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Newsleader St. Joseph

Friday, April 18, 2014 Volume 25, Issue 16 Est. 1989

Town Crier

Burning restrictions in effect in central Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has burning restrictions in place over the central part of the state including Stearns County because fire danger is expected to rapidly increase as winds pick up and snow continues to melt. The burning restrictions mean the state will not give out burning permits for burning brush or yard waste. Spring fire restrictions limit open burning until summer green-up occurs. Traditionally, most wildfires in Minnesota occur during April and May. More than 95 percent of these fires are caused by human error. The restrictions normally last from four to six weeks until sufficient green vegetative growth occurs. Campfires are still allowed. For more information, visit and click on Criers.

Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 21-25

April 21-25 is Severe Weather Awareness Week, a time to remind Minnesotans about inevitable storms, lightning, wind, floods and tornadoes, and to provide people with information necessary to protect their lives when severe weather threatens. Stearns County’s Emergency Management Department encourages every family and business to take the opportunity during this week to build awareness of storm dangers and to put weather emergency plans into action. Subjects for Severe Weather Awareness Week are: Monday: Alerts and warnings; Tuesday: Thunderstorms, Lightning and Hail; Wednesday: Floods; Thursday, Tornadoes; and Friday: Heat. Two statewide tornado drills will take place on Thursday. The first drill is at 1:45 p.m. and allows schools and businesses to practice their emergency plans. The second drill is at 6:55 p.m. This drill allows families to practice their plans at home. For more information, visit www.thenewsleaders. com and click on Criers.

Hot off the press

If you’d like to receive the Newsleader hot off the press, send us your email address and we’ll notify you with a link when our website is updated, which is typically by noon a day in advance of the print edition. Send your email to and you should start receiving your reminder at that address within a week. Notify us otherwise. For additional criers, visit and click on Criers.


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Students start new organics recycling program by Cori Hilsgen

Students at Kennedy Community started a new organics recycling program on March 20. They are taking all organic material and rerouting it to a composting facility, away from a landfill. The program is coordinated by science teacher Rick Wilson, head engineer Dave Ertl and the Youth Energy Summit students. “I am always looking for ways to improve and get better in terms of personal self, curriculum and instruction, and whole school,” Wilson said. He has been researching organic recycling for several years. Wilson and El Haus, the district building and grounds supervisor, coordinated to allow Kennedy students to be the first school to try organic recycling. “I knew this was something simple everyone could do and Recycling • page 8

contributed photo

Cole Stroot (left) helps with the silverware return while Sophie Houghton (in pink) talks a student through the process for a new organic recycling program at Kennedy. Both Stroot and Houghton are Youth Energy Summit students.

Borgert plans for Honor Flight by Dennis Dalman

machines. He’d learned all those which was founded by his fa- in his basement wood shop is skills at the Great Lakes Naval ther, Lawrence, nearly 100 years his main hobby, along with “a Base before being assigned to ago. Gene worked there for 27 little fishing” now and then. But It’s been the U.S.S. Newport News. years. Later, he sold his share of his all-time favorite hobby is his decades “I heard about the Honor the company to his brother, and membership in the Lions Club. since Gene Flight program more than a year the company still thrives after all He’s been a member of the SarBorgert vistell Lions Club for 35 years, then ago, so I talked to a woman at those years in St. Joseph. ited the nathe VA (Veteran’s AdministraBorgert moved to Sartell after later he joined the Sauk Rapids tion’s capital tion) Center about it and was ac- buying two acres of property for Riverside Lions Club about 10 in Washingcepted to go along on a flight,” just $600 north of the town on years ago. He was at one time a ton, D.C. He Borgert said. “Am I exited about the County Road 1 river-road. district governor for Lions Club was there the trip? You better believe it!” He and his wife, Lynn, have International. quite a few “In 47 years as a Lion, I Born in St. Cloud, for many lived there every since. Borgert times when years Borgert was one of the Borgert has several retirement haven’t missed a single meethe was in the U.S. Navy dur- owners of Borgert Concrete, hobbies: making wooden bowls Borgert • page 3 ing the Korean War in the early 1950s. Now he gets to go there again as a member of an “Honor Flight,” a program that flies veterans to Washington, D.C. to allow them to tour the capital and to see the monuments there that honor all the nation’s veterans. Borgert will leave April 22 on a flight with about 100 other veterans from the central Minnesota area. They’ll take a direct chartered flight from St. Cloud to a Maryland airport, then take a bus into Washington, D.C. He will be accompanied by one of his sons. Nearly 70 years ago, Borgert, now 82, served mainly on the Atlantic Ocean on the U.S.S. Newport News, a heavy cruiser. contributed photo As a machinist mate, he repaired New traffic signal lights at the intersection of CR 2, 3 and Highway 75 were activated last engines, air-conditioning units, week. The intersection has been the site of several crashes. airplane cranes and even ice

