PRSRT STD ECR WSS US. POSTAGE PAID Permit No. 70 MADELIA, MN 56062 POSTAL PATRON “Where Fillmore County News Comes First” Weekly Edition National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Pages 39-40 Fillmore Central HVAC project page 9 Monday, December 3, 2012 Social Scenes pages 12 & 13 Volume 28 Issue 11 What’s a Championship? page 15 Basketball Previews page 28 Canton l Chatfield l Fountain l Harmony l Lanesboro l Mabel l Ostrander l Peterson l Preston l Rushford l Rushford Village l Spring Valley l Whalan l Wykoff Chatfield increases water and sewer rates By K aren R eisner firstname.lastname@example.org What the new Rushford-Peterson Elementary School will look like if the referendum passes. Graphic provided R-P approaches city prior to referendum By K irsten Zoellner email@example.com Likely the biggest topic in the community in recent days, R-P district superintendent Chuck Ehler and board representative Greg Smith addressed the city council this past Monday about the upcoming December 19 referendum vote. Along with a presentation highlighting the preliminary plan of the new $15 million elementary facility, the duo discussed several frequently heard talking points including issues discussed earlier in the night, in Peterson, at the first public referendum forum. “We’re trying to be sensitive,” stressed Ehler. “We’re not building the Taj Mahal here. We’re trying to build a viable, functional facility that meets our needs now and in the future.” The plan entails a new 69,000 square foot building situated just northeast of the district’s Niggle Athletic Field which would house the 300 students in grades K through 5, plus the 86 children currently in early childhood classes, with room to grow. According to Ehler, R-P is the only district in Fillmore County with gaining enrollment in the last three years. He hopes a new elementary will draw younger families into the community. “There is a future here in RushfordPeterson,” he stressed. One of the biggest issues with the New School Initiatives is what will happen in Peterson. When the districts consolidated in 1990, the elementary and high school students were placed in the Rushford facility while middle school students were placed in Peterson. The facility now needs a new boiler, windows, flooring, and ventilation, which could cost over $1.2 million to remedy. Should the referendum pass, the district will retain ownership of the building and the parcel of land it sits on, but adjacent land goes back to the city of Peterson for $100. It will be vacated, repurposed, and likely sold. “The school district is not interested in maintaining three facilities,” noted Ehler. “We are working with Peterson to find a collaborative, cooperative use for it. The options are wide open.” Losing the use of the Peterson facility is not favorable with all, as Ehler noted from the night’s earlier public forum. When questioned about the anticipation of losing students, he acknowledged that some indicated they would send their children elsewhere should the district move out of Peterson. “Some of those fund balances of other schools were built on the backs of R-P. The money followed the students who open enrolled there. I’m disappointed in the law that allows districts to bus students right See REFERENDUM Page 2 Comment on this article at www.fillmorecountyjournal.com Monday-Wednesday - Closed Thursday - 4-8pm Friday - 4-9pm Saturday - Noon-9pm Sunday - Noon-8pm 109 S. Parkway, Lanesboro, MN 55949 www.riversideontheroot.com Dirty Martini Lounge At the November 26 Chatfield City Council meeting an amended list of Particular Fees, Fines and Charges under Ordinance 406 was unanimously adopted. Councilor Paul Novotny was absent. All city fees, fines, and charges will remain constant with the following exceptions. The base monthly water rate fee will be raised to $9.18, a three percent increase. The per 1,000 gallons less than 2,000 charge will be raised to $3.17, a three percent increase. The sanitary sewer base monthly rate will increase to $38.10, a six percent increase. The per 1,000 gallons less than 2,000 charge will be $8.17, a six percent increase. The nonmetered monthly fee will be $50.36, a one percent increase based on 3,500 gallons. Ambulance transport (basic life support) will be increased by $50 to $650. Ambulance transport (advanced life support) will be increased $50 to $850. The cost of an EMT class will increase by $75 to $800. The cost of an EMT refresher class will increase by $25 to $275. Hitching Post Robert Vogel, Historic Preservation Planner, discussed what he called a piece of street furniture which in its day was considered an important piece of street furniture. The last hitching post in Chatfield, probably dating back to the early twentieth century was damaged in the spring of 2010 during sidewalk snow removal. He said it was not a significant historical piece, but of educational interest. He recommended it be replicated on a different corner, moving it north a block where it will not See CHATFIELD Page 9 Mining moratorium lifted By K aren R eisner firstname.lastname@example.org At the November 27 meeting of the county board the moratorium that was established February 28, 2012, was lifted after the mining ordinances were adopted. Commissioner Duane Bakke noted his attire this day, referring to his winter coat, is again what it was that day in February, illustrating the many changes in outer wear along the way through the seasons of this process. The board room was again filled with many of the same residents that have contributed to the process. After the lifting of the moratorium and before the board concluded their business for the day, four applications for industrial mining had already been requested from the zoning office. Earlier during the citizen input portion of the meeting, two people spoke asking for more restrictive language in the industrial mining ordinance. Steve Hartwick noted he lives less than a mile from the Fillmore County line and was concerned about the water table. He asked why not require a barrier of 25 feet from the water table rather than just 10 feet, adding it should See COUNTY Page 24 Holiday Seasons Are Here!!! Book Your Christmas Parties With Us! New Years Eve - 3 Course Dinner with a glass of wine Complimentary appetizers during happy hour 4-6pm Live music to ring in the New Year!