Austin Public Schools City of Austin Mower County Mower SWCD-CRWD
NEWS Spring 2020
Austin Public Schools City of Austin Mower County
NEWS Spring 2020
Schools, community respond to COVID-19 At the start of the 2019-2020 school Austin Public Schools’ maintenance year, no one could have predicted how it technicians have worked to clean, saniwould end. tize and secure district facilities to enThe COVID-19 pandemic sure safe, clean facilities has created a new, unique when students and staff rechallenge for our world. Yet, turn. Our clerical staff has so many have stepped up to supported instructional staff support the greater Austin by organizing materials, makcommunity in an aweing contacts and setting up inspiring way. “virtual” meetings. We have seen medical and Paraprofessionals, success emergency personnel support coaches and computer techniall who need care; faith comcians have worked with famimunities find innovative aplies and teachers to provide David Krenz proaches to support members; assistance, ranging from reSuperintendent food-industry mote software workers produce and hardware and distribute fixes to addressproducts so peoing questions, ple can access such as how to groceries and do an art lesson prepared food as needed; daycare proor start a computer. viders continue services for parents alTeachers and student-support profeslowed to keep working; and hundreds of sionals have planned, organized and volunteers provide care, services and adjusted instruction to deliver the best food to those with limited access. education possible in an entirely differOur education community also has ent environment than ever before while worked hard to keep Austin running in maintaining the high quality of instructhis unprecedented time. tion for which Austin is known. All this Austin Public Schools’ staff has is done with the daily planning and supstepped up to the challenge of distance port of principals and administrators to learning, utilizing the tools they have at find and deliver resources when and hand and creatively inventing others to where they are needed. address our students’ diverse needs. In short, all our staff is working diliOne staff member compared it to build- gently to continue supporting students ing an airplane while you are flying it. and their families, either through direct From Day 1 of the stay-at-home and instruction or other means. They continsocial-distancing orders, our Food Ser- ue to care for and miss seeing students vices staff has prepared and delivered every day. meals to almost 3,500 students per day It has been said that it takes a village at multiple sites. Palmer Bus Co. and its to raise a child. This unprecedented situdrivers have transported food and educa- ation has shown that to be very true. tional materials to these locations, makEducation is more than simply iming them as accessible as possible for parting knowledge. I truly can say I nevour students. Community Education er have been more proud of our staff and staff has provided free daycare services community than in these times as they for emergency workers. work to get through this crisis!
College scholarship program supports Austin graduates By James Douglass Riverland Community College
A new scholarship program for Austin’s graduating seniors essentially has made a college education obtainable for all students thanks to The Hormel Foundation in partnership with Austin Public Schools, Pacelli Catholic Schools and Riverland Community College. The Hormel Foundation Austin Assurance Scholarship program aims to reinvest in and strengthen the Austin community by planting the seed of postsecondary education and training in students’ minds at an early age. Education is important, and this program helps underscore that for students. Every senior graduating from Austin High or Pacelli will have the chance, if qualified for the scholarship, to attend Riverland at little or no cost to them. The program began with Austin’s 2019 graduates. “This, to me, allows all students — even ones who maybe started to hit their stride later in high school or even after high school and college — to avail themselves with a technical education or an academic education through Riverland and benefit us all,” The Hormel Foundation Chair Jeff Ettinger said.
Austin seniors celebrate in May 2019 being the first to qualify for The Hormel Foundation Austin Assurance Scholarship to attend Riverland Community College.
Student scholarship amounts vary. A gap scholarship covers all a student’s tuition and fees not funded by federal and/or Minnesota state grants or other scholarships. The scholarship pays for up to 65 college credits toward an approved program of study at Riverland. Some exceptions are made for programs or majors requiring more than 65 credits. Students get a one-time stipend (up to $1,000) for required course materials from Riverland’s book store. “This is definitely a game changer for our community,” Riverland President Dr. Adenuga Atewologun said. “Our students will benefit, our families will derive benefits for many years to come.” For more information, go online to: austinassurance.org
NEWS School registration going online By K. Corey Haugen Director, Research Evaluation & Assessment Austin Public Schools
Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Austin Public Schools was starting to transition the annual process of Mass School Registration in August to an online format to give families more flexibility and ease. Beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, the District will use Infinite Campus Online Registration to collect annual updates and new kindergarten registrations from our current families. Once logged in to Campus Parent (infinitecampus.austin.k12.mn.us/ campus/portal/parents/austin.jsp), parents will click “Online Registration” and follow prompts to update information for students currently enrolled in the district and/or add a new kindergarten student to their household. Those who do not know their Parent Portal login/account information can email: firstname.lastname@example.org With online registration, families can add, update or enter information on demographic; health; primary and secondary households; phone numbers; and emergency contacts. Enrollment staff get updates and can approve, hold or deny.
Neveln Elementary School students in January 2020.
Families will get status updates via email throughout the process. Applications can be saved online if more information is needed and reopened later; they also can be printed or saved. Before registering online, it will help you to gather information for: • House - address, phone numbers • Parent - phone numbers, emails • Student - demographic, birth certificate, health/medication • Emergency contact(s) - names, phone numbers of 1-4 people Currently enrolled families will get more information when the online registration application becomes available this summer. For questions about online school registration, contact Central Enrollment Services at (507) 460-1937.
Tiered busing planned for 2020-2021
Proposed by this group and recently approved by the Austin School Board, the tiered busing system will Austin Public Schools is preparing in earnest for the be used for the 2020-2021 school year. 2020-2021 school year, which includes evaluating our Austin currently runs a single bus route system in resources and systems. which all age groups are Transportation is one major picked up together and taken to New schedule for 2020-21 component of the school day, their respective schools directwith much of that provided by ly or via transfer points, such GRADE LEVEL START END our contracted transportation as Austin High School. Kindergarten 8:15 AM 2:00 PM company Palmer Bus Service. For next school year, we will We continually work to imrun a tiered busing system in Grades 1 - 4 8:00 AM 2:30 PM prove our transportation system which buses run once for for students by reviewing and Grades 5 - 6 8:00 AM 2:45 PM grades K-6 and a second time adjusting our procedures to make Grades 7 - 8 8:30 AM 3:25 PM for grades 7-12. This will help them more effective and efficient eliminate the wide swath of in meeting the needs of students, Grades 9 - 12 8:30 AM 3:15 PM ages on a single bus, relieve families and the district. congestion on the buses, reTo that end, a Transportation Working Group met for more than a year to look at local transportation and what move the need for major transfer points between routes, allow for shorter bus rides, and reduce the amount of other districts have done to create better transportation unstructured student time before and after school. systems. They found many ideas to improve, but one stood out: tiered busing. Our current transportation system allows about the By David Krenz Superintendent, Austin Public Schools
Staff greet students in September 2019 as they walk off the bus for the first day of school at Austin’s Woodson Kindergarten Center.
same start time for grades 1-12. To make a tiered system work, school start/end times will be split as shown in the table above, Switching to a tiered busing system and the changes to school start/end times will take getting used to but, in the end, this will benefit our students.