Traffic lights activated at CR 2, 3 on Hwy. 75



St. Joseph Newsleader •

Rural Stearns Faith in Action receives Older American Act funding Rural Stearns Faith in Action recently received funding through the Central Minnesota Council on Aging as a part of the Older American Act. The Older Americans Act of 1965 was the first federal level initiative aimed at providing comprehensive services for older adults. It provides funding to render services to adults 60 and older for nutrition, supportive home and community-based services, disease prevention/health promotion services, elder rights programs and caregiver support services. “This funding is so important toward helping us continue our mission of facilitating a neighborhelping-neighbor approach toward caring in our rural Stearns County communities,” said Lindsey Sand,

Rural Stearns Faith in Action program coordinator. “Daily we are connected with seniors in our area who are in need of support to remain in their homes. We will continue to work to connect them with supportive and trustworthy volunteers within their own community to provide them with transportation, homemaking, chore services and even respite care for caregivers. We will also continue to provide our staff-rendered services including caregiver consultation and caregiver education sessions.” If you or someone you care for would benefit from support within their home, or you would like to donate some time to a neighbor in need, contact the organzization at 320-685-3693 or 1-800-549-5855.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Kennedy future problem-solvers place at state meet by Cori Hilsgen

A Kennedy Community School eighth-grade futureproblem-solving team placed third in its oral presentation at the state meet March 29 at Centennial Middle School in Lino Lakes. Seventh- and eighth-grade future problem-solvers at Kennedy had three teams who competed at the meet. Students prepared for the competition by researching and brainstorming challenges and solutions to solve problems related to the topic of “Land Transportation.” They competed in both written and oral presentation competition. Coached by Michaelene Lucia, the students began practicing for the competition in

October. Practices involved researching and discussing a current topic and listening to speakers who came to the school to discuss the topic. Lucia said the Future Problem-Solving program offers students a chance to solve global futuristic problems in creative ways. Students are given topics such as “Land Transportation,” “Surveillance Society” or “Ocean Soup.” At competition, the students are given a future scene description with a problem relating to the topic. Nobody knows what the exact scenario will be until the competition, not even the coaches. Students use a sixstep problem-solving process to brainstorm and find their best solution for solving the scenario. They have two hours to complete the six-step process.

“Students learn to use this process to solve problems,” Lucia said. “Not just for futuristic problems, but all problems they have and will encounter in life.” Before going to the state meet, students competed at the district and regional meets, which were held at St. Cloud State University. All seventh- and eighthgraders are able to participate in the Future Problem Solving program. Sixth-grade students are introduced to the problem-solving process in Lucia’s language-arts classes. It’s an extracurricular activity held after school. This year Lucia had 18 students who competed in the program. For photos of the teams, visit




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Contributing Writer Cori Hilsgen

Editor Dennis Dalman

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P.O. Box 324 • 32 1st Ave. N.W. • St. Joseph, Minn. 56374 Phone (320) 363-7741 • Fax (320) 363-4195 • E-mail address: POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ST. JOSEPH NEWSLEADER, P.O. Box 324, St. Joseph, MN 56374.

St. Joseph Newsleader •

Friday, April 18, 2014

People can sign petition at Sal’s Bar by Dennis Dalman

The St. Joseph Newsleader has received calls about how and where to sign a petition asking the city to place the question of constructing a government center on the Nov. 20 ballot. There are copies of the petition that can be signed at Sal’s Bar and Grill on main street in St. Joseph. People can also call Irene Reber, at 320-363-7585, or they can sign the petition at her home at 118 2nd Ave. SE. Reber, who initiated the petition, has been going doorto-door in the city with the petition. Quite a few people were not at home at the time she was circulating the petition, she noted. Several other

