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The Regional Report: Development leads Nisswa to planned sewer expansion

News briefs from around the lakes area

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CROSBY

A moment of silence Monday, Sept. 30, honored Robert Sandin, a Crosby-Ironton School Board member who died unexpectedly earlier this month, the Crosby-Ironton Courier reported Wednesday, Oct. 2. Sandin was previously a teacher before serving on the school board for 15 years. The school board went on to approve accepting applications through Oct. 18 to fill Sandin’s seat.

MILLE LACS COUNTY

Proposing ways to improve performance in foster child placements was a requirement for Mille Lacs County put forth by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Mille Lacs Messenger reported Wednesday, Oct. 2. The state agency placed the county on a watch list due to concerns about the rate of placement of foster children into permanent homes within 12 months of removal. County officials objected, however, filing an appeal stating it was actually the Mille Lacs tribal government that was responsible for low placement percentages. Despite the county district court having no jurisdiction over foster care placements within the tribe, DHS includes those figures in its calculations for the county’s rating.

The state agency denied the appeal, and in response, said the concern arose from the county’s declining placement numbers, not from the tribal government’s mostly below-standard but steady percentages. County officials rejected this explanation and stated a desire to seek legislation to shift performance improvement responsibilities from counties to tribal governments.

NISSWA

More development means more sewer use, and the Nisswa City Council agreed to add a fourth wastewater treatment pond to nearly double the city’s capacity, the Echo Journal reported Thursday, Oct. 3. The estimated $5.2 million project is sought to accommodate a massive expansion at Grand View Lodge, housing developments coming down the pike and rumors of others in the works. The city must acquire land as part of the project and intends to seek financing through the Public Finance Authority. The project would not affect sewer rates initially, although Public Works Director Tom Blomer said residents could expect to see an estimated 9.5% increase next year.

SWANVILLE

Residents in the Swanville School District will have the opportunity to vote on increased funds for operating and capital projects levies next month, the Morrison County Record reported Sept. 29. The school board is proposing an increase in local revenue for its operating budget from $38.31 per student to $85.34 per student. This increase would allow the district to receive the maximum amount of state aid per student at $460. A second question on the ballot will ask residents their support for an increase in the district’s capital projects levy from $50,000 to $75,000. This increase, according to Superintendent Gene Harthan, would support technological replacements and upgrades. Should both questions gain voter approval, property owners of a residential home worth $100,000 would see an increase of $33.31 per year in property taxes over the next decade. The election will take place Nov. 5 at the Swanville Fire Hall.

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-- Compiled by Chelsey Perkins, community editor. Perkins may be reached at 218-855-5874 or chelsey.perkins@brainerddispatch.com. Follow her on Twitter @DispatchChelsey or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dispatchchelsey.

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