Tricounty News

Opportunity for input on Stearns County’s plan for the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)

Stearns County Human Services is looking to get input from the public on its Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) Biennial Service Agreement/Plan. Throughout the month of September and into early October, Stearns County Human Services will be accepting public comment on the MFIP Plan.

Minnesota Statute requires counties to have an approved MFIP Plan to receive consolidated funds. The primary purpose of the plan is to provide the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) with information about services and strategies to meet state established outcomes with the goal of increasing the economic stability of low income families served with consolidated funds. The plan identifies an assessment of ongoing needs of families and children within program areas, resources available to address these needs, budgeting of allocated resources, and community participation and review in the planning and development.

Copies of the draft MFIP Plan can be found on the Stearns County website at www.co.stearns.mn.us, or contact Peggy Sammons at (320) 656-6017, or (800) 450-3663 ext. 6017, or by e-mail at peggy. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Comments on the above plan will be accepted until Oct. 10, 2013. Written comments should be submitted to Peggy Sammons, Planning Coordinator, Stearns County Human Services, P.O. Box 1107, 
St. Cloud, MN  56302.

Eden Valley receives financing OK for water projects

State Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, announces Eden Valley will receive a financing package of $1.3 million for replacement of both a Highway 22 water main and sewer.

There are three components to the package, issued by the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority: $697,316 in a principal forgiveness grant, a $470,625 loan at 1.463 percent interest, and a $174,329 loan at 1 percent interest.

Both loans carry 20-year terms and the PFA estimates the favorable financing will save local taxpayers around $150,000 when compared with current market rates.

“These are important projects for Eden Valley and it is good to see the terms of this package will save local taxpayers,” Urdahl said. “Congratulations to city officials for submitting a successful application and for showing a commitment to improving the drinking water and wastewater systems in town.”

Physically Disabled Veterans Deer Hunt Oct. 1-2

The 23rd annual Physically Disabled Veterans Deer Hunt is planned for Oct. 1-2, at Camp Ripley near Little Falls.

This year, 60 veterans with disabilities, ages 22-90, from around the state will participate, 16 of these veterans will be hunting from wheelchairs.

Participating veterans have served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Event sponsors include the St. Cloud VA Health Care System, Minnesota Army National Guard – Camp Ripley, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Event supporters include the following Minnesota veterans organizations:

• American Legion & Auxiliary

• Disabled American Veterans & Auxiliary

• Veterans of Foreign Wars & Auxiliary

• Veterans 4 Veterans Foundation

• Paralyzed Veterans of America

Additional support is from Rice Sportsman’s Club, Minnesota Patriot Guard-Riders, Minnesota BPOE (ELKS), and Mid-West Outdoor Unlimited.

Youth 15 and younger no longer need free small game license

With many small game seasons open and pheasant season soon to open, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding hunters that youth age 15 or younger no longer need a free license to hunt small game.

In recent years, youth age 15 and under were able to hunt for free but were required to have a complimentary license in their possession.

“This hunting season it’s very simple for kids 15 and younger,” said Jay Johnson, DNR hunting recruitment and retention supervisor. “They can hunt grouse, squirrels, ducks, pheasant and rabbits without any license or stamps.”

Johnson said youth hunters still need to comply with firearms safety certification and other requirements. Free and reduced price licenses are one of the tools the DNR is using to encourage youth to experience and continue hunting, he said.

Youth 13 and younger must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Grouse season opened Saturday, Sept. 14. Waterfowl season opened Saturday, Sept. 21. Pheasant season opens Saturday,
Oct. 12.

Stearns County sets preliminary budget and levy

The Stearns County Board of Commissioners approved its preliminary budget and levy for 2014. For the third year in a row, 

Stearns County proposed to reduce its levy. With a total budget of $133 million, the tax levy for 2014 stands at $68-million, down about .01 percent from last year.

Several items are driving the 2014 budget.  Additional dollars are allocated to:

•   Road construction projects

• Personnel, including an unexpected $1 million insurance increase in response to the federal Affordable Care Act and $299,000 for new hires

• Human Services for services and contracts in response to higher demand for mental health, out-of-home placement, and juvenile detention services

• Expenses associated with running the 2014 election: training, equipment, balloting, etc.

• Various technology projects that will be implemented county-wide.

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