St. Joseph residents have also been carrying copies of it for people to sign. The residents circulating the petition include Mike McDonald, Bob Lyon and Ellen Wahlstrom. “I have 527 signatures so far,” Reber said. “Only five people have declined to sign it when I went door-to-door. I plan to keep knocking on more doors this week. Two council members said we’d need 600 or more signatures. We have enough signatures, but we’ve got to keep this thing going.” Opponents of the government-center project want a referendum on the Nov. 20, 2014 ballot. Here is what the petition states: “As a resident of the City of St. Joseph, Minn., I support

a referendum to be held regarding construction of a new city building and that it be put on the Nov. 20, 2014 ballot. Also let it be noted any and all spending on this building project be halted until after the results of the referendum be known.” The St. Joseph City Council has plans to construct a $4.5-million government center to replace the current city hall/ police building. It would include a community room that could sit up to 170 people. contributed photo Opponents basically claim a Gene Borgert in a photo taken aboard his ship circa 1951 dur“community room” is just an ing the Korean War. The ship was the U.S.S. Newport News. excuse to build a center and The Borgerts have four chilresidents do not need another dren: Scott of Memphis, Tenn., community room but, rather, a who just retired after 22 years in community center. The current the U.S. Navy; Tim, who works city hall building, some oppo- from front page at Ferche Millwork in Rice; Denents claim, can be fixed. nise Stang, who lives near her ing,” he said. Borgert’s wife, Lynn, was a parents and who is a housestay-at-home mom for many wife and a ceramics artist who teaches that art at the St. Cloud considered. The system would years, although she did some Whitney Senior Center; and Pam part-time work, including a job warn drivers of crossing traffic. McMahon, who has a job pickat the old Commodore Club in MnDOT is installing these sysing up and driving medical tests Sartell. Now she works at the tems throughout the state, and from and to hospitals all over Door E Information Desk at the the county is working to see if the state. St. Cloud Hospital, a job she the system could be included in The Borgerts have a dozen loves. the contract. “She’s a dandy,” Borgert said. grandchildren and 29 greatgrandchildren. “Loves to meet people.”

Crash injures one man, closes roads by Cori Hilsgen news@thenewsleaders

29, was hauling propane tanks that fell off the trailer. Initial reports indicated possible A crash between a pickup leaking propane tanks, but no and semitrailer injured one leaks were found. Bechtold man and closed parts of two said roads were closed until area roads April 2. The crash mid-afternoon. occurred in the morning at the Several other crashes have intersection of Stearns CR 2 and occurred at this same location. Minnesota Street W. A fatal collision in November The driver of the pickup, killed a 90-year-old woman Lee Meyer of Rice, 48, was from Cold Spring. injured and was transported to County engineer Jodi Teich the St. Cloud Hospital. Accord- said a rural intersection coning to Stearns County Chief flict warning system is being Deputy Bruce Bechtold, Meyer was turning south on CR 2 when his pickup was hit by the semitrailer. The semitrailer, driven by in St. Joseph, Minn. Anthony Breummer of Sartell,

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St. Joseph Newsleader •

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sorrel named Volunteer of the Year by Dennis Dalman

Even a quick reading of the resume of Sartell Senior Volunteer of the Year Jan Sorrel is apt to exhaust the average person because she has crammed so much work into a lifecontributed photo

In 1987, Jan Sorrel was named Teacher of the Year for the St. Cloud School District. Sorrel was recently named Retired Volunteer of the Year by the Sartell Area Chamber of Commerce.

time that it makes one’s head spin. Sorrel, who was once a teacher at Kennedy Elementary School in St. Joseph, has influenced schools throughout the St. Cloud School District because of her pioneering efforts in computer education and new media and information deliveries. Sorrel has been wife, mother, motel owner, school teacher, yearbook director, photographer, editor, school-media teacher, computer instructor, the member and/or chair of countless committees and organizations, spelling-bee judge, workshop facilitator, curriculum developer, published writer, speechmaker and active member of more than 10 professional organizations. Those activities barely scratch the surface. Most people in Sartell know Sorrel as one of the founding members of the Sartell Senior Connection, a group of mainly seniors that has brought a renewed dynamism to Sartell through its activities and its volunteerism. The group was founded in 2007, and Sorrel has just now finished her fourth year as the group’s board chair. Sorrel received thunderous applause and a standing ovation Roofing • Siding • Gutters • Windows • Metal Roofs HAAG™ Certified Roof Inspectors for hail/wind

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when she was named Sartell Senior Volunteer of the Year April 10 at the annual Sartell Area Chamber of Commerce banquet at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course. Despite some recent medical problems, including another knee replacement, Sorrel is up and at ‘em, just as active as ever. She doesn’t need a cane or a walker anymore. Her husband, Dale, loves to tease her by telling others, in front of her, that “Jan is off her walker.” Sorrel said her favorite activity is working with committees, brainstorming with others until good ideas emerge from the simmering conversations. “I love committees,” she said. “I love to get ideas together and let ideas come forth from others. That committee work is really what I do best.”

