Archive for News

Small Business Saturday feature: First Community Bank in LP

LESTER PRAIRIE, MN – FCB president Dean Perry, owner Sheila Jilek, and executive vice president Dale Mensing are pleased to serve the communities of Lester Prairie and Silver Lake. Mensing celebrated 40 years with FCB in Lester Prairie Oct. 1. Look for their story in the Monday, Nov. 24 edition of the Herald Journal.

First Community Bank in Lester Prairie is proud to serve the community.

First Community Bank in Lester Prairie is proud to serve the community.

Pet of the Month: Rebecca Plamann’s rescued cat

LESTER PRAIRIE, MN – Rebecca Plamann, a veterinary technician at the Lester Prairie Veterinary Clinic, met her cat, Blake, three years ago. Look for her story in the Pet of the Month section of the Monday, Nov. 24 edition of the Herald Journal.

Pet of the Month appears in the last issue of Herald Journal each month. Story ideas are always welcome, and can be e-mailed to Starrla Cray at


HL Area Chamber of Commerce discusses its website

HOWARD LAKE, MN – Howard Lake Area Chamber of Commerce discussed how to increase its website traffic at its meeting Wednesday.

“There have been a few event submissions, but not many,” website manager Myra Laway said.

For full story, see Nov. 24 issue.

Winsted plans to keep 1.7-percent levy increase

WINSTED, MN – When Winsted’s 2015 budget is finalized in December, it’s likely the council will approve a levy that’s 1.7 percent higher than last year.

When adjusted for inflation, the levy increase amounts to zero, according to City Administrator Clay Wilfahrt.

The council discussed lowering the budget at the Nov. 18 work session, but was hesitant to make any cuts. Mayor Steve Stotko said he wants to do what’s best for the city long-term, and he’d rather see small regular increases instead of risking a sudden jump.

With a 1.7 percent increase, a home valued at $150,000 will pay $1,121 in city tax, which is $39 higher than in 2014. Commercial properties are calculated differently; and a business property value of $1 million would pay $17,090 in city tax, which is $601 higher than last year.

Employee health insurance costs came in $9,834 less than the city originally planned, which allows for some flexibility in the budget. One option the council discussed was to keep the budget at its preliminary amount (the 1.7 percent increase) and put the $9,834 into the capital improvement fund.

Another option would be to reduce the total levy by that amount, which would result in a 0.8 percent levy increase, instead of 1.7 percent.

Wilfahrt recommended leaving the budget at a 1.7 percent increase. He noted that JOBZ is sunsetting in 2015 and will add about 5 percent to the city’s 2016 net tax capacity, and that the construction of Dollar General and the addition to Drill Pipe Manufacturing will significantly add to the tax base.

Water/sewer increases
Separate from the regular levy, the council plans to approve an 8 percent increase in sewer rates and a 2 percent increase in water rates.

The purpose of the increase is to build reserves for water future water projects and help fund wastewater treatment facility improvements.

With the increase, the minimum for sewer would be $7.20 instead of $6.67; and sales per 1,000 gallons would increase from $8.43 to $9.10.

Howard Lake Area Chamber of Commerce will discuss a farmers market

HOWARD LAKE, MN – Howard Lake Area Chamber of Commerce will discuss details regarding organization of a farmers market in Howard Lake at its meeting Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Other items the chamber will discuss include:

  • its officer elections;
  • a business trick or treat event recap;
  • its holiday social event;
  • a city sign project update;
  • business expo committees; and
  • its website.

For an update after the meeting, check back with HJ Blogs.


Wright County Board to approve construction management contract

WRIGHT COUNTY, MN – Wright County Board will consider approval of a contract for construction management services for the new public works facility during its Tuesday, Nov. 18 meeting.

Other items on the agenda include a tax forfeit committee meeting, a resolution to advance state aid funds for the highway department, repeal and replacement of a drug and alcohol policy, and approval of US Fish and  Wildlife flowage easements.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the Wright County Government Center in Buffalo.