NEWS Teacher of the Year Maria Mickelson, a second grade teacher at Neveln Elementary with nearly three decades of experience, was named Austin Public Schools’ 2020 Teacher of the Year. Mickelson (pictured on right with her class) was surprised with the honor in November at school. She strongly believes that students’ social and emotional needs have to be met first before you can address their academic needs. “I really try hard to form a relationship with each child,” Mickelson said, “and help them feel loved and wanted and needed.” Mickelson said the award means a lot to her because she works with great colleagues at Neveln and across the district.
Evaluation finds APS improving in organizational excellence By John Alberts Executive Director, Educational Services
A common saying suggests that often it is the journey not the destination. For continuous improvement at Austin Public Schools, it is a journey, and the District finished another major step in that journey this 2019-2020 school year. After an extensive evaluation process, Austin Public Schools will be recognized in September 2020 with the secondhighest award level in Minnesota under the Malcolm Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence program. This honor — the “Achievement” level — will be given at the annual PENWorks conference in Minnesota, and will represent a two-level increase from the last time the District was issued an award. First, here’s some background. On April 11, 2011, the Austin Board of Education adopted Policy 105 identifying that “The District will use performance criteria such as the Malcolm Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence…” In short, the Board identified that for this “journey,” the District would use the Baldrige Criteria as its “map.” Established in 1987 by the federal government, The Baldrige Program was created to address an emerging need for quality improvement in the nation. Today, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) manages the program and establishes the criteria for business/nonprofit, education and healthcare. Criteria are updated regularly to reflect updated best practices. NIST also gives the Baldrige Award that honors organizational excellence.
back on how the District is doing on its journey. In October 2019, the District submitted a 50-page application answering questions about the organization and more than 30 questions across six “process categories.” The District also had to submit a series of performance results. A team of volunteer, trained evaluators from various sectors then read the application and identified strengths and opportunities for improvement related to process approaches. This team included people from education, healthcare, manufacturing and supply chain, with representation from Fortune 500 companies. This team spent three days on site, interviewing more than 100 District employees to evaluate the deployment, learning and integration of process approaches based on the application. The team’s final report then went to a team of judges to validate and set an award level. District leaders had an improvement A Hormel Foods employee reads the book “Goodnight Moon” in December 2019 to Sumner Elementary session in May 2020, where they reSchool students for the company’s Reading to Inspire program that promotes literacy and social skills. ceived ideas for improvement based on Also, 33 states oversee state-level Feedback is based on seven categothe report’s final feedback. programs that use the criteria to evaluate ries in the criteria: leadership; strategy; As with many things, organizational organizations, provide improvement op- customers; workforce, measurement, performance improvement represents a portunities and issue an award level. In analysis, and knowledge management; journey over a destination. You, howevMinnesota, Performance Excellence Net- workforce; operations; and results. er, must take moments on that journey to work (PEN) oversees the program. PEN also recognized the District at see how far you have traveled and ensure In the years following the School the Commitment Level. From the highest you keep moving in the right direction. Board’s 2011 adoption of Baldrige, the level, there are four award levels: ComFor Austin Public Schools, the District continued to improve its applica- mitment, Advancement, Achievement Baldrige Performance Excellence Criteria tion of the criteria by conducting a selfand Excellence. When an organization represent the map for our journey, and assessment in 2012 and a Baldrige Exgets the Excellence level from PEN, it feedback and award levels from PEN press application in 2014. These instruqualifies to apply for the national award. represent progress on that journey. ments provided the District feedback on This year, Austin Public Schools In 2019-2020, the District completed strengths and ways to improve processes. completed a full application to get feed- another major step in that journey.
NEWS Local operating referendum likely in fall By Lori Volz Executive Director, Finance and Operations Austin Public Schools
Local operating referendums Austin Public Schools Average for Big 9 districts (i.e. Albert Lea, Rochester, Winona, Faribault, Owatonna, Red Wing)
Average statewide How public education is funded in $1,040 for MN districts per student the state of Minnesota can be confusing. Local levies make up a certain portion of school districts’ funding but not Austin Public Schools’ operating nearly as much as it would seem. referendum is $42 per student compared Minnesota public schools are funded to the average of $832 per student for based on formulas set by the state Legislature, and state aid comprises 80 percent Big 9 districts, such as Faribault, Albert Lea and Rochester) and average of of the general fund’s total revenues. Local levies, though, only provide 5 $1,040 per student statewide. Our district has experienced an inpercent of the total revenues. The main creased enrollment in six of the last sevfunding category is the General Education Revenue formula, which provides a en years, which has helped counterbalance the inadequate funding formulas. certain number of dollars per student Austin’s 2019-2020 enrollment, howserved in a district. Thus, as enrollment ever, decreased slightly, which was a increases, so do district revenues. A big challenge for public schools in detriment to the district’s financial condition. Overall, the 2019-2020 year is Minnesota is the lag in the generaltrending for a slight enrollment increase. education funding Public schools are a formula compared service organizato inflation. Over tion, and most costs the past three decin our general fund ades, this has transrelate to staff. Salalated to a funding ry and benefits gap of $1,367 per comprise of 77 perstudent in the basic cent of the district’s formula when adoverall budget in justed for inflation. the general fund. This equated in Teachers are the fiscal year 2018district’s largest 2019 to a funding employee group. A Sumner Elementary student and Austin High gap of more than $6.9 million for student work together in 2019 for a special program. Most are elementary or secondary Austin Public classroom teachers but we also employ Schools, which served 5,058 students many special-education and instructional that school year. -support teachers. Austin Public Schools’ overall fiSpecial-education funding also is set nances are under tremendous pressure, by the Legislature and has funding defiessentially due to the gap between state ciencies. A funding gap of more than funding formulas and inflation. $4.2 million (and rising) is between the Given this, Austin Public Schools likely will seek a local operating referen- state’s special-education formula and dum this fall. It would be the first time in Austin Public Schools’ special-education costs. To meet special-education needs, nearly 20 years the district has asked the district has had to help subsidize that voters for an increased operating levy. As seen this year, the district is a key shortfall with general-education funds. Overall, this reflects the need for part of the Austin community as our staff more adequate funding on formulas for have worked hard to provide meals and general and special education. distance-learning resources for all stuUnfortunately, state funding formulas dents while providing childcare for escontinue to lag behind inflation, creating sential workers. Austin Public Schools, though, is far funding gaps between state funds given to the district and what the district must below the local-funding levels of area spend to fund education for all students. districts and statewide.