Early life

Sorrel was born in Richfield. Even in her school years she loved working with groups of students. She was a member of the yearbook and newspaper staff, and she was student-council president. After graduation in 1956 and marriage, she earned a degree in elementary education, with a math minor, from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Then she taught third grade in Hopkins for two years. She and her husband, Dale, one

day made a bold decision. They decided in 1961 to move to Sartell where there was a motel for sale. The Winter Haven Motel, which they owned and managed for eight years. Before buying it they did a lot of research in motel ownership. The business would thrive, they were told, because it’s on Highway 10, a very busy roadway, especially in the summer. The Sorrels and their ninemonth-old son, Jeff, moved to Sartell Jan. 1, 1962. At that time, there were not even 1,000 people living in the city. Near the Sorrel’s 11unit motel, which was located just south of the now defunct Benton Drive Mini Serve convenience gasand-grocery, were the Commodore Club and the Vee Bar. Besides his motel management, Dale was also a ceramic-tile installer, and he and Jan operated their business at first from the motel and later from the home they bought just north of what is now Val Smith Park. “Running a small motel was always a dream of Dale’s,” Sorrel said. “We owned that motel for eight years, and lived in it for four years. We had a lot of summer tourists passing through, many from the Chicago area. We had so much fun with visitors, especially in the summer months. One year, the first year, a lot off them were passing through on their way to the World’s Fair in Seattle.” Eventually, the very busy Highway 10 right by the Winter Haven

St. Joe’s Best Kept Secret

St. Joseph Newsleader •

Friday, April 18, 2014 Hotel was moved, and the roadway became Benton Drive, diminishing the Sorrel’s motel business. By that time, Dale wanted to concentrate on his tile and construction business, and Jan, once again, had developed a hankering to teach again. In time, Dale joined Miller Construction, and Jan returned to teaching – one year of fourth-grade in St. Cloud’s Central School (now the city-hall building). Pregnant and with a child at home, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom for a time. Later, she was asked to help teach fourth grade in Sartell, which she did, as well as teaching fifth grade off-and-on for nearly four years.


In the late 1960s, Sorrel had become intensely interested in media and information systems. She earned a master’s degree in information media from St. Cloud State University, then she found work in 1972 as a media specialist at South Junior High School in St. Cloud. “I thought I’d died and gone to heaven,” she said. “I actually almost felt guilty to take a paycheck because I loved it so much. I didn’t know whether to attribute my love of that job to the hand of God or just dumb luck.” In 1978, Sorrel was asked to transfer to Tech High School to become its media specialist (the new name then for librarian). There, she transformed what had been an old gymnasium into a media center. Sorrel worked at Tech High School three times during the 1970s and 1980s. Staff cuts during recessionary times took their toll on Sorrel and other school staff. Still, Sorrel managed to find teaching work between times. She taught fourth grade at Kennedy Elementary School and second grade at

South Junior High School (for a few years that junior high school had become an elementary school). By then, a new job had opened in the school district. It needed a “resources facilities coordinator for academic achievement,” and Sorrel got the job, working half her time at Tech, the other half at Apollo High School. She instructed other teachers about innovative ways to teach bright students. After nearly five years of that job, she returned full-time to Tech and stayed there for nearly 16 years, some of the happiest years of her life.


During her time at South Junior High School, circa 1972, Sorrel was introduced to a then little-known world of computers. She became a member of the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium. There was a huge computer main-frame at the University of Minnesota. Sorrel and just a handful of other computer-savvy people could access that main frame by dialing to St. Cloud State University, then putting the phone in a modem and getting a connection to the U of M main frame via a teletype system. It was a very arcane, mysterious brave new world – the world of computers. What then to computer “geeks” seemed like the cat’s meow is now, in retrospect, in this Cyber Age, a clunky, awkward, roundabout way of doing things. Sorrel, however, found it very fascinating, and she began to teach teachers and students how to use computers about the time that tremendous innovation, the “Apple” came along.

Senior Connection

All of her lifetime talents and skills came to fruition with her work for the Sartell Senior Connec-

tion. It’s little wonder that fellow board members wanted her to be chair for four consecutive years. And, once again, her genius for committee work paid off, with new ideas brewing all the time for new Senior Connection activities or improvements of old ones. “We have such a dynamic group of people,” she said. “It’s one of the most vibrant groups I’ve ever worked with. They’re coming up with new ideas all the time. We like to analyze why things work, why they don’t work. We’re always tweaking things.” Sorrel is proud to be a member of the Senior Connection because she firmly believes it’s an asset to the Sartell area in more ways than one. Seniors, she said, tend to become withdrawn the longer they age – an outcome that can be unhealthy and even dangerous. By keeping seniors connected and active socially and intellectually, they become more motivated and happier. That can result in fewer medical problems, fewer bills, a healthier society all around. And, not to forget, a big reason for the Senior Connection is all the play, the fun and the laughter that keeps Sorrel and so many others feeling as if they’ve happily reached their prime.


