BE HEARD: None. CONSENT AGENDA: 8.a. Approve Minutes of City Council Regular Meeting January 5, 2009 8.b. Approve Appointments of Ortonville Fire Department Officers 8.c. Approve Grant Contract with State of MN for Traffic Safety-S2500 Motion by Cunningham, second by Meyer to remove the Minutes from the Consent Agenda and to approve Items 8.b. and 8.c. as presented. All in favor. 6-0. MCU. Motion by Randleman, second by Berkner to approve the Minutes of the City Council Regular Meeting on January 5, 2009 with the following change: Mayor Blair Johnson abstained from the vote appointing the Official Depositories due to the fact that he serves on the Board of the MinnWest Bank. All in favor. 6-0. MCU. RECOMMENDATIONS OF CITIZEN BOARDS, COMMITTEES AND COMMISSIONS: 9.a. Health Care Board Recommendation:. Resolution Approving An Agreement for Investment Advisory Services with Community Investment Partners for OAHS Series 2008-2009 Warrant Proceeds. Resolution 09-011, Approving An Agreement for Investment Advisory Services with Community Investment Partners for OAHS Series 2008-2009 Warrant Proceeds. Motion by Berkner, second by Dorry to adopt Resolution 09:011 Appi'oving An Agreement for Investment Advisory Services with Community Investment Partners for OAHS Series 2008-2009 Warrant Proceeds. Upon Roll Call Vote the following voted Aye: Johnson, Dorry, Meyer, Randleman, Cunningham, Berkner. 6-0 MCU. 9.b. Ambulance Board Recommendation: Resolution Approving Purchase of Used 1998 Med Tec Type III Ambulance-S9,000.00 with $2,000.00 of The Cost From Funds Raised by the Ambulance Service. Ambulance Coordinator Tom Scoblic discussed the need to replace the second ambulance with a used unit at this time. Scoblic reported the second Ambulance rig (Car #20) is no longer road-worthy and its replacement is imperative. With a trade-in, the net cost would be $9,000. The Ambulance Service would be willing to use one to two thousand dollars of their fund- raising account toward the purchase of this vehicle. Discussion and questions followed. It was noted the larger box on this rig would accommodate an advanced life support service staffed by paramedics. It was noted that this was a fairly inexpensive solution to an important problem. Resolution 09-012, Approving Purchase of Used 1998 Med Tec Type III Ambulance- $9,000.00 with $2,000.00 of the Cost From Funds Raised by the Ambulance Service. Motion by Cunningham, second by Randleman to approve Resolution 09- 012, Approving Purchase of Used 1998 Med Tec Type III Ambulance-S9,000.00 with $2,000.00 of the Cost From Funds F~aised by the Ambulance Service. Upon Roll Call Vote the following voted Aye: Johnson, Dorry, Meyer, Randleman, Cunningham, Berkner. 6-0. MCU. REPORTS FROM COUNCIL COMMITTEES: None. UNFINISHED BUSINESS: 11.a. City Council Committee Structure-Mayor Blair Johnson Tabled since Council Member Anderson is absent and he serves on both the Utility and Street Committees. NEW BUSINESS: 12.a. Approve Expenditures Motion by Dorry, second by Randleman to approve the Expenditures as submitted. 4-0-2. Abstain: Berkner and Johnson. Motion Carried. 12.b. Federal Economic Stimulus Projects Mayor Johnson led the discussion. No action taken on this item this evening. 12.c. Submit Nomination for Municipal Representative to Upper MN Valley Regional Development Commission Council Member Craig Randleman offered to serve. Motion by Cunningham, second by Berkner to submit Craig Randleman's name for nomination for Big Stone County Municipal Representative to Upper MN Valley Regional Development Commisssion. All in favor. 6-0. MCU. 12.d. Approve Rate Increases for Ambulance Service Discussion and questions followed. Motion by Berkner, second by Dorry to raise the base rate for runs from $550 to $600 immediately and to request an additional second rate increase in July 2009. All in favor. 6-0. MCU. 12.e. Recession Seminar for Business Owners January 22-OAHS Dialysis Bldg-7-9 PM 12.f. 2009 Budget Discussion Mayor Blair Johnson commenced the discussion regarding the 2008 Budget unallotment of $53,000. This shortfall was due to the unallotment of State Local Government Aid funds in 2008. Because revenues and expenses were almost in balance when considering capital reserves, there is no action needed with regard to the 2008 Budget. Discussion and questions followed regarding the 2009 Budget should the State cut Local Government Aids in 2009. The Council will consider possible budget adjustments in the near future. 