APS serving students, community By Austin Public Schools staff
In response to COVID-19, Austin Public Schools has worked diligently to address the needs of our students and community through distance learning, a modified school lunch program and childcare for frontline workers. When schools closed in March, the district moved learning online. At the elementary level, teachers use SeeSaw, a digital portfolio app, to provide short teaching videos and allow students to submit work by photo, video, text or audio. Elementary students can access other apps, such as IXL for math-skills development and Freckle for reading and comprehension. At the secondary level, teachers use Schoology, an online-learning environment for discussion, assignments and grading, and video-conference with students via the Zoom app. Instructors at all levels work to stay in contact with students by email, telephone or postcard. Work is assigned and graded, and students are expected to
learn the same material as if at school. Since the first day of school closures, Food Services has provided all Austin children (age 1-18) a bag lunch and breakfast. For many students, school meals are a critical source of nutrition, making this a top continued service. Meals are offered 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM Mondays to Fridays at 14 sites in Austin thanks to Palmer Bus. Between March 18 and April 24, the district served 82,755 meals (more than 3,000 meals per day). During this time, the district also has provided emergency childcare at no charge, with more than 100 students registered for care (averaging 25-30 per day). We serve families in which a parent works in essential services, such as medical care, long-term care, law enforcement, courts or public health. Focused time is spent daily on students’ distance-learning assignments. All ages 3-12 have a daily schedule that includes physical activity, art, free play and social-emotional learning.
High-school students volunteering more By Karem Salas Ramirez United Way of Mower County
Recent studies show volunteering is an important activity for young people. According to the federal statistics, about 35 percent of Minnesotans volunteer. Volunteering allows young people to network, give back to their community, gain a deeper understanding of themselves and acquire skills and traits. For these reasons, The Hormel Foundation Austin Assurance Scholarship has asked Austin’s youth to complete volunteer hours in the community as one of its requirements. Qualified applicants must complete 50 hours of approved volunteer service. To help students find and track volunteer opportunities, United Way invested in the Get Connected online platform. Get Connected is a tool for anyone interested in volunteering or in need of volunteers. To find volunteer needs, you create an account and search Get Connected for opportunities. Signing up for email alerts lets you know about opportunities with a favorite organization(s).
Groups in need of volunteers also must create an account before posting a need. As volunteers select an opportunity, that organization gets an email alert about people indicating interest in filling their need. Organizations then can connect with those volunteers. A transcript is maintained for each volunteer and organization, including the number of completed volunteer hours; skills used to do tasks; and estimated value to the organization. For questions, you can email either Karem (email@example.com) or Jayne (firstname.lastname@example.org).
City starts work on street, trail, sanitary sewer A busy construction season is set for summer 2020 by the City of Austin. Below is a list of this year’s street, trail and sanitary sewer projects:
Under Construction • Turtle Creek Trail (4th St. S.W. west to Bustad Park) •
SW Sanitary Sewer
(Trunk main lining - Oakland Ave. W. along Turtle Creek to 6th St. S.W.)
Started May 4, 2020 • 10th St. N.E./S.E. (Oakland Pl. S.E. to 2nd Ave. N.E.)
7th St. N.W. (8th Ave NW to 13th Ave NW)
9th Ave. N.W. (4th St. N.W. to 8th St. N.W.)
Started May 18, 2020 • Turtle Creek 2 NW sanitary sewer extension (36th St., 37th St., 40th St. N.W.)
Starting June 1, 2020 • 5th Ave. N.E. (Oakland Pl. N.E. to 19th St. N.E.)
Starting June 15, 2020 • 4th St. S.W. (Oakland Ave. W. to 1st Ave. S.W.)
Starting July 13, 2020 • 5th St. S.W.
(1st Ave. S.W. to 5th Ave. S.W.)
6th Ave. S.W.
(4th St. S.W. to 6th St. S.W.)
7th St. S.W.
(4th Ave. S.W. to 5th Ave. S.W.)
Pool closed for year due to Covid-19 By Kevin Nelson Director, Austin Parks & Recreation Dept.
Austin’s outdoor municipal pool will not open for the 2020 season due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. On May 6, the Austin Park & Recreation Board voted to make a recommendation to the Austin City Council to leave the pool closed for 2020. This recommendation is due to the continuing Covid-19 concerns that temporarily have closed businesses and recreation facilities, including publicaccess pools. The pandemic also is creating finan-
cial concerns for Austin and other cities statewide and nationally. On Monday, May 18, the City Council will consider this recommendation during a regular meeting. Austin Municipal Pool typically draws more than 10,000 for attendance in recent summers, offering a 50-meter, eight-lane pool with concessions and changing facilities. A diving well, tot pool, splash pad and two slides added in 2018 also are part of the complex. About 500 children also annually attend swimming lessons at the pool.