Dale and Jan Sorrel have three children – Jeff, 53, a retired Air Force man now working as a computer expert at a Minneapolis bank; Greg, 49, who works for an officesupply company in Alexandria and who lives in Sauk Centre; and Jill Maselter, a mother who homeschools her children and who lives just three blocks from her parents in Sartell. The Sorrels have 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.


contributed photo

Jan Sorrel (standing) helps teachers learn computer skills circa 1978 at Tech High School in St. Cloud. Sorrel was recently named Retired Volunteer of the Year by the Sartell Area Chamber of Commerce. This certificate is good for




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St. Joseph Newsleader •


Friday, April 18, 2014

Opinion Our View

Letters to editor

Hanging-basket project epitomizes small-town feel Three cheers for wage increases Carole Theisen, St. Joseph

Thank goodness for Gov. Mark Dayton and the Democrats who control both houses in the Minnesota Legislature. On April 14, Dayton signed into law a somewhat watered-down version of a bill previously approved by the House. Last week, the Senate, on a 39-28 vote, approved its version. Thanks to Dayton and those lawmakers, there will be increases in the state’s minimum wage, something the Republicans in the U.S. Congress refuse to do, even though national polls show up to 80 percent of all people, including many Republican voters, approve a hefty increase in the national minimum wage. In our state, it should be noted no Republicans voted for the increase. Isn’t it ironic those are the same politicians who claim they represent “working folks?” Opponents of the raise trotted out the same tired arguments: too much too soon, a job-killer, companies will flee the state. Minnesota is the latest of several states that have upped the minimum wage, largely because of the stubborn and baseless inaction in the nation’s Capitol. In Minnesota, larger employers will have to pay $8 an hour in August and $9.50 in 2016. Smaller employers will pay less than that – $7.75 by 2016. Included in the bill is an inflation provision that would boost the minimum wage by 2.6 percent per year starting in 2018. All reasonable people have long agreed minimum wage is simply not enough to live on. The following sentence has become practically a mantra: “Any person who works 40 hours per week should not have to live in poverty.” And that, of course, is true. It doesn’t matter if minimum-wage employees are heads of households, single mothers or teenagers. All people, no matter who they are, deserve a fair and livable wage. That should go without saying. One could argue $9.50 is not enough – not nearly enough. If one factors in inflation, the minimum wage has shrunk in buying power in the last 30 years – so much so that if today’s minimum wage would match that of the late 1970s, it would have to be closer to $15 an hour rather than $9.50 an hour. Nevertheless, thanks to progressive legislators and forward-looking lawmakers, Minnesota has taken an important step in trying to alleviate these inexcusable inequities. It has become painfully obvious a “free economy” and “market forces” are not going to redress these and other grievances caused by a massively lopsided economic gap in which the top 1 percent take in and control most of the money generated in this country. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. There is a push by the Obama Administration and others to raise that to $10.10 an hour. Until this past week’s legislative action, Minnesota had one of the lowest minimum-wage rates in the nation: $6.15. The forces of progressivism have won the day in Minnesota. There is so much more progress to be made on the state level and the national level. But raising the minimum wage here and in other states is definitely a step in the right direction, with the ultimate goal of bringing living wages and dignity to all jobs for all working people.

Fairness and ethics

Newsleader staff members have the responsibility to report news fairly and accurately and are accountable to the public. Readers who feel we’ve fallen short of these standards are urged to call the Newsleader office at 363-7741. If matters cannot be resolved locally, readers are encouraged to take complaints to the Minnesota News Council, an independent agency designed to improve relationships between the public and the media and resolve conflicts. The council office may be reached at 612-341-9357.

I love the town of St. Joseph! We moved here when my Dad got a job at St. Ben’s and I was in eighth grade. I could not believe how special I felt and how everyone was so kind to me and my family. I love small towns! I love that we know just about everyone. I love walking over at St. Ben’s where I worked and went to school. This town just has so much character. I love what the town did with the benches and flower beds and the cool street lights. The Wobegon trail just really adds to this feeling. Because there is so much pride in the town of St. Joseph, it is the reason I was so excited to start the St. Joseph Hanging Basket Project. My Husband Jim and I had often gone to Red Wing, Minn. and so loved the hanging baskets on all the streets. Every year we would go down there to get the directions to put the baskets together for our yard. The people in Red Wing were fantastic to work with. Every year they give all the customers either the choice of buying a basket or gave us the directions on how they did theirs for that year. I had asked them if any of the other towns around there did this. I had seen many towns do flowers but none were as pretty as Red Wing. They did say many towns had tried it but were not successful for some reason or another. This is when I got the idea to try to do it in St. Joseph. Red Wing’s City, and Sargent’s Nursery Inc. were