12.g. Mike Dorry asked about the reference in the Planning Commission minutes to "change the Building Official and the Building Inspector for the Historic District." The Planning Commission will discuss the possibility of using DSI for inspection services. Discussion and questions followed. CITY CLERK-ADMINISTRATOR REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS: 13.a. Update: Small Cities Development Grant program 13.b. Update: Upper MN River Regional Park Improvement Project Grant 13.c. Update: Columbian Hotel 13.d. Ortonville TIF District Creation and Potential TIF Bond Issue 13.e. Update: Acquisition of Water Meter Heads with Absolute Digital Encoders 13.f. MRES Distribution Operations and Maintenance Annual Meeting 13.g. OAHS Bond Issue Financing 13.h. Heritage Preservation Commission 13.i. Economic Stimulus Information 13.j. Capital Improvement Projects 13.k. 2008 Minnesota Cities Participation Program Grant 13.1. Prairie Five 2009 Transportation Services 13.m.Carport Ordinances-Publication- 01-13-09 13.n. Newly Revised League of MN Cities Information Memos ADJOURNMENT: " Motion by Dorry, second by Randleman to adjourn the meeting at 8:26 P.M. REGULAR MEETING CITY OFFICE MEETING ROOM 315 Madison Avenue, Ortonville, MN Tuesday, January 20, 2009 6:00 P. M. CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL: Mayor Blair Johnson called the Regular Meeting of the Ortonville City Council to order at 6:07 P.M. Roll Call was taken with the following Present: Mayor Johnson, Craig Randleman, Steve Berkner, Bob Meyer, John Cunningham, and Mike Dorry. Absent: Nick Anderson. Staff Present: City Administrator David Lang. Council Member Mike Dorry arrived at 6:27 P.M. DISCUSSION OF POTENTIAL 2008 BUDGET ADJUSTMENTS: Discussion followed regarding the $53,000 Local Government Aid unallotment from the 2008 budget and the City Administrator's cover memo dated January 16, 2009. DISCUSSION OF 2009 BUDGET & POTENTIAL ADJUSTMENTS: Discussion of preliminary summary of potential 2009 budget modifications ensued. Steve Berkner suggested that all enterprise funds should contribute 5 per cent of gross revenues to the General Fund except OAHS and the swimming pool. Steve proposed that this would be a combination of enterprise fund fee increases and reduction of expenses. A discussion was held regarding operation of the swimming pool and ways to reduce expenses. The reduction in the number of people working in the Public Works Department was discussed. It was proposed that' the City could hire a private snow contractor to do snow removal for OAHS and Fairway View or keep the Public Works employee and have OAHS and Fairway View pay the City for snow removal. Clerk- Administrator Lang was asked to create a spreadsheet of reductions for part- time benefits. It has not been determined how much Local Government Aid will be unallotted in 2009. ADJOURNMENT: Mayor Johnson adjourned the meeting by consensus at 7:00 PM. ATTEST: David A. Lang, Clerk-Administrator APPROVED: Blair Johnson, Mayor savings replace income By Susan Hooper, University of Minnesota Extension Nothing is normal in our econom- ic world right now. When families experience a job loss, it is time to completely examine current spending. Income loss is often dramatic and sudden. Our tendency is to not let children know anything is wrong or not change our lifestyle drastically. The effect of this is the ,rapid decline of liquid savings, such as money in our savings accounts, money market accounts or cash reserves. Quickly examining current spending and dis- cussing the income situation frankly, making difficult but significant cuts, will help keep the family secure until another job can be found. Several minor options for cutting spending are making no clothing pur- chases for awhile, finding less expen- sive stores and major changes in utili- ty use. These are helpful, but it may take major budget cuts to sustain your family through unemployment. Ask each family member what is really important to them and focus on fund- ing those activities. Emergency savings will disappear quickly as the only income source. Add your primary bills: housing, util- ities (not cable or internet which are luxuries), basic food costs, car and insurance payments per month, gas, and medical insurance. This will give you a dollar.estimate for maintaining basic needs. Divide your liquid sav- ings amount by this number. How -many months could you sustain just these bills With what you have saved? It usually doesn't take many months to deplete these resources, which is why cutting all other expenses quick- ly is so important. When you leave a job, you can decide to take out your funds from a 401K without penalty. These funds will be taxed upon withdrawal. If you are trying to save a home from fore- closure by paying back payments with long term savings, make sure you can pay the next payments. This is a very emotional choice, but putting your future savings (and only major emer- gency money source) towards a house you can't continue making payments on will lose both the house and your future funds. Cut expenses quickly and make thoughtful decisions about the use of savings. Use this time to explore other income sources, cut debt by selling assets and explore options to live inexpensively. Downplaying the seri- ous financial change may cost your family the luxury of making your own spending choices. By Richard Johnson The Office Hours for the Big Stone Veterans Service Office are as follows: Tuesdays 8:00-4:30 Wednesdays - 8:00 -4:30 If there is an emergency of any sort I can be reached at my home at (320) 568-2448. I do have voice mail at the Office. Leave your name and number and I will get back to you as soon as possible, so you can call at home at the Richard Johnson above number. I do have an answering machine at home. NEW SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Retired Army Gen. Eric K. Shinseki has taken the oath of office as the Nation's seventh Secretary of Veterans Affairs, assuming the leadership of the Department of Veterans Affairs following confirmation by the Senate. "The overriding challenge I am addressing from my first day in office is to make the Department of Veterans affairs a 21st century organization focused on the Nation's Veterans as its clients," Shinseki said. Shinseki plans to develop a 2010 budget within his first 90 days that realizes the vision of, President Obama to transform VA into an organization that is people-centric, results- driven and forward-looking. Key issues of his agenda include smooth activation of an enhanced GI Bill education benefit that eligible Veterans can begin using next fall, streamlining the disability claims system, leveraging information technology to accelerate and modernize services, and opening VA's health care system to Veterans previously unable to enroll in it, while facilitating access for returning Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. Shinseki, a former Army Chief of Staff, takes the reins of a 284,000- employee organization delivering health care and financial benefits to millions of Veterans and survivors under a $98 billion budget authorized this year through networks of regional benefits offices and health care facilities from coast to coast. Born in 1942 on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, Shinseki graduated from the U.S. Military Academy of West Point, N.Y. in 1965. He served two combat tours and was wounded in action in Vietnam. He served with distinction in Europe, the Pacific and stateside, eventually becoming the Army's senior leader from June 1999 to June 2003. Retired from militai-y service in August 2003, Shinseki's military decoration include three Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts. Shinseki succeeds Dr. James B. Peake as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Veterans and Spouses - If you need help with your annual Pension EVR's and Medical Expense Forms for the year 2008, please contact me for help. We have had recent training in how the Pension Center wants them prepared. FARMERS COOPERATIVE ELEVATOR CO. OF BELLINGHAM was recognized at the annual convention of the Minnesota Grain and Feed Association for its 111 years of continuous service to the community and region. Pictured above from left to right area, Bob Zelenka, Executive Director of MGFA; Stan Olson, FCE-Bellingham Director; Curt Pederson, General Manager of FCE-Bellingham; Wayne Brehmer, FCE-Bellingham Director; and Wes Cole, President of MGFA. Ili The Farmers Cooperative Elevator Co. of Bellingham was honored recently at the 102nd Annual Convention of the Minnesota Grain and Feed Association (MGFA), for its 111 years of continuous service to the agricultural and local community. The elevator was inducted into the MGFA Century Club, in recognition for pro- viding vital community leadership, employment opportunities, economic development, market access, essential agricultural inputs and quality cus- tomer service for over 100 years. The first farmers' elevator in Bellingham was the Bellingham Farmers' Mercantile & Elevator Company, which was incorporated on July 16, 1898. The business was incorporated not only for the purpose of handling grain but also for "farm products of every description." The elevator was completed & opened for business on August 22, 1898. The first annual meeting was held the follow- ing July & the local newspaper noted that the elevator had some issues, including some accounting discrepan- cies as well as an error during con- struction that made use of the weigh- ing out scales impossible at the time. The scale problem was eventually corrected, and improvements were made in many areas, but not in the foundation. A new engine house & office were added in August 1907. On Mar. 16, 1909, the name was changed to the Farmers' Elevator Company of Bellingham. In 1918, the elevator building which stood east- ernmost in the line was overloaded on one side with wheat & fell over. Another elevator was purchased from the Rudning Grain Company to take its place. According to history, the elevator temporarily shut down i,n the fall of 1937, but was re-opened on Jan. 11, 1938 as the Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company of Bellingham. The new entity assumed all titles & interest to all of the property of the earlier business (Farmers' Elevator Company of Bellingham). In 1954, FCE purchased the Peavey elevator, & in 1959 a fire burned it down. That same year, an 80,000 bushel annex was added. A feed mill was added in 1962. In 1973, the elevator bought the government bin site which added 150,000 bushel capacity. A large corn dryer was added in 1978. That same year, the elevator bought a fertilizer blending plant from Land O' Lakes for $200,000. Curt Pederson was the manager of the agronomy business. By 1986, the elevator had a 600,000 bushel capacity. Today the elevator has 1.6 million bushels of capacity. Curt Pederson is now the General Manager of the Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company of Bellingham. Jerry Charles Johnson Jerry Charles Johnson, 67, of Clinton peacefully passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009 at home on Big Stone Lake. surrounded by wife, Bette, and his children. Jerry was born in Omaha, NE on Aug. 3, 1941, to Elmer Charles iiiii~:~ Johnson and Shirley Elizabeth Fisher. He attended school and began his career in Omaha working for Quaker Oats. His 30 years with Quaker, relocated him to Sioux City, IA and the Twin Cities. Jerry enjoyed spending time outdoors hunting, fishing and snowmobiling. Upon his retirement, he realized his lifelong dream on a lake and found a new dream of owning an apple orchard. He and Bette have been operating Big Stone Apple Ranch sinc,~ 2005. Jerry is survived by his wife, Bette; children, Kurt Johnson of Stacy Kayleen and Rick Love of Copperas Cove, TX, Kraig and Denise Johnson of Kansas City, MO, and Kristine Johnson of Sioux City, IA. Jerry was blessed with nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; as well as six children, Drew and Kim Skeffington, Jael and Dan Rattigan, Shae and Marisa Skeffington, Erin Skeffington, Kari Skeffington, Kellie and Jim Cook; and seven grandchildren by marriage; one brother, Elmer Johnson of Pahromp, NV. He is preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Shirley. A Celebration of his life will be held with his family and friends in July. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Big Stone County Cancer Support Group, PO Box 22, Ortonville, MN 56278. The Larson Funeral Home in Ortonville is in charge of the arrangements. To send condolences, please visit our website at By Antonio Alba Meraz, University of Minnesota Extension Usually, we think of the environ- ment as outside of our home, but it really starts with where we spend the most time. Because the majority of people spend 90 percent of their time indoors at home, school or work, the quality of the inside environment mat- ters to our health. Start your new year off healthier by taking care of your indoor environment. People exposed to contaminants or hazardous substances in the home may increase their risk for allergies, asthma, cancer .and emphysema. Furthermore, they may be poisoned if they ingest lead, pesticides, and clean- ing products; or if they breathe toxic fumes. At home, some factors may trigger an allergic respiratory reaction, espe- cially in children and people with poor immune systems. Triggers include: mold, which can be found in humid places around the house such as basements, kitchens, bathrooms, showers, or on objects damaged by water leaks or flooding; cigarette smoke; dust; pet dander; and, mites which look like microscopic spiders and are found anywhere humans exist. Insects and rodents can also contami- nate your food by leaving behind potentially disease-causing bacteria. Other contaminants in the home include: Radon and carbon monoxide gases. Radon gas comes from the soil and accumulates in sp/aces such as poorly ventilated basements. It may be a health hazard if people are exposed to radon over time--radon is a known, major cause of lung cancer. Radon test kits can be purchased in hardware stores. The Minnesota Department of Health has recommended buying a discounted test from Test kits are - ALL WORK GUARANTEED ~ INDEPENDENT WANT ADS PAY inexpensive ($5.00 to $25.00). Carbon monoxide gas is produced by combustion and can also be deadly. Carbon monoxide accumulates in a home with poor ventilation or a faulty furnace. Carbon monoxide detectors are now widely available. Asbestos and lead. AsbeStos and lead can also be found in older homes and are hazardous to health if ingest- ed. Asbestos can cause lung cancer and pulmonary disease. Lead is a metal that may cause nervous system damage. If you suspect your home has asbestos products or lead paint, make it a priority to contact a reputable business who can make a proper analysis and recommendation. Chemical products. Items such as pesticides (insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides or weed killers) and cleaning products (ammonia, bleach, cleaners for toilets, drain, oven and others), if not used or stored appropri- ately, may cause poisoning or contam- inate the home environment. Store these products away from children and away from food. Work with these products in ventilated areas and always read directions. As you can see, home environ- ments influence our health. More information can be found at the Healthy Homes Partnership website at http://www.healthyhomespartnership. net/, a collaboration of the USDA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Alabama CooperativeExtension System. University of Minnesota Extension has a variety of educational materials on home environments on Extension's housing technology web- site at: ngTech/. Kevin Raaf V' Complete Collision Repair e Glass Replacement and Chip Repair Frame and Suspension Repair iiiii:;: North Minnesota St. & Eastvold Ave. Ortonville, MN Work (320) 839-3066 * Home 605-676-2457 * Cell 605-880-4252 Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009 INDEPENDENT Page 7b