Area News

Oct. 6, 2017

Litchfield council to study recreation center proposal

For years, Litchfield residents have talked about building a community recreation center. The efforts of local groups and a committee could make that a reality, the Litchfield Independent Review reported.

A rec center was by far the top item on a wish list of people participating in a recent “Make it Litchfield” groups that gathered to brainstorm ways to improve the town and attract new residents, including young families.

The city council participated in a workshop after its meeting Monday to discuss the concept of a recreation center.

Glencoe man earns national tractor pulling title

Ricky Rose of Glencoe was named the Grand National Modified Champion at the 51st National Tractor Pulling Championships in Bowling Green in August. This is Rose’s first grand national title, the McLeod County Chronicle reported.

Unlike other sports, tractor pulling uses an accumulated point system that takes into account every event contestants take part in. The contestant with the most accumulated points at the end of the season is given a grand national title. Rose’s winning score for the season was 322 points, with six wins, four second-place titles, one third-place title, and one fourth-place title.

Rose began tractor pulling in 1973 and he and his wife, Julie, have been promoting tractor pulls since 1985. Now, they put on the Power Pull Nationals event at the McLeod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson every summer.

Annandale parents question ninth-grade novels

A parent speaking on behalf of a group of parents voiced concern about books on a class reading list during the Sept. 28 Annandale School Board meeting, the Annandale Advocate repported.

Edward McIntree, an Anandale-area parent, specifically objected to the book “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.”

Superintendent Tim Prom told the board he thinks its policy on instruction materials being challenged needs more structure. He indicated he would have a recommendation on the agenda for the Oct. 23 meeting.

McLeod Co. administrator accepts job in Arlington

McLeod County Administrator Patrick Melvin said Tuesday morning that he has accepted a job as Arlington city administrator.

“I will be with the county another month,” he said. “I will work with commissioner (Board Chair Joe) Nagel to put together an interim plan and do what I can to leave a list of outstanding items.”

Melvin, who commutes from the metro area, said the switch to Arlington will be a fairly similar drive. He was hired by McLeod County in 2008, and said he’s at the point where he is looking for new challenges.

Litchfield water gets all clear for regular use after advisory

After a little more than a day of observing a “boil water advisory,” Litchfield residents were told Tuesday morning they could go back to drinking water straight from the tap, the Litchfield Independent Review reported.

In a news release from Assistant City Administrator Joyce Spreiter, the city told residents, “All clear. All test samples came through clean this morning. Residents are free to use the water as usual. No need to ‘flush’ or clean out pipes.”

Residents had been under the “boil water advisory” since Sunday night, when a mechanical failure caused the city’s water system to lose pressure. That meant the city could not guarantee the water was safe for consumption.

The “boil water advisory” prompted Litchfield Public Schools to cancel classes Monday, and the district also had a two-hour late start Tuesday to allow time for water test results to come back.

Glencoe City Council votes tables rescue truck financing

At Monday night’s Glencoe City Council meeting, the city recommended offering the townships the same five-year financing plan as the city of Glencoe for the new Rosenbauer fire rescue truck, the McLeod County Chronicle reported.

With this payment option, the townships will give a down payment in 2018 and pick up the additional cost of interest at 2.35 percent with each payment thereafter. All together, the townships would pay $15,695 per year. The townships would still have the option of paying the one lump sum payment, which would be due approximately March 2019.

Council Member Cory Neid moved to table the recommendation until the next city council meeting Oct. 16 because of other forthcoming city expenses. The vote passed 3-2 with council members Gary Ziemer and John Schrupp voting no.

Monticello council approves new plan for downtown

There is officially a new plan in place for downtown Monticello, the Monticello Times reported.

The city council during its Sept. 25 meeting approved an amendment to the city’s comprehensive plan by adopting the Downtown Small Area plan that has been in the works for almost a year.

“It is our intent as a staff not to let this plan sit on the shelf,” Angela Schumann, community development director, said.

Annandale council considers land for business park

Annandale City Council, during a special meeting Sept. 27, voted to pursue the purchase of nearly 94 acres of property in Corinna Township, the Annandale Advocate reported.

The council authorized Gary Dagner of Oak Realty to participate in the bidding process for the land. When the auction closed Sept. 29, none of the bidders had met the minimum bid.

The property is located immediately south of Highway 55, across the highway from the city’s business park.

The property is currently zoned agricultural, but is identified for industrial use in the city’s 2005 comprehensive plan.

McLeod County Historical Society receives grant

McLeod County Historical Society in Hutchinson has been awarded a $10,000 Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Small Grants from the Minnesota Historical Society, according to a press release.

The grant will be used for WWI anniversary display script research, writing and review: to hire a qualified consultant to research the history of and write an exhibit script about McLeod County during World War I, in preparation for a future exhibit.

The McLeod County Historical Society was one of 36 recipients of grants totaling $280,924 in 20 counties approved Sept. 12.