NEWS City seeks volunteers for ‘Adopt-A-Drain’
HOME POOL SAFETY At-Home Swimming Pool Safety Requirements
By Adam Meade Stormwater Specialist, City of Austin
Urban stormwater pollution happens during rainfall and snowmelt. During those times, various pollutants, such as oils, trash and grass clippings, are carried directly into the city’s storm drains. All 2,369 storm drains in the City of Austin discharge stormwater into the city’s nearly 60 miles of waterways, including East Side Lake (Dobbins Creek), Austin Mill Pond (Cedar River) and other stretches of the Cedar and its tributary streams. Overall, the city’s 77 miles of stormwater pipes empty into local waterways via 206 stormwater outfalls or outlets found along streambanks. Once pollutants enter a waterway, they can have a devastating effect on its aquatic ecosystem. Stormwater pollution can increase: 1. Turbidity: Water cloudiness that can harm aquatic habitats. 2. Eutrophication: When excess nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, enter an aquatic ecosystem. This overabundance of nutrients leads to algae blooms that can smell bad, block sunlight and release toxins.
Adopt-A-Drain Want to help improve the quality of Austin’s waterways? You can sign up to volunteer for the City of Austin’s new Adopt-A-Drain program. This is a great way to improve water quality by adopting a storm drain to clear of debris and trash. How to “Adopt-A-Drain” 1) Sign up on city website under “storm water” tab. 2) Routinely sweep your adopted storm drain(s) to clear leaves, trash and other debris from it. 3) Keep track of total debris collected. Submit totals and photos to be featured on city’s social media.
Pool depths of 47 inches and less require a 4-foot wall or (City of Austin) fence with a self-closing, lockable gate. Home swimming pools soon will start popping up around Austin. • Pools at least 48 inches deep If you plan to set up or buy a (4 feet) with non-climbable pool, here are safety requirements: walls and non-removable ladder require fence around Permit ladder entry. • A building permit is required • Pools at least 48 inches deep for pools with 5,000 gallons (4 feet) with non-climbable or more of water. walls and removable ladder Setback when pool is not in use do not need a fence. • Pools must be at least 8 feet away from property lines. For more requirements and infor• Mechanical system for pool mation, contact Holly Wallace, planmust be at least 10 feet from ning and zoning administrator, at property line unless enclosed. 507-437-9950 or go online at: www.ci.austin.mn.us/public• Pools with 24 inches or less works/planning-zoning water depth are exempt.
Library offers curbside pickup By Julie Clinefelter Director, Austin Public Library
Although the Austin Public Library’s building is closed to the public, the staff is pleased to be offering a variety of services to the community. Austin Public Library, 323 Fourth Ave. N.E., now offers curbside pickup of library items from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. Request items online or call (507) 4332391, which also serves as an information line from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For updates and upcoming activities, follow the library on Instagram (@austinpubliclibrarymn) and Facebook. Our website (www.aplmn.org) gives access to digital materials, the library catalog, reference resources and language -learning tools. Click on the red “coronavirus” bar on the site’s homepage to find fun things to do at home.
Hearts in support of healthcare workers dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic are displayed in the Austin Public Library’s north windows that face the popular walking trail around Austin Mill Pond.
NEWS Nature center installs trail signs By J. Luke Reese Director, Jay C. Hormel Nature Center
Take a walk in nature! There is sound science on the health benefits of walking in nature, especially in challenging times. Now your nature walk can be easier at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center our new trail signs made from the old visitors’ center siding. Trails also now are coded by color. Signs also direct visitors to the parking lot, tower, pond, stepping stone bridge and covered bridge. Staff are doing the final finishing of the signs and colored trail markers. They also are eliminating some trails to simplify the system. An updated map will be available soon. Overall, there are eight colored trails: Blue (0.4 mi.); Yellow (0.6 mi.); Purple (0.75 mi.); White (0.8 mi.); Red (1
mi.); Orange (1.2 mi.); Black (1.2 mi.); and Green (1.35 mi.). Gray trails are “connecting trails.” The “S” trails are ski season only. Spring has arrived at the nature center, with a sea of blooming Virginia Bluebells (always a fan favorite) along with May Apples, Wild Ginger and more. Geese are nesting on the pond, with goslings expected soon. Staff planted 77 oak trees on Earth Day in April at the center. Check our website for “what’s new with nature” with updates and information also on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Families also can take a trailactivity packet from the temporary mailbox by the center’s front door.
Austin police offer tips for Covid-19, vehicle sales, ordinances
our community and we strongly recommend following Animal licenses that guidance from our retail sector. Animal licenses are at the Austin Municipal BuildHelp us control the spread of Covid-19 in our com- ing, 500 4th Ave. N.E., Monday-Friday during business Austin Police are here to serve you 24 hours a day, hours. 7 days a week. Please contact us at 507-437-9400 at munity and keep retail and manufacturing sites open. Austin City Ord. 10 allows residents to own up to your convenience if you have questions. Vehicle sales/purchases and title transfers three animals, which must be licensed, Austin police often hears from peoCovid-19 wearing tags and leashed. It is unlawful ple who sold a vehicle in the past year Please be mindful of any guidance from the Goverfor anyone who owns, harbors or has cusnor’s Office. It is possible that physical distancing still but the new owner never transferred the tody of a dog, cat or Vietnamese potbelvehicle’s title. will need to occur at the time you are reading this. lied pig to cause or permit the animal to As the seller, you are required to It also is likely that gathering will be limited in defecate on public property or, without the scope and size. Follow local news to keep up with report the vehicle sale within 10 days. owner’s consent, on private property, unTo protect yourself from this kind of changes and current restrictions related to Covid-19. less the person immediately removes the situation, go in person with the buyer/ Austin Police encourage all excrement and properly disposes of it. seller to your local Minnesota Departresidents to wear source-control ment of Vehicle Services (DVS) to masks while in public retail spaces. Noise ordinance transfer the vehicle’s title. If unable to This protects all retail workers. It As summer nears, barking dogs, loud partransfer the title in person, please follow also can help protect our friends, ties and loud music become common these steps: family, neighbors and essential complaints. A person may call to report an • Complete ALL information on the title’s back. ongoing, disturbing noise at any hour. Responding officworkers as they shop near us. Employers are doing a lot to try • Record buyer’s full information on the title’s ers usually try to resolve the issue with a request to reto protect their workers in the bottom back where it says, “Sellers Notice of duce the noise before issuing citations. workplace. Retail workers, though, Sale.” Tear off this section; keep in safe place. Curfew also need us to help them as we • Once you sell the vehicle, you have 10 days to It is unlawful for minors under age 16 to be on public share their workspace. report the sale. You may access the Department roadways, property or places of amusement and enterEssential workers, when out- Chief David McKichan of Public Safety online at dvs.dps.mn.gov to tainment between 10:30 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., unless acside of their workplace, also need record the sale or call DPS at (651) 284-1234. companied by a parent or guardian. Also, it is unlawful the community to help protect them. Wearing a mask is for minors between ages 16-18 to be on public roadSpeed restrictions in city parks a great way to do that. Please cover up for others. It is unlawful to operate any vehicle greater than 15 ways, property or places of amusement/entertainment We also are supportive of retailers who have adopted a “one cart, one customer” policy. Having only one mph in a city park nor should a vehicle be driven off between the hours of 12:00 a.m. (midnight) and 5:00 a.m., unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. person enter retail areas to shop also helps us protect the roadway or parking area in any park. By David McKichan Chief, Austin Police Dept.
