Tricounty News

Kimball council holds public hearing on assessments, announces vacancy

At its Sept. 17 meeting, the Kimball city council approved the offer from Northern Natural Gas to install an odorizer facility on a corner of the city’s irrigation land to the east of Kimball (at the SE corner of Co. Rd. 44 and 83rd St). 

The council agreed to sell its 1991 GMC Top-Kick truck and the 1996 Ford plow truck, and to purchase a 2008 GMC Top-Kick truck for $39,000 (plus taxes and title transfer fees), and a sander for the new truck.

The council may seek high school students to volunteer to scan documents and other activities at City Hall.

The city will look into the possibility of emailing utility bills; the cost would be $995 to set it up in the city’s current accounting software program, plus the cost of another vendor to actually send the bills. 


City of South Haven considers new fire truck

The South Haven city council met Tuesday, Oct. 1. 

Fire Chief Laney presented his monthly report: five rescue and three fire calls in September. The department is in the process of obtaining bids from three different companies for a new pumper truck. The council will consider buying a new pumper truck if the  cost is under $300,000. Once approved, it would take at least eight months to custom-build their truck. No action will be taken until the bids come in.


Property taxes due Oct. 15

Stearns County residents are reminded that the deadline to pay second half property taxes is fast approaching.

The second half of the 2013 real estate tax is due and payable on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. This is the last day to pay the second half without penalty. The Agricultural Property tax deadline line is Nov. 15, 2013.

To make paying taxes more convenient, Stearns County has several payment options.

Taxes can be paid online on Stearns County’s website at A link can be found on the home page. Online payments can be completed with E-Check or credit card.


Stearns County prepares for layoffs

Stearns County is preparing to send layoff notices to employees as a result of the federal government shutdown. The Board of Commissioners Tuesday, Oct. 8, approved sending out the layoff notices.

Programs in the Human Services Department, such as Women, Infants and Children (WIC), will be affected if the shutdown continues for a period of time. Management will meet Wednesday morning to review all federal funding sources and decide what programs are vulnerable to lose funding. Layoff notices will then go out to those county employees who work in those program areas. How many employees will be affected is not yet known.

Letters will go out this week. Per the county’s union contract, all letters give a 30-day layoff notice. No layoffs will result if the government shutdown ends before 30 days.

Zebra mussels found in Watab Lake

Connected to Rossier Lake, in Stearns County

Three connected lakes in Stearns County have been designated as infested waters after the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed the presence of invasive zebra mussels in Watab Lake, connected to Rossier Lake, north of St. Joseph. Watab Lake should not be confused with Big Watab Lake south of Avon.

The confirmation came after a Watab Lake resident reported finding what appeared to be zebra mussels on the ladder of a swimming raft early last week. When DNR staff investigated, they found zebra mussels attached to several other pieces of recreational equipment as well.