Mies Outland tax abatement
The Watkins City Council held a special meeting before the regular meeting Thursday, Sept. 12, to discuss tax abatement for Mies Outland for their 3,000-sq. ft. addition that will house an Indian Motorcycles showroom.
The current abatements will be rescinded with the new agreement that will run five years, from 2014-2020. The cost to the city is $25,000 per year (money that otherwise would have been paid as taxes); Meeker County will parallel the abatement for about $12,000 per year.
Included in the tax abatement agreement is stipulation that Mies Outland will add the equivalent of six full-time jobs within two years of project completion (scheduled for Nov. 1). These jobs will be part of the Indian Motorcycles franchise.
The tax abatement was approved unanimously by the council believing that it is in the best interest of the city.
CITY OF WATKINS
PLANNING COMMISSION VACANCY
The City of Watkins has an opening on the Watkins Planning Commission. Applications can be picked up at City Hall Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Deadline for application is October 3, 2013.
The Women Veterans Program at the St. Cloud VA Health Care System will host the Sixth Annual Women Veterans Health and Wellness Day from 5:30-8 p.m.,Tuesday, Sept. 24, in Building 96 on the St. Cloud VA Medical Center campus in St. Cloud. The event celebrates women Veterans and their military service by emphasizing healthy lifestyles and medical care unique to women.
Presentations and exhibitions of popular techniques for calming the mind, soothing the spirit and strengthening the body are planned. This year’s activities include mindful eating techniques, organic foods discovery and tastings, and using a mindful labyrinth. Flu and pertussis vaccinations will be available, and light refreshments will be served.
All women veterans are encouraged to attend but attendance is limited to the first 50 participants who register. There is a $5 individual participation fee. A reduced participation fee of $8 is available for women who bring a woman veteran friend along. Women veterans may call (320) 255-6371 for information on how to register.
The Women Veterans Program at the St. Cloud VA Health Care System provides gender-focused medical care to more than 2,000 women veterans per year at the medical center in St. Cloud and community-based outpatient clinics in Brainerd, Montevideo and Alexandria.
All veterans are encouraged to enroll in the VA health care system. For information on enrolling for VA health care, contact the
St. Cloud VA HCS Eligibility Office at (320) 255-6340.
During the 2013 Special Session
Monday, Sept. 9, the Minnesota legislature held a special session to address disaster relief for communities across the state impacted by severe storms, high winds, and flooding between June 20 and 26, 2013. State Senator Michelle Fischbach (R-Paynesville) voted in support of state aid for disaster relief.
“We have a rich tradition of supporting Minnesota communities and I am glad we worked together to provide disaster relief,” said Senator Fischbach. “Stearns County experienced approximately $550,000 in damages due to this storm.”
More than 600,000 homes and businesses throughout Minnesota lost electricity, making this the largest power outage in state history. Some utility customers were without light, refrigeration, climate control, and many amenities for as long as a week. Widespread road closures disrupted travel for residents, farmers, truckers, postal delivery, and emergency services with whole cities being isolated until water receded and debris could be cleared.
After a week of work on State Street/Highway 22, digging has begun right at the Highway 55 intersection Tuesday, Sept. 10. City public works director Jim Rademacher (second from left) The “road closed” signs have been up for a week, and it has been possible to get around them. Not after Tuesday. The detour for Highway 22 is west of town. Sewer lines will be replaced first, then water lines, and then storm sewers, before the roadway is replaced. This portion of the project should be completed in about two months, and work will continue on the north side of Stearns Avenue in the spring. Staff photo by Marguerite Laabs.