Austin fire flushing hydrants in SW By Jim McCoy Chief, Austin Fire Dept.
Fire hydrant flushing will occur this spring in Austin’s southwest quadrant, staring in May and continuing into June. This annual maintenance by the Austin Fire Department ensures hydrants are working as well as clears water lines of minerals and sediments that accumulate over time. As fire staff do hydrant flushing, you might see water rush out the side of a hydrant. Your home water also might get an orange or rusty tint but it’s still safe to use. Discoloration is caused by iron sediment in the water main disturbed by flushing. If this occurs in your home, run cold water for several minutes and flush toilets once or twice. This should clear your lines. For more on hydrant flushing, call the Austin Fire Department at (507) 433-3405.
Test smoke detectors
Smoke detectors should be in every bedroom and on every level of your home. Visually inspect your smoke detectors and replace them every 10 years. When you change your clocks, remember to change
smoke detector batteries.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can harm you in your home but can be detected by a detector. CO detectors should be within 10 feet of bedrooms. If you have concerns with carbon monoxide, call the Austin Fire Dept. at (507) 433-3405 or, in an emergency, call 911.
Open burning permits
Open burning within city limits, except for camp and recreational fires, requires a burn permit from Austin Fire at 433-3405.
Any camp or recreational fire must not be within 25 feet of a structure, combustible materials or property line. Commercial-approved appliances that contain fire must maintain a 15-foot distance between the appliance and any combustible material or structure. A 55-gallon drum is not an approved appliance. Fire must be attended at all times by a person with access to buckets of sand or water; shovels or garden hoses; or a fire extinguisher. Supervision is required until the fire is extinguished fully.
City of Austin, Mower County offer home-buyer assistance If you plan to buy a home soon, Austin-Mower County Homeownership Fund offers financial aid. Any Mower County resident may apply for a low-interest loan to help cover the down payment and/or closing costs, if they meet the following criteria: • Maximum loan amount is $4,000. • Home’s purchase price is $140,000 or less and is located in Mower County. • Income from all sources for everyone living in the residence is under $78,900 for 1-2 people and $89,985 for 3 or more people in the household. • Loan is for a maximum of five years at a rate of 2% interest. • Loan repayments are made automatically from applicant’s checking or savings account. • In special circumstances, AMCHF’s Loan Review Committee reserves the right to make loans outside the general boundaries listed above. For more, contact Ann Kasel at (507) 437-9943 or email@example.com.
Impact Austin launched Vision 2020, the initiative that brought renewed focus and a series of improvements to the quality of life in Austin, has been sunset with the creation of a framework for a new community initiative called Impact Austin. Launched in April, Impact Austin is coordinated by Mary Anne Duren and a volunteer board of stakeholders from the community, including the City of Austin’s administrator Craig Clark and public works director Steven Lang. Impact Austin aims to build a vibrant community where people and resources connect to revitalize, discover and invest to grow Austin in authentic ways. Its four pillars of impact are: housing; economic growth; the downtown district; and identity and connection. Impact Austin seeks to engage the city, Mower County, businesses, Austin Area Chamber of Commerce and other public and private stakeholders. Now as a community, Austin is finding itself in a challenging time with the Covid-19 pandemic — one that is show-
ing just how community members and organizations show up for each other. That connection for the greater good is at the core of Impact Austin. “This pandemic has drastically changed many lives,” Duren said, “and we want to acknowledge that we don’t take its impact on our community lightly. Impact Austin will be using this time as an opportunity to roll up our sleeves and continue to build upon and expand partnerships to grow Austin in ways we might not have been able to before.” In response to Covid-19, the group launched an “Impact Austin Together” website (impactaustintogether.org) to support affected local businesses and families. The initiative involves people buying a gift card to a local business, with a matching donation then made to the Austin Salvation Army. “Buy a card. Impact a business. Support a family” is the initiative’s motto. As of mid-May, the initiative had led to $20,000 being invested in the community in less than two weeks.
Todd Park gets 9 scoreboards Todd Park’s softball complexes now feature nine new scorebaords thanks to a grant awarded last year to the City of Austin from The Hormel Foundation. Austin Parks & Recreation installed, wired and operated the scoreboards the first week of May 2020 at Todd Park’s south and north diamond complexes. Unfortunately, no organized ball games are allowed at this time due to Covid-19. Parks & Rec hope the scoreTwo of Todd Park’s nine new softball scoreboards boards will see many years of service funded by a grant from The Hormel Foundation. perhaps starting yet this summer.
