The Regional Report: Stock market decline brings positive side effect in Crosby-Ironton

What's happening in Brainerd lakes area communities throughout the region.

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Recent drops in the stock market resulted in dramatic savings for the Crosby-Ironton School District, the Crosby-Ironton Courier reported Wednesday, Feb. 26.

The school board approved $23.2 million in general obligation school building bonds Monday, securing a 2.1% interest rate as opposed to the expected 3.7%. This will save the district $8.29 million over the course of the bond repayment. A representative with municipal advisory firm Ehlers attributed this interest rate drop to changes in the stock market.


Should the Newshopper be the official newspaper of the city of Ironton?

Owner Eric Heglund thinks so — but his status as an Ironton City Council member has the city attorney and other council members convinced it’s a conflict of interest, the Crosby-Ironton Courier reported Wednesday, Feb. 26. The issue has come up repeatedly at council meetings, and Heglund continues to push for his paper to be selected. The Newshopper shared the distinction along with the Courier in 2019, when Heglund was also a council member.

At the Feb. 19 meeting, council member Rose Stromberg said she would’ve liked to see the Newshopper report on meeting minutes the previous year when it was an official newspaper of the city. Heglund said he was unable to do so because he knew more than an average reporter would about the meetings, which he described as a conflict of interest.



A request to regulate wake boats on lakes won’t be honored by the Lake Shore City Council due to the inability to enforce such a measure, the Echo Journal reported Thursday, Feb. 27.

The council discussed the request made by the Gull Chain of Lakes Association at its Monday meeting, but without a marine enforcement unit, the city would be unable to monitor wake boat use on its own. Neither the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources nor Cass County would enforce a city ordinance, Mayor Kevin Egan said. Egan said he thought any regulation of that nature would need to come from the Minnesota Legislature, but he questioned whether it would be good policy to enforce a regulation on some lakes but not others.


The Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum is in need of repair, and museum leaders are hoping a bill introduced in the Minnesota Legislature will garner the funds needed, the Morrison County Record reported Sunday, Feb. 23.

The 45-year-old building houses the Morrison County Historical Society and its historical collections, and a bill sponsored by Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls, and Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, would appropriate $1.56 million toward its restoration. Built in 1975, it features slate floors in honor of the Little Falls dam, bricks from St. Aldabert’s Church and wood construction as an homage to the museum’s namesake, Charles A. Weyerhaeuser. Weyerhaeuser managed Pine Tree Lumber Co. from 1890 through 1920.


An agreement to share costs between Crow Wing County and the city of Nisswa for road reconstruction with shared jurisdiction was rejected by the Nisswa City Council, the Echo Journal reported Thursday, Feb. 27.

The agreement in question pertained to the planned reconstruction of the intersection where Highway 371 and county highways 13 and 77 meet. The proposal would’ve seen Nisswa contributing $180,875.39. Mayor Fred Heidmann said he thought the county needed to review its own budget and how it’s approaching other jurisdictions on the matter.

Crow Wing County recently revised its policy for sharing costs on road construction. According to a presentation made by County Engineer Tim Bray in December 2019, the new policy meant the city of Nisswa would save money — about $85,000 — compared to the previous version of the ordinance.


An additional sales tax may be on its way for the city of Staples, the Staples World reported Feb. 19.


The Staples City Council approved a measure giving city officials permission to pursue legislation that would allow a ballot question on the matter during the general election in November. To enact a sales tax, a local jurisdiction must have a specific use for the revenue generated by it. City Administrator Jerel Nelsen said if approved, the half-cent tax may possibly benefit the Staples Community Center, although specifics have not yet been nailed down.

A decrease in participation in girls swimming has Staples-Motley school officials considering a potential cooperative partnership with a neighboring district, the Staples World reported Feb. 19.

This year’s season saw 15 participants, while the previous year included nearly double that amount at 29 swimmers. The district spends about $1,000 per student to support the program, and that doesn’t include the costs of renting pool space at the Staples Community Center. In total, the program last year cost about $30,000. Activities Director Blake Boran to the Staples-Motley School Board he’s been in touch with officials at Little Falls and Perham for possible partnership.


A number of problems with Swanville’s water tower is leading city officials to discuss plans to replace the aging structure, the Morrison County Record reported Feb. 9.

The Minnesota Department of Health recently completed an inspection of the tower and found the potential for contamination via a direct entry point into the system by birds and other organisms. The tower has holes in its roof, a gap in the roof panel and the overflow doesn’t meet state standards. The MDH gave the city 30 days to develop an action plan for its water system. The tower was built in 1931 and holds 60,000 gallons.


— Compiled by Chelsey Perkins, community editor. Perkins may be reached at 218-855-5874 or . Follow her on Twitter @DispatchChelsey or on Facebook at .

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