so supportive and gave us a lot of info to start our first year. We had a few issues so when we decided to add more the second year we actually made an appointment with the Nursery and the City of Red Wing. They reminded me of St. Joseph people. They worked with us more than four hours, went through all the different steps they take and let us take pictures of there equipment to duplicate here in St. Joseph. Wow, they did not have to do that. Our second year went better then the first and now we think we have it figured out for our third year to be even better. My dream and our goal is for them to bloom from May until the end of September and to have each light post downtown be covered. We could not have done this without so many people! Each year we do a “Thank You” in this paper for those who donated but that is just the tip of the iceberg. The City of St. Joseph especially the maintenance department has worked so hard to come up with watering devices and a way to get these watered almost every day. This project would not have taken place without the St. Joseph Action Group or the Chamber, EDA, the Y2K Lions and many more. What great support we have in this town! I cannot tell you how many people from the St. Cloud area came to one of our great businesses in St. Joseph and wanted to know where these flowers came from and how we planted them. We have been approached by the Lake

George area who is also looking at this project. I always ask the callers why they were in St. Joseph. Most of the time it was to visit our local businesses or to attend the Fourth of July parade. The best day was when a couple of callers said they came to see the flowers, then decided to stop at the St. Joseph Meat Market as long as they were here and then stopped for lunch at Bello’s! I would love for this to be the reason people come to St. Joseph who have never been here before. We have such great small businesses in St. Joseph. We have so much to offer! Lastly, I want to especially thank Margy Hughes. I cannot tell you how much she did to get this project going! In May, we will go out and collect for this year’s 80 Baskets to complete the downtown project. The baskets are $150 per basket; a half-basket $75 and other (any amount). Many of these baskets are in memory of a loved one and will be published in the paper in September. Flyers will be out in April. If interested, call Carol Theisen at 320-363-8496, 320-249-7676 or email me at You can also call Joyce Faber at 320-363-7682. Baskets will be put up right before Memorial Day. I think we will especially enjoy these flowers this year after this crazy winter!

Council is misleading, using voodoo economics Mike McDonald, St. Joseph

Misguided priorities

St. Joseph does not need another community room. The community room at the fire hall has an 80-percent vacancy rate. The community room at the Wobegon building is vacant at least 95 percent of available time. A church in St. Joseph recently completed another community room. St. Joseph citizens do not want another community room. The salestax vote was for a Community Center. Two open forums were held to discuss the proposed building. Citizens at the “listening session” in March 2013 and the recent session at the fire hall overwhelmingly voiced opinions that a mere community room was not wanted. Are city leaders surprised citizens object to spending a million sales-tax dollars on something that has no recreational/social/educational/exercise programming to it? If leaders are referring to a survey done in 2008 for their theory citizens want a community room, they are missing the context of the survey. That survey was related to investigating the use of sales-tax funds to purchase the former Kennedy School for use as a Community Center. In that context, local fraternal and charitable organizations thought they might be able to claim one of the numerous small classrooms for their own. If council members study that survey, they would see the vast majority of the 500-plus responders thought a community center should not be part of an administration/police building. I know of no other surveys that ask for a community room, yet coun-

cil members use that as a pretext to spend millions on a government center. The city claims the current building is in “shoddy” condition. The architect hired by the city for the project stated the present building was “sound.” Why do council members view it differently? Yes, the current building needs the same maintenance and repair as any building its age. Perhaps if leaders used the $200,000 maintenance/repair funds bonded for in 2011 for its intended purpose, the building would be in better shape. A new government center was never in the city’s five-year capital-improvement plan until late in 2013, and the line item never went through the normal budget process to be included.

Voodoo economics

Council members are not telling the whole story with the example showing the first six-year period will cost an owner of a $150,000 home only $76 ($12 per year). They are not telling citizens that property taxes related to the present building should be going down after 2015 because the current bond will be fully paid. Instead, council members plan to continue to collect taxes for the new building. They are using the first sixyear period as an example because property taxes won’t be levied the first three years. According to bond documents, the 2014 payment would be made with unspent money from the 2011 roof/HVAC repairs bond. The 2015 and 2016 payments would be paid from sales-tax funds. Our property tax levy would not go up until 2017 (first three-year funds are