NEWS Mower County responds to Covid-19
By Mower County staff
find on the hompage the link “Mower County MN In response to Covid-19, Mower County opened its Coronavirus Response Hub.” Updates also are given on community Facebook Emergency Operation Center (EOC) on March 22 to pages, including by Mower County Health & Human keep community needs at the forefront. Services and the Mower County SherA collaborative effort, the EOC iff’s Office. includes Mower County Health and Minnesota Department of Health also Human Services; Mower County has a helpful website on Covid-19: Sherriff’s Office; Emergency Manwww.health.state.mn.us/diseases/ agement; Austin Fire Department; coronavirus/index.html and Austin Police Department. With all these agencies working Public health reminder together, the EOC ensures that all “Wash Your Hands for 20 seccommunity needs are being addressed onds, Practice Social Distancing and in a truly unified command. Stay Home.” It also is recommended Local residents, organizations and to wear a cloth face covering when businesses have given donations to social distancing is not possible. the EOC to distribute to daycare proMinnesota Department of Health viders, nursing homes, long-term care is requesting that anyone willing and facilities and schools, among others. able to give blood do so because there EOC also collected handmade continues to be a blood shortage. masks as part of the Governor’s Face Blood Centers are making it posCovering Drive in late April. This sible for healthy individuals to still was based on the U.S. Centers for donate and maintain social distancing. Disease Control (CDC) recommendContact your local blood center/ (Top) Mower County Sheriff Steve Sandvik. bank if you want to donate blood but ing people wear a face covering (Bottom) Some of the handmade masks where social distancing (at least 6 are unsure if you would be eligible. feet) is difficult to maintain, such as donated locally in April during a drive. in grocery stores and pharmacies. American Red Cross: www.redcross.org/give-blood.html Mower County has a webpage to inform residents during the pandemic. Visit www.co.mower.mn.us and (800) 733-2767
Community resource numbers: Mower County Essential Needs Line (507) 396-8227 Minnesota Farm Crisis Line (833) 600-2670 Health & Human Services (507) 437-9701 Salvation Army (507) 437-4566 United Way of Mower County (507) 437-2313 Crisis Response for SE Minnesota (844) CRISIS2 (toll-free)
Emerald ash borer in Mower
Mower County is offering a 5-year tax abatement for new construction of single-family and multi-family homes. This project started Aug. 1, 2016, and ends Dec. 31, 2022. Several local cities, school districts and townships also are offering an abatement on their tax portion. To apply or for more info, go online at: www.co.mower.mn.us/Administration.html or contact Mower County Administration at 507-437-9549 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In April 2020, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture confirmed emerald ash borer in eastern Mower County. MDA staff noticed several ash trees along U.S. Highway 63, north of Racine, with EAB symptoms. Staff found live EAB larvae and collected a sample for federal identification. Mower County now is the 23rd county in Minnesota confirmed to have with emerald ash borer or EAB. Residents can look for the following when checking their ash trees for EAB: • Look for woodpecker damage. • Check for bark cracks. • If you feel your ash tree might be infested with EAB, contact a tree-care professional, your city forester or MDA at: email@example.com or (888) 545-6684. MDA has enacted an emergency quarantine limiting the movement of
firewood and ash material out of Mower County to reduce the risk of further spreading the tree-killing insect. An open house by MDA will be announced at a later date. For more on EAB, visit the MDA website: www.mda.state.mn.us
County preps for big election year By Amanda Kiefer Deputy Auditor-Treasurer, Mower County
Q. What is a “mail ballot” for a city or township? Every registered voter within your city or township automatically will be mailed a ballot about 46 days before the election. You can vote in your own home; sign your ballot envelope; have it witnessed; and mail it back in a prepaid return envelope. If you are not a registered voter in your mail ballot precinct, call or visit the Auditor-Treasurer’s office to learn how to vote. Track your ballot here:
Mower County Auditor-Treasurer’s staff is here to help you prepare to vote in the 2020 elections. Primary Election Day is Tuesday, Aug. 11, and the General Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. Here are some frequently asked questions: Q. How do I register to vote? You can register to vote at the county office or online through the Minnesota Secretary of State website: mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/AbsenteeBallotStatus.aspx www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting Q. Does my city or township participate in mail balloting? Q. Where do I vote? The following have chosen mail balloting: Once registered, you will get a postcard in the mail listing your polling place’s location and address. You may also visit Austin Township (Aug. primary only); Clayton Township; the “poll finder” online: pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us Elkton (city); Frankford Township; Grand Meadow Township; Lansing Township; Mapleview (city); Marshall TownQ. How do I vote if I am in a nursing home? ship; Nevada Township; Pleasant Valley Township; Local election officials send election judges (poll Rose Creek (city); Sargeant (city); Sargeant Township; workers) to nursing homes within 20 days of each election. They give ballots to eligible residents who applied Taopi (city); Udolpho Township; Waltham Township; to absentee vote and can provide help. Call our office Windom Township. for details. Due to Covid-19, the Legislature was considering Q. I will be out of town Election Day or canchanges to the voting process for 2020 to address safety not make it to my polling place. Can I still vote? concerns of voters and election judges. Our office will Yes, you can absentee vote – no excuse/no reason provide updates this summer. needed. Absentee voting begins 46 days prior to ElecThe Mower County Auditor-Treasurer’s mailing tion Day. You may request an absentee ballot application online address is 201 1st St. N.E., Suite 7, Austin, MN, 55912. Busior by calling or stopping at our office. After getting your applicaness hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. tion, we will give you an absentee ballot. The county also proDeputy auditor-treasurer Amanda Kiefer: (507) 437-9535 vides absentee voting at our office. On the Saturday before each election, our office is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Auditor-treasurer Scott Felten: (507) 437-9457
Mower residents need to be counted for 2020 Census By Scott Felten Auditor-Treasurer, Mower County
encourage all living in Mower County to complete the 2020 Census soon. It is highly important that everyone be counted to achieve an accurate 2020 population count for Mower County. This year’s Census figures will determine how more than $675 billion in federal funding is allocated annually to states and counties – dollars that are spent on schools, hospitals, public works, and other vital programs. Undercounting our 2020 population means that for each person not counted in Mower County, it could result in a $28,000 loss in federal funding over the next decade.
Due to Covid-19, the response timelines for the 2020 Census have been extended by the U.S Census Bureau. Officials extended the deadline to self-respond to the Census from July 31 to October 31, 2020. The period of doorto-door follow-up by Census workers has been rescheduled to Aug. 11-Oct. 31 (based on U.S. Census Bureau information available in May). Each household has the option of self -responding to the Census online at www.my2020census.gov; by phone at (844) 330-2020 for English or (844) 468 -2020 for Spanish; or by mail. For the 2020 Census, online compleFor more about the 2020 Census tion of the questionnaire is strongly encouraged. In late April the U.S. Census locally and nationally, go online at: www.2020census.gov Bureau mailed about 69 million paper Census questionnaires to the remaining mn.gov/admin/2020-census non-responding households. co.mower.mn.us (2020 Census link) The Complete Count committees of www.facebook.com/MCCENSUSCCC Mower County and the City of Austin
County Auditor-Treasurer Scott Felten (left) helps at a Mower County Census 2020 booth in January.
