Many changes and continuous growth has made its way into Maple Lake and its area churches. Last year, Richard Mark began serving as the interim pastor at Bethlehem United Church of Christ and this August, Jeff Palmer assumed the pastoral duties.
“Maple Lake is a wonderful community,” said Palmer. “At first, you might think small town, Minnesota, but everyone has such a rich history and experiences. It is amazing.”
Palmer is also excited about the community members that make up the congregation and the growth that has come to Bethlehem United.“I really see them as a congregation that wants to grow and wants to make a difference in the community,” said Palmer. “We have visitors every week and that’s energizing for the whole congregation to witness that kind of growth and enthusiasm.”
The cities of Maple Lake and Annandale will be joining the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in appealing a recent court decision which denied a discharge permit issued by the MPCA for the Annandale/Maple Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant.
On Friday, the MPCA announced that it would ask the Minnesota Supreme Court to overturn a decision handed down on August 9 by the Minnesota Court of Appeals. The MPCA said it is pursuing the appeal because of the effect the ruling would have on other cities planning wastewater treatment projects. Six wastewater projects most immediately impacted by the decision, in addition to Annandale and Maple Lake, are located in five communities: Millerville, Sturgeon Lake, Watab Township, Hutchinson and Rochester.
Republican Pat Sawatzke of Monticello has announced his intention to seek the District 19 senate seat currently held by Mark Ourada, who recently announced his intention to resign and accept a new career opportunity in Virginia.
“After receiving overwhelming encouragement from local elected officials, friends and family members,” Sawatzke said, “I am formalizing my intention to seek the position of District 19 senator.”
Sawatzke, currently a member of the Wright County Board of Commissioners, has served in that capacity since 1991. If elected to the senate seat, Sawatzke would step down from the county board.
The second in the Maple Lake Memories series of prints was on display during Maple Lake’s Days of Old festival on Saturday.
Irish Stadium and the Maple Lake Lakers are the subject of a painting commissioned by the Maple Lake Chamber of Commerce through Speltz Studio of Armstrong, Iowa. The first painting, completed in 2003, featured the Maple Lake Fire Department’s 1937 fire truck and the Lakeside Pavilion, which now houses Maple Lake Antiques.
A limited number of prints can be obtained by calling Cheryl Pullins at Security State Bank, 320-963-3161.
Winning an award is always an honor for a local government unit. But to win one that you didn’t even know you were nominated for is even better.
That was the scenario facing the Wright County Board, as Dave Lindberg of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced at the Aug. 16 county board meeting that Wright County had been awarded the National Land Protection Award by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Last year, the USFWS had an opportunity to purchase 290 acres of wetland near Pelican Lake, but, because of red tape, wouldn’t be able to immediately come up with the cash to purchase the land. That’s where Wright County stepped in. Taking money from its reserves and knowing that it would be repaid, the county paid the seller the up-front portion of the payment.
Maple Lake’s second Days of Old festival ended in a blaze of glory on Saturday night as fireworks lit up the sky over Irish Stadium.
The 23-minute display provided by the Maple Lake Chamber of Commerce, the City of Maple Lake, the Maple Lake Lions and local businesses was, by all accounts from long-time residents, the first ever to take place in Maple Lake. Chamber of Commerce President Gary Swearingen said the response from the fireworks display has been overwhelmingly positive and will likely make the Irish Stadium show the grand finale for future Days of Old festivals.
“The fireworks were excellent,” Swearingen said. “And I thought the entire day went exceptionally well, with a good crowd and a lot of new faces in town.
“I’d like to thank all of the people who volunteered to help and all those who provided donations that made the festival events possible.
There will be open houses hosted by Maple Lake Public Schools and St. Timothy School on Tuesday, August 30. The open house at St. Timothy’s is planned from 4 to 7 p.m., Maple Lake Elementary from 5 to 6:30 p.m., and Maple Lake High School from 5 to 7 p.m.
At the open houses, parents and students will have the opportunity to meet teachers and tour the schools. There will also be staff on hand to accept lunch payments or answer questions about the new school year.
When CenterPoint Energy’s gasline replacement project came to the Maple Lake area on June 13, 96 lines were expected to be replaced in an effort that was to have ended on June 30. But additional investigation and research greatly expanded the project and as of mid-August, 248 gaslines were replaced in Maple Lake and Maple Lake Township.
CenterPoint spokesman Rolf Lund said the bulk of its work in the Maple Lake area has been completed.
“At this point, there are no more lines scheduled to be replaced,” he said. “We do still have a small number of lines that need to be examined and once that’s complete, the project will officially conclude in this community.”
The next step on the path toward determining the fate of the proposed Annandale/Maple Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant is no longer solely in the hands of the two cities.
At its meeting on August 16, the Maple Lake City Council heard that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is now a part of the legal process that could take the issue to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
On August 9, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed a decision by the MPCA to grant a discharge permit for the joint plant planned for Albion Township on the grounds that plant discharge into the Crow River would violate federal regulations under the Clean Water Act. The ruling has gained state-wide attention due to the ramifications the ruling may hold for other cities considering wastewater plant projects.
Fireworks, music and cool cars will be the focus of Maple Lake’s second annual Days of Old, sponsored by Ertel’s Butt Cream on Saturday, August 20.
The big addition to this year’s festival will be a fireworks display, sponsored by local businesses, the City of Maple Lake, the Maple Lake Lions and the Maple Lake Chamber of Commerce.
The display will be produced by Melrose Pyrotechnics, which coordinates fireworks for numerous Minnesota festivals, including the Taste of Minnesota and the St. Paul Winter Carnival.
The staging area for Maple Lake’s display will be Irish Stadium. However, for safety reasons, viewing will not be allowed at the stadium. The best viewing area will be at the city park for the 20-minute show, which is expected to begin at about 9:15 p.m.