News

Wed
21
Dec

County authorizes final 2017 budget, levy

For the better part of the past year, the Wright County Board of Commissioners and the county coordinator’s office has been preparing ahead for 2017, determining the needs of the county for the following year’s budget and levy.
Almost nine months from the day they held the first preliminary meetings, the county board unanimously approved the 2017 budget and certified levy.
“In front of you is a resolution proposed relative to adopting the 2017 budget and levy,” County Coordinator Lee Kelly said. “As you know, this is the final piece of our budget process for the year.”
The final budget figure was $113,861,809 – an increase of 3.2 percent from the 2016 budget ($110,285,712). The final levy number – the amount charged residents through property taxes – was $58,184,217, which represents a 4.97 percent increase from the 2016 levy ($55,426,154).

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Wed
21
Dec

Winter truck load increases begin Dec. 22 for central, metro, south and southeast frost zones

Winter truck load increases will begin Thursday, Dec. 22, on unrestricted highways in the central, metro, south and southeast frost zones, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Winter load increases are already in effect for the north and north central frost zones.
Vehicles will be allowed to operate up to 10 percent over the standard legal maximum loads on unrestricted highways during the winter load increase period. However, trucks must comply with current registration weight laws and not exceed registered gross weight tolerances.

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Wed
14
Dec

Michalick gives up school board seat after 30-plus years


After half a life-time on the Maple Lake School Board, Arnold (Arnie) Michalick calls it quits. Monday, Dec. 12, marked chairman Michalick’s last meeting. On Thursday, Jan. 12, he will receive a state honor from the Minnesota School Board Association. (Photo by Brenda Erdahl)

At 61-years old, Arnold (Arnie) Michalick has spent half of his life on the Maple Lake School Board.
That’s 366 regular monthly meetings, not counting the numerous special, committee and other extra sessions that come with such a position.
Of those years, he has been chairman for 20. He has signed the high school diplomas of all four of his children, and has been instrumental in monumental accomplishments such as building a new elementary school.

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Wed
14
Dec

Ice over Maple Lake


Bart Lauer reported that Maple Lake froze over on Saturday, December 10th, 2016. The earliest recorded freeze-up was on November 7th, 1991, with the latest on December 22, 1998. For more Maple Lake freeze-up dates see page 3. (Photo by Sam Zuehl)
Wed
14
Dec

True Friends hosts holiday party


True Friends hosted their annual Holiday Fundraising Party on Friday, Dec. 9, at the Camp Friendship Dining Hall. Supporters gathered for appetizers, desserts, wine and beer samplings, a silent auction and raffle. Proceeds go to True Friends whose mission is to enhance the independence and self-esteem of children and young adults with disabilites.

Jan Colbert, of Maple Lake, with daughter, Katie, joined the festivities.

True Friends President and CEO, Ed Stracke, and grandson, Graham Stracke, welcomed the crowd
Wed
14
Dec

Youngsters sing for a crowded audience


Maple Lake Elementary grades 1-3 performed for a crowded audience in the MLHS gym during their holiday concert on Thursday, Dec. 8. The program was directed by music teacher, Mrs. Abby Hoselton. (Photo by Bob Zimmerman)
Wed
14
Dec

City affirms intent to sell lot at Birch Ave. and Division St.

Amidst a flurry of last-minute protests from proponents of a town square’s creation at the corner of Birch Avenue and Division Street, the Maple Lake City Council has voted in affirmation of its intent to sell the city-owned lot.
The council’s most recent meeting, Tuesday, December 6, included the vote of affirmation as a perfunctory first step in a process of exploration of the city’s options and the market’s opportunities. And while City Attorney Rhonda Pagel assured councilmembers and other interested parties the affirmation in no way binds the city to an ultimate sale, defenders of the proposed town square persevered in their attempt to sway the council against any further consideration of selling.
Such robust efforts have caused a purchase offer by Lake Central Financial to be taken off the table, as President Bryan Bruns regretfully informed the city by letter that he is not comfortable being placed in a position of competition with the town square concept.

Wed
14
Dec

City council approves 2017 tax levy and budget

Prior to setting their property tax levies and budgets for the coming year, local governments are required to conduct a Truth in Taxation public hearing that offers citizens an opportunity to ask questions about their city’s proposed budgets. The City of Maple Lake conducted that hearing at the council’s most recent meeting Tuesday, December 6, as prepared and presented by City Clerk LeeAnn Yager.

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Wed
14
Dec

County shuts down River Rider, questions on Trailblazer

At a time when Wright County is finally closing the door officially on the River Rider transit program – more than two years after it stopped operation – the future of the county’s transit system is once again in question as the 14 cities that participate in Wright County Area Transit (WCAT) program submitted a letter of intent to leave the Trailblazer Transit group at the end of 2017.
Bus transportation in Wright County has been in place for more than 20 years. In the early 1990s, Wright County was purchasing services from Sherburne County for the River Rider program. In 2001, Wright County partnered up with Sherburne County as a joint powers group.
Wright County Commissioner Pat Sawatzke served on the River Rider board throughout its joint powers history and said the program, while small, served a purpose for residents in Wright County, especially those in need.

Wed
14
Dec

Keller wins Lions bingo jackpot


Maple Lake Lions member, Dale Decker, presented a $900 check to Scott Keller after he won the bingo jackpot held at Madigan’s every Wednesday. (Photo submitted)

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