County bridge replacements continuing
Crews work March 4 on a new Mower County Road 16 bridge over Roberts Creek near Brownsdale.
General Noxious Weed Notice Notice is hereby given, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, Section 18.83 subp. 1, that all persons in Mower County, Minnesota, shall control or eradicate all noxious weeds on land they own, occupy or are required to maintain. Control or eradication may be accomplished by any lawful method but the method (s) applied may need to be repeated to prevent spread of viable noxious seeds and other propagation parts to other lands. Failure to comply with the general notice may mean that an individual notice will be issued. An individual notice may be appealed within two working days of a receipt to the appeals committee in the county where the land is located. Failure to comply with the individual notice will mean that the inspector having jurisdiction may either hire the work done or seek a misdemeanor charge against the person(s) who failed to comply. If the work done is hired by the inspector, the cost can be placed as a tax upon the land and collected as other real estate taxes are collected. Local weed inspectors are township supervisors, city mayors, or their appointed assistants. For more information regarding the state listed noxious weeds, the appeals committee, the Minnesota Noxious Weed laws please visit the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s website: www.mda.state.mn.us/weedcontrol For questions, contact Valerie Sheedy at Environmental Services at (507) 434-2639 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mower 4-H using spirit of innovation continually active within the animal science field. Whether through family farms, connecWhat defines an unexpected challenge is tions to agricultural businesses or individual not the obstacle itself but the actions of those projects, it is no secret livestock has a big who rise to meet it. impact in our county. They find unique ways to circumvent As such, members like Gloria Hansen this obstacle. Sometimes it’s a physical enare spending time with their animals to endeavor or one outside their control. sure quality continues at a high level. In 2020, the challenge has “Gloria had intended on exhibiting been the latter. Covid-19 has disher heifer in several shows this rupted how people interact in their spring but they have been cancommunities. Yet, organizations celled or postponed,” said her and people, including Mower mom, Kaye Hansen. “So we’ve County 4-H, have found the spirit found other ways through virtual of innovation to better serve their shows for her Charolais.” communities. Such events have showcased their Mower 4-Hers, leaders and hard work as Gloria prepares for volunteers have shown this spirit through shows this summer. The work of the Hanthoughts and actions in these unusual times. sens and others show community pride. The capability to adapt their skilled learning Another innovative approach has been and personal development has helped them using their creativity. In the absence of norcontribute with innovative abilities, creative malcy, the opportunity arises for 4-Hers to nature and exceptional volunteerism. show their ingenuity. Programs with 4-H have long provided Brianna Klouse and Maddison Hoesing community members with opportunities to are cousins who live near each other in grow as well as learn different skills and how Mower County. Among other connections, to use those skills in a practical sense. they are on their second year of the Science Many 4-Hers have found new ways to of Agriculture Challenge. do this in uncertain times. One area is being This year’s project focused on measuring By Maxwell Herrera Mower County 4-H
Maddison Hoesing and Brianna Klouse are examples of Mower 4-Hers’ spirit of innovation.
the distance from fields to waterways. Their research studies the methods of farmers for applying manure in their fields to avoid polluting nearby water sources. The results could prove to be an effective teaching tool for future farming practices. A final form of innovation derives from the continual leadership and promotion of learning from 4-H members. This has been done by collaborating with the extension educator on creating teaching methods for clubs to meet this goal. Ambassadors and club leaders meet via alternative means to encourage youth on civic engagement. Volunteers also are working on events to serve the community. For more on Mower County 4-H, contact Maxwell Herrera at (507) 437-9439 or email@example.com.
County delays first-half unpaid tax penalty ties essentially are delayed two months — May 16 penalty now charged July 16; June With the Covid-19 pandemic nega1 penalty now charged Aug. 1, etc. tively affecting many businesses and indiAlthough penalties are delayed for late viduals from a financial and cash-flow payment, the county asks individuals and standpoint, the Mower County Board of businesses not experiencing financial hardCommissioners passed a resolution April ships to pay their taxes before July 15. 14 to abate (waive) penalties on unpaid Collecting property taxes befirst half 2020 property taxes. fore July 15 is important beNo penalty will be charged cause the county collects taxes by the county if first-half based on its levy and those of property taxes are paid by July school districts, cities and 15, 2020, instead of May 15, a townships in Mower. The date set by state law that cancounty disburses tax-levy dolnot be changed locally. Penallars to those entities based on ties and interest on unpaid the amount of property taxes property taxes is set by the collected. Since property tax Minnesota Department of dollars help finance these entiRevenue. State law allows counties to ties’ operations, a delay in these dollars collected can create cash-flow challenges abate penalties and interest on property taxes if the county board finds the penalty for them. County staff surveyed school districts, is “unjust and unreasonable.” Penalties for late payment now will be cities and townships on the proposed penassessed July 16, 2020. The penalty sched- alty abatement prior to taking action. The vast majority supported penalty abatement. ule for unpaid property taxes is on the Penalty abatement does not apply to property tax statement’s back side. PenalBy Scott Felten Auditor-Treasurer, Mower County
delinquent and past-due property taxes from prior years. Payment Methods Two new payment methods are available to pay property tax. You can pay via the auditor-treasurer’s webpage on the county website: co.mower.mn.us. Convenience fees apply for paying by credit/ debit card or by e-check. You also can use a payment drop box outside the Law Enforcement Center entrance at the Government Center. Tax payments still can be mailed but include your payment stub with the check. Tax payments also can be made over the phone using a credit/debit card or e-check (convenience fees apply). Get your parcel ID number and call the auditor-treasurer at (507) 437-9535 or (507) 437-9456 between 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. If you did not get your 2020 property tax statement, call our office at 437-9535 soon. It might have been returned if you had a forwarding address or your current address is not on file in our tax system.
WEED SPRAYING NOTICE Starting in late May, the Mower County Public Works Department will schedule roadside vegetation work along all county highways for its roadside-vegetation management program. Unwanted brush and noxious weeds will be cut and/or treated with herbicide. The county notifies the public about this work because affected lands might be adjacent to the roadside scheduled for treatment. Landowners can elect to maintain the right-of-way adjacent to their land in some other fashion, such as mowing, by completing a “spraying refusal form” and removing any brush and/or noxious weeds by June 13, 2020, and continuing to maintain the site. If this is not done, the county must treat the site as part of the roadsidevegetation management program. To complete a refusal form or get more information, contact the Public Works Department at (507) 437-7718.