already out of our pockets). Presenting financial information in this manner is knowingly deceptive and brings up questions of trust between citizens and city leaders. Each council person should be able to calculate the true cost of the proposed bond and the impact. The cost (including interest) of the proposed bond is $6,234,000. The city plans to use tax levies for $5,560,000. Compiling the real cost of this bond is simple. Per the bond presentation (dated 2-19-14), the average amount the city must levy over the 20-year period is $278,000 per year. For each increase of $32,200 of expenditures, our city levy increases 1 percent. If you divide $278,000 by $32,200 you see that, on average, our levy will increase 8.63 percent annually related to this bond. Apply that to your home’s mill rate (each increment of $100,000 value of your home) and the real impact on a $150,000 home is far different than the $12 the city is trying to portray (multiply the 8.63-percent increase by 15 to arrive at a true average increase of $129.50). If council members believe citizens want to spend money on a new government center, they should have no problem putting the question on the November ballot. The council has spent funds to obtain information related to an approximately $500,000 project to move power poles one-half a block in order for that question to be placed on the November ballot. If they believe that question belongs on the ballot, they should not force citizens to obtain signatures to put the far more expensive project there as well.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Community Calendar

Friday, April 18 Fish Fry, 5-8 p.m., St. Joseph Lions fundraiser, El Paso Sports Bar and Grill, 200 2nd Ave. NW, St. Joseph. St. Cloud Singles Club Dance, 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., all singles welcome, American Legion, 17 2nd Ave. N., Waite Park. 320-217-8779 or www. Monday, April 21 Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767. St. Joseph Rod and Gun Club meeting, 7 p.m., American Legion in St. Joseph. Tuesday, April 22 Blood drive, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767. “Drafting Your Financial Blueprint,” part of a financial fitness workshop series, 6-7 p.m., Room 208, Great River Regional Libraray, 12th Avenue and St. Germain St. W., St. Cloud. Thursday, April 24 Coffee and Conversation, a senior discussion group, 9 a.m., Country Manor, Sartell. Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767.


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St. Joseph Newsleader • LEGAL NOTICES

Friday, April 25 Blood drive, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767. Brat Sale, sponsored by St. Joseph Y2K Lions, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., St. Joseph Meat Market, St. Joseph. All tips and portion of profit donated to the American Diabetes Association Needlepoint. Old glasses, hearing aids and cell phones will be collected. Saturday, April 26 Rose Education Day, 8:1511:45 a.m., Whitney Senior Center, 1527 Northway Drive, St. Cloud. Registration required. 320-255-6169. Brat Sale, sponsored by St. Joseph Y2K Lions, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at the St. Joseph Meat Market, St. Joseph. All tips and portion of profit donated to the American Diabetes Association Needlepoint. Old glasses, hearing aids and cell phones will be collected. Vendor Expo, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. American Cancer Society Relay for Life fundraiser, American Legion, 101 Minnesota St. W., St. Joseph. 320-293-6636. Sunday, April 27 “God’s Home Among Us,” 2-4 p.m., exhibit opening celebrates the 100-year story of the Sacred Heart Chapel, Haehn Museum, St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph. 320-363-7098.


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Notice is hereby given that the council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1, 2014, at the St. Joseph City Hall, 25 College Ave. N. to consider, and possibly adopt, the proposed assessment for the 2014 Park Terrace improvement which affects the following areas: along the north side of Minnesota Street (CSAH 2) between a point 400 feet west of 4th Avenue NW and 3rd Avenue NW, along 4th Avenue NW between Minnesota Street W (CSAH 2) and Birch Street W, along 5th Avenue NW between 4th Avenue NW, and a point 200 feet north of Birch Street W, along Ash Street W between 5th Avenue NW and 2nd Avenue NW, and along Old Highway 52 between Birch Street W and a point 200 feet NW of Birch Street W. Adoption by the council of the proposed assessment may occur at the hearing. The area listed above is proposed to be assessed. The proposed assessment is proposed to be payable in equal annual installments extending over a period of 15 years, the first of the installments to be payable on or before the first Monday in January 2015, and will bear interest at the rate of 5.5 percent per annum from the date of the adoption of the assessment resolution. To the first installment shall be added interest on the entire assessment from the date of the assessment resolution until Dec. 31, 2014. To each subsequent installment when due shall be added interest for one year on all


