Tricounty News

Household Hazardous Waste truck collecting in Kimball

Stearns County’s Household Hazardous Waste truck will be in Kimball doing mobile collections May 3. The truck travels to cities around Stearns County over the summer months collecting hazardous products homeowners no longer want or need.

The truck will be in Kimball at A.M. Maus & sons from 8-11 a.m. Saturday, May 3.

This is a chance for residents to get rid of all those unsafe or nuisance products lying around the house – such as paints, ag pesticides, cleaners, poisons, ink/toner cartridges, roofing tar, fuels, automotive chemicals, sealers, garden chemicals, pool chemicals, fluorescent bulbs, adhesives, aerosols, solvents, mothballs and mercury.

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Rain could lead to unexpected flooding

April showers are bringing more than May flowers. Much of Central Minnesota, including Stearns County, has seen rainfall and high winds which started Sunday morning and are anticipated to last through Wednesday.

Water levels are rising. This rainfall may begin to cause isolated local flooding issues in low-lying areas, on certain roadways, as well as in lakes and rivers throughout the County. The National Weather Service indicates that we may see both the Sauk River and the Mississippi River rise to the “action stage” which is the water level immediately preceding flood stage.

Stearns County’s Emergency Management Department also received a few reports of trees that have fallen because of high winds and saturated ground. Residents are reminded to be aware of their surroundings and remember it is never safe to walk or drive through flood waters.  Additional information about flooding can be found on the Stearns County website at www.co.stearns.mn.us.

Meeker SWCD promotes Soil and Water Stewardship Week

As a part of Meeker County for nearly 65 years, the Meeker Soil and Water Conservation District wants to remind you that each of us has a connection to natural resources. The District was formed in 1949 to assist land owners and occupiers in applying proper practices for the conservation of the soil and water resources.

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) is celebrating the 59th year of Stewardship week April 27 –
May 4, 2014. The 2014 Stewardship Week is themed, “DIG DEEPER: Mysteries in the Soil.” 

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Interesting results from my legislative survey

Thank you to all the area people who participated in the online survey I recently conducted in order to gain input on a number of important legislative issues.

The responses indicate local citizens want our government to ease off in areas like taxing, spending and regulations.

The most lopsided response is 96 percent indicating we should not spend $90 million to build a new Senate complex in St. Paul. I agree with those respondents, who will be disappointed to learn a House committee recently voted to approve this project and send it on its way.

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Watkins discusses audit, Hilltop, ballfield, dogs, new ambulance

The city’s auditor presented the results of the 2013 city audit report at the April 10 meeting. The city passed, again, with an “unmodified/unqualified opinion,” the best that can be achieved.

The city’s unrestricted fund balance is at 56 percent, with 50 percent required as a minimum. There were $93,000 more in receipts than expenses for the city during 2013, with a $23,000 positive variance in the overall budget (from donations for the playground equipment purchased in 2014). Cash reserves have increased each year.

Hilltop

Hilltop Health Care Center now has architectural plans for the 34-unit assisted living addition in Watkins. There was discussion about where a sewer line probably needs to be extended, and sidewalks for residents to be able to walk safely into town. 

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