MN Veterans State Soldiers Assistance Program (SSAP) SSAP gives assistance to military veterans unable to work due to temporary disability or without dental/optical coverage. Dental assistance Up to $1,000 per calendar year may be approved for routine dental assistance; $2,000 for extractions; and $3,000 for dentures for veterans and their dependents who meet income guidelines. Optical assistance Up to $400 for an eye exam and prescription eyewear may be approved once every calendar year for veterans and their dependents who meet income guidelines. Special-needs grant Special-needs assistance provides a once-per-lifetime financial grant to help veterans and dependents stabilize their lives during hardship. Requests are reviewed/ approved on a case-by-case basis. Monthly income limits Single: $1,912; married: $2,267. The program for dental and optical may be used even if you’re able to work or are working. SSAP applications must be made through the Mower County Veterans Services Office. Call (507) 434-2712.
NEWS Major stormwater-storage project planned for upper Dobbins Creek
DNR staff stock rainbow trout May 6 in Todd Park’s spring-fed pond that empties into Wolf Creek.
CRWD, DNR stock trout in Wolf This spring, Austin’s Todd Park got 900 rainbow trout for a new angling program. Between April 16 and May 6, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources stocked Wolf Creek with rainbow trout in Austin’s largest park. DNR had expected to stock up to 600 rainbow trout in Wolf but ended giving an extra 300. All trout were from the Lanesboro State Fish Hatchery and stocked by DNR Fisheries of Waterville. DNR’s Waterville staff already plan on stocking a similar number of rainbow trout in Wolf Creek in spring 2021. Minnesota’s catch-and-take trout opener April 18 launched the new angling opportunity at Todd Park, where DNR previously stocked young trout more than 30 years ago but stopped in the late 1980s due to predator fish, such as bass and northern pike. Rainbow trout stocked this spring are a “catchable” size, making them great for the DNR’s goal of a “put-and-take” fishery in Wolf and keeping the trout too large for predator fish to eat. DNR wants anglers to catch and take or harvest trout caught there.
Trout stocking in Wolf is the result of a proposal made to the DNR by Cedar River Watershed District technician James Fett, who collected water-temperature data in 2017 and 2018 at an unshaded part of the creek in Todd Park. Fett believed Wolf could host trout given springs in its watershed, lots of woods and increasing conservation land. Wolf Creek’s water temperatures through Todd Park are conducive to trout in large part thanks to an artesian well – the pond in the park – that feeds the stream. Trout anglers – in addition to the state’s yearly angling license CRWD’s James Fett ($25) – need to purwith Wolf Creek trout chase a trout stamp ($10). Minnesota’s trout season opened April 18 and runs through Sept. 14. The catch-andrelease season runs Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.
When heavy rain fell in September 2019 in Dobbins Creek’s uplands, the Cedar River Watershed District’s largest berm stored stormwater that could fill a 40 -foot-deep pool the size of a football field. Much more stormwater could have been stored temporarily, if needed, behind the Dobbins 1 upstream berm built in 2018 near Brownsdale. The berm’s control mechanism worked as planned, with stormwater detained for up to two days. The project slowly releases water instead of a “tidal wave effect” of most water rushing through in two or three hours. In its first year, Dobbins 1 was tested six times with stormwater or snowmelt. To date, CRWD has built 13 of 25 projects planned for its Capital Improvement Plan initiative. CIP aims to reduce flooding in rural areas and the City of Austin and improve water quality. In 2020, CRWD plans to build its largest project yet — a 21-foot-high
berm — and just downstream from a major berm it completed a year ago with the same landowner. CRWD led by project manager Cody Fox plans to build a $1.2 million stormwater-storage structure in the upland area of the South Dobbins Creek watershed in Dexter Township. Combined with the upstream project, the two berms will slow and treat stormwater from more than 1,200 acres of mostly cropland in Dobbins’ uplands The two berms also will capture stormwater in a 100-year flood event that covers nearly 100 acres within 1 square mile. Flow reduction leaving the site during storm events will be 80-95 percent compared to before the projects. Mower County Road 19, which frequently overtops with stormwater, is expected to no longer have that issue once this year’s project is in place. CIP projects are funded by a $3.2 million Hormel Foundation grant with nearly another $3 million thus far in funding from state grants and bonding. Up to $1 million from a CRWD local project levy is available, if needed. CIP berms capture and slowly release large amounts of stormwater, allowing much of its sediment — often containing excess nutrients, chemicals and bacteria — to settle in the project’s basin. As of today, CRWD has CIP structures in place to treat stormwater flowing from more than 2,200 acres of mostly cropland in Blue shows the land that will be covered by stormwater behind two CRWD berms once a Dobbins or about 8 percent of the land in major project (on left) is finished later this year. the subwatershed of the Cedar River.
Mower SWCD distributes more than 9,000 trees Mower Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) distributed more than 9,000 trees and shrubs in April to the public for its annual program focused on conservation and windbreaks. Since 1991, Mower SWCD now has sold and distributed more than 500,000 trees and shrubs. Staff also help landowners plan windbreaks. Bundles of bareroot trees and shrubs and three types of containergrown evergreens were sold through the program. This year’s extensive list of bareroot trees offered three new species: Ponderosa Pine and Scotch Pine (deciduous trees); and Buffaloberry (shrub). Mower SWCD’s tree order forms annually are released in December, with forms sent to a landowner mailing list. Those wanting to be on the mailing list can send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org Mower SWCD also sells tree mats with staples and tree shelters with stakes. For more, contact SWCD at (507) 434-2603, ext. 5.
Check us out online: cedarriverwd.org mowerswcd.org View annual reports; sign up for e-news; learn about projects; view photos; and much more.
Mower SWCD staff wear masks for Covid-19 safety in April while distributing tree orders tat the Austin Runnings store.
Also find Mower SWCD and CRWD on Facebook.
News from Mower County; City of Austin; Austin Public Schools; and Mower SWCD-Cedar River Watershed District.
Published on May 27, 2020
News from Mower County; City of Austin; Austin Public Schools; and Mower SWCD-Cedar River Watershed District.