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unpaid installments. You may at any time prior to certification of the assessment to the county auditor, pay the entire assessment on such property, with interest accrued to the date of payment, to the City of St. Joseph. No interest shall be charged if the entire assessment is paid within 30 days from the adoption of this assessment. You may at any time thereafter, pay to the City of St. Joseph the entire amount of the assessment remaining unpaid, with interest accrued to Dec. 31 of the year in which such payment is made. Such payment must be made before Nov. 15 or interest will be charged through Dec. 31 of the succeeding year. If you decide not to prepay the assessment before the date given above the rate of interest that will apply is 5.5 percent per year. You have the right to partially prepay the assessment with any balance being certified to the County Auditor for collection under the terms described above. The proposed assessment roll is on file for public inspection at the city clerk’s office. The total amount of the proposed assessment is $461,974.34. Written or oral objections will be considered at the meeting. No appeal to district court may be taken as to the amount of an assessment unless a written objection signed by the affected property owner is filed with the municipal clerk prior to the assessment hearing or presented to the presiding officer at the hearing. The council may upon such notice consider any objection to the amount of a pro-

posed individual assessment at an adjourned meeting upon such further notice to the affected property owners as it deems advisable. Under Minn. Stat. §§ 435.193 to 435.195 and city Ordinance No. 38, the council may, in its discretion, defer the payment of this special assessment for any homestead property owned by a person 65 years of age or older or retired by virtue of a permanent and total disability for whom it would be a hardship to make the payments. When deferment of the special assessment has been granted and is terminated for any reason provided in that law and Ordinance (Resolution), all amounts accumulated plus applicable interest become due. Any assessed property owner meeting the requirements of this law and Ordinance No. 38, may, within 30 days of the confirmation of the assessment, apply to the city clerk for the prescribed form for such deferral of payment of this special assessment on his/her property. An owner may appeal an assessment to district court pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 429.081 by serving notice of the appeal upon the mayor or clerk of the city within 30 days after the adoption of the assessment and filing such notice with the district court within 10 days after service upon the mayor or clerk. Judy Weyrens Administrator Publish: April 11 and 18, 2014

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON ESTABLISHMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT NO. 3 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN TOWNSITE OF ST. JOSEPH; the Board of Commissioners (the Lots 4 and 5 S 2/3 of Lot 6; and “Board”) of the Economic Devel- Lot 006 Block 009 of TOWNSITE opment Authority (the “EDA”) OF ST. JOSEPH; N 1/3 of Lot 006 of the City of St. Joseph, and the Block 009. City Council (the “Council”) of the City of St. Joseph (the “City”), All interested persons may appear Stearns County, Minn., will hold at the hearing and present their a joint public hearing at 6 p.m. view orally or in writing. Thursday, May 1, 2014 at the St. Joseph City Hall, 25 College Ave. Dated: April 3, 2014 N., in the City, relating to the proposed establishment of Economic BY ORDER OF THE BOARD Development District No. 1, pur- OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE suant to Minnesota Statutes, Sec- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT tion 469.090 through 469.1082, AUTHORITY AND ST. JOSPEH CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY inclusive, as amended. OF ST. JOSEPH, MINN. The property proposed to be included in Economic Develop- Judy Weyrens, Administrator ment District No. 1 is described as follows: Lot 004 Block 009 of Publish: April 18, 2014

Brinkman to discuss local history by Cori Hilsgen

Marilyn Salzl Brinkman, a local author and historian, will share stories and other information about people and events of local history from 9-10:30 a.m. Friday, April 25 at the Church of St. Joseph Heritage Hall.


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Brinkman grew up in a large family on a farm in central Minnesota. Her recent book Aprons, Flower Sacks and Other Folk Histories is a collection of articles about the history of central Minnesota. There is no charge for the event.


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St. Joseph Newsleader •


Friday, April 18, 2014

earth day 2014

contributed photo

Cole Stroot (center) helps a student place paper in the organics recycling while Mason Motschke (right) reminds students not to dump their food into the waste bin for a new organic recycling program at Kennedy.


pound,” Wilson said. “Our goal is to reduce the number of times the waste is hauled.” He said they will continue to try to improve the program. “We will continue to revise and get better,” Wilson said. “We will continue to help young people understand what we are doing and why we are doing it to help them become better global citizens. We need people who are able to take care of our world because it’s the only one we have.” Wilson also wants to encourage all local businesses that are currently throwing away a large amount of food waste and paper to look into organic recycling. “The more people on board, the better it will be for everyone involved,” Wilson said.

from front page (it) could make a huge difference,” Wilson said. After the first week, students were recycling five yards of organic material that would have gone into a landfill each week. Students are filling about three to four 64-gallon containers daily. That is equal to about one yard of waste each day. Kennedy has two 8-yard dumpsters that get picked up twice each week. Wilson said the St. Cloud School district pays 27-percent tax on trash and no taxes on recycled materials. “We pay per load, not per

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Earth Day is a time to celebrate gains we have made and create new visions to accelerate environmental progress. It is a time to unite around new actions. Earth Day and every day is a time to act to protect our planet.

St. Joseph V25 I16  
St. Joseph V25 I16