LESTER PRAIRIE, MN – Lester Prairie City Council conducted an emergency meeting Feb. 20 to discuss offering relief to residents who need to run water to prevent frozen pipes. Mayor Andy Heimerl stressed that only residents whose water drops below 40 degrees need to run water, and then only a pencil-sized stream. The city asks residents who meet this criteria to contact city hall so city staff can keep a record. The city is offering to deduct a portion of the cost from residents’ water bills. Read more in the Feb. 28 issue of Herald Journal.
UPDATE – Wednesday, March 5: Residents in the city of Lester Prairie are continuing to report problems with frozen pipes. The city strongly encourages residents to closely monitor their water. If the temperature drops below 40 degrees, residents are encouraged to run their water in a pencil-sized stream 24 hours per day, seven days per week, until conditions improve. Running water for a short period will not prevent pipes from freezing.
WRIGHT COUNTY, MN – The Wright County Parks Department launched its new campsite reservation system Monday, March 3, and it is off to a good start, according to Parks Administrator Marc Mattice.
Mattice addressed the county board during its Tuesday, March 4 meeting, and noted $40,000 in business was transacted through the new reservation system during its first day of operation. By the end of the day, two county parks had already sold out for the July 4 weekend.
Read more in the March 10 issue of Herald Journal.
HOWARD LAKE, MN –To meet rural Minnesota’s need for affordable homes, the Minnesota Housing Partnership recently awarded grant funds to the city of Howard Lake, Windom Economic Development Authority (EDA), and the cities of Perham & New York Mills.
From homelessness to expected economic growth, many rural communities are grappling with housing shortages. The awards will help the communities identify which types of housing (single-family, rental, senior, etc.) will fit their needs and markets in the coming years.
The City of Howard Lake was awarded $10,000 to conduct a housing and transportation study to determine how to situate new housing along the US Highway 12. Coordinating transportation and housing will help support local job growth. The data will also help the city of Howard Lake develop new, affordable homeownership opportunities for working families.
Grants were made through MHP’s Sustainable Community Engagement Fund. This fund assists nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and communities outside of the seven-county Twin Cities metro area and Duluth, in becoming strong, successful affordable housing providers. Through financial and technical support from MHP, the Sustainable Community Engagement Fund promotes community efforts to build housing development capacity and integrate affordable housing with transportation, jobs, schools, and family services.
Support from The McKnight Foundation and Minnesota Housing makes this program possible
ST. PAUL, MN – State Senator Scott Newman submitted the following release Feb. 27:
This winter there has been an ongoing crisis in rural Minnesota in the delivery and sale of propane. By unanimous voice vote, an emergency propane assistance bill of $20 million passed the Senate floor this afternoon (Feb. 27).
- · The $20million is a supplement on top of the federal heating assistance program that has already supplied $3.4 billion in low income energy aid.
- · Due to the particularly cold weather this winter and the increased cost of propane, assistance will be exhausted and that is why the supplement of $20million by the state was added.
- · In the Senate Finance Committee and on the Senate floor, I supported an amendment that limited the administrative costs to 5 percent for the state supplemental appropriation.
- · This bill is critical to addressing the public safety needs of vulnerable Minnesotans at risk of running out of home heating fuel during this dangerously cold winter.
The bill does not address the underlying problem; the closure of a Canadian pipeline that previously delivered 40 percent of the propane to Minnesota consumers, which closed in December. In the upcoming session, we must address what will become an ongoing problem for all Minnesota propane consumers.
WINSTED, MN – Horses from Truhaven Ranch in Winsted are the stars of a new short film titled, “Three Card Draw.”
The 7-minute movie took nearly six months to complete. It was produced entirely in Winsted, and mountains were added as a visual effect.
The movie is being screened Thursday, March 6. To learn more, click here.
To see the Fox 9 news story, click here.
Look for a story about the film in a future edition of the Herald Journal.
MAYER, MN – Mayer’s current snow removal contract has not been adequate to keep up with recent snow accumulation. During its Feb. 24 meeting, the council expressed safety concerns about some streets and intersections. After discussion, the council authorized City Administrator Luayn Murphy to sign a contract for emergency snow removal to clear streets from curb-to-curb, and to remove piled snow from some intersections to improve visibility. A variety of options were discussed, but the council expressed a sense of urgency to address the situation as soon as possible.