What will 2011 bring?
As Faribault County says goodbye to 2010 and welcomes 2011, leaders in the county share their hopes and plans for area cities and school districts. Here’s what they had to say about the year to come:
of Blue Earth
In 2011, the City of Blue Earth will continue with the street improvement program. The 2011 project will include the streets of Galbraith, Seventh to 14th streets, 10th Street from Moore to Ramsey Street and 11th Street from Galbraith to Ramsey. This large project will be going to hearing in January to have an early start date.
The Fourth Street reconstruction, the sanitary sewer construction project on North Main Street, the waste water plant expansion and the airport taxiway project which got a late start in 2010, will be completed in the summer of 2011.
Additionally, the airport runway is scheduled for replacement in 2011. This project, due to the Federal Aviation Authority funding cycle, will not start until mid to late summer and run into the spring of 2012.
With the support of my Council, I would like to see the city invest in the future of the city by developing a strategic plan for the establishment of goals. This plan would include the updating of the City Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinances, and the development of a complete Capital Improvement Plan that would include a 10-year street and infrastructure replacement plan. This will be a huge undertaking with staffing and funding that is available, but a long-term planning will lay a foundation for the future and make decision-making easier.
The citizens of Winnebago can continue to expect great service from City Hall. The city will strive to provide the essential services the community needs.
We are working towards a greater online presence to interact better with the citizens of Winnebago. We are on Facebook and Twitter; both links can be found on our main website at www.cityofwinnebago.com. We are always looking for ways to better communicate with citizens and encourage their participation.
We are excited about the SCDP grant that we are applying for. This will help both Winnebago and Wells to access grant money to help rehab commercial and residential buildings.
Staff is looking at the feasibility of offering online utility billing and online payments. If you would be interested in this please let us know by taking the survey on our website.
The upgrade to the city wastewater treatment plant will be a major project in 2011. The project will ensure the city can meet the needs of its citizens and businesses, for years to come.
Blue Earth Area Schools
My hope for 2011 is that we will continue the tradition of helping students to grow and learn to become contributing members of society. The vision statement for Blue Earth Area Schools is “excellence for all students.” We will continue to look at new ways to help students learn and develop to their full potential.
Operating a school district during these financial times is a real challenge. The Board of Education will have to make some difficult decisions in the near future to continue providing an excellent program for all students of Blue Earth Area Schools.
Mayor of Kiester
When I?asked the people of Kiester to elect me as their mayor I promised to:
• pursue every resource available to revitalize Kiester.
• be a full-time mayor who would work diligently to serve the community.
• be accessible to the community.
• stand strong and give the citizens of Kiester the representation they deserve.
I will pursue Federal grant money to use for revitalization. This endeavor will take a diligent effort and hard work, but I believe it will be advantageous to our community to pursue these avenues. Local Government Aid has been cut for years and I want to know why and what we need to do to try and get more aid.
Another area that is becoming a challenge in rural Minnesota is keeping the businesses we currently have. Farming is the main source of income for most of southern Minnesota, and we depend on the farmers to utilize the businesses in Kiester. So we must encourage the citizens of Kiester to shop locally, to keep our businesses thriving and competitive.
I also want to encourage the citizens of Kiester to become involved with the issues that affect our way of life by attending city council meetings, or meeting with city officials to express their concerns so they may be addressed. It is important to me to make sure that we provide the best services to our citizens and use their tax dollars wisely.
Board of Commissioners
My thoughts regarding Faribault County in 2011 include finishing the swimming pool bridge project in Blue Earth, and other road and bridge projects including the upgrade of County Road 16 from the Bricelyn corner to Freeborn County. Also, the county drainage authority plans to work on several maintenance projects throughout the county. The county board hopes to be able to accomplish these projects along with maintaining our relationship with Martin County for Human Services and Prairieland, even with the limited financial support we anticipate receiving from both the State of Minnesota and the federal government.
The most important part of Faribault County is the people and we will have a number of new employees in county government. Working with these new people will be my priority in 2011.
United South Central School Board
My goal for the USC school district is to continue improving our MCA II test scores; helping more students master concepts and ideas they were challenged by. USC has made a huge commitment to our students and their educational success with the programs we have implemented this past year. I hope to see measurable results with students being the winners.
I would continue with our five-year goals and plans we implemented, more specifically working on increasing opportunities for all USC students with enhanced technology and curriculum. I would like to bridge the gap between communities, educators, administration and students with better communication in all forms.