Kim Ukura is the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune.
- Member for
- 1 year 7 months
MORRIS - The Morris City Council passed their 2012 budget Tuesday night, but may still need to make revisions after final contracts are signed with the city's two American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) bargaining units. The city has already signed a contract with the Law Enforcement Labor Services union (LELS). "It's just a budget, it's a tool to give us guidance on how to spend the money," City Manager Blaine Hill told the council. "We could turn around and do a budget adjustment once the final two contracts are done.
MORRIS - While many people think of retirement as a time to relax and settle down after a lifetime of work, Gene and Darlene Pasche of Morris have done the opposite - using the extra time to expand their volunteer activities even further. Through their connection to Orphan Grain Train, a Christian volunteer network that gathers donations for those in need around the world, the Pasches have helped ship food and supplies as far as Armenia and traveled to New Orleans and Texas to volunteer at sites that distribute the donations they help organize.
MORRIS - The Stevens County Board of Commissioners approved a $25 increase to the annual Solid Waste Service Fee (SWSF), endorsed a new Senior Companion Program through the Human Services Department and approved two revised joint powers agreement at their meeting on Tuesday. Bill Kleindl, environmental services/planning and zoning director, told the board that an increase to the SWSF from $20 to $45 per year is needed to keep the solid waste fund operating in the black.
MORRIS - Although John DeRung of Morris said he's "too darn cheap" to gamble, when the opportunity came to go to Las Vegas and participate in a national Texas Hold'em tournament he just couldn't say no. Earlier this month, DeRung and his wife Wendy took a trip to Sin City after DeRung qualified for a national tournament through a local poker league affiliated with the Free Poker Network (FPN). FPN was founded in North Dakota and currently has more than 265 participation locations across the country.
MORRIS - In a 4 to 1 vote, the Morris Area School Board passed an approximately $3.2 million levy, the maximum allowed by the State of Minnesota, for the 2012-2013 school year at their meeting on Monday night. Board Chair Kurt Gartland cast the lone dissenting vote. Board member Laura Carrington, who previously said she would not vote to increase taxes, was not at Monday's meeting. The levy is an increase of about $138,000 over the 2011-2012 levy, an increase of about 4.52 percent.
MORRIS - On the twentieth day of every month Mary Walker impacts everyone in the Morris Area School District. As the district payroll and human resource manager, Walker helps make sure everyone in the district - from regular staff all the way to ticket takers at athletic events - gets paid on the twentieth, whether payment happens via direct deposit or with a paper check. Walker was named Morris' 2011 Support Staff Person of the Year at the district's staff appreciation breakfast last week.
MORRIS - This week I got the chance to cover my first two Truth in Taxation (TnT) meetings, one for Stevens County and one for the City of Morris.
MORRIS - There's one more barber's chair in town. Bright's Barber Shop, which opened Monday, is a single-chair barber shop owned by 33-year-old Adam Bright, a former golf pro turned barber with an appreciation for the outdoors and a collection of family in the area. The shop is a new addition to the second floor of City Center Mall, 618 Atlantic Ave., and is open Tuesday through Saturday, by walk-in or appointment. Bright went to barber school in Minneapolis where he worked for two years before receiving his Master License.
MORRIS - About 20 county residents used the Stevens County Truth in Taxation hearing on Monday night to grill the Board of Commissioners and county employees about budget items both big and small. At a meeting before the TNT hearing, the board of commissioners passed their 2012 budget. The $12.3 million dollar budget has an increase in expenditures of about 3.5 percent (around $153,000, not including the increased debt service payments for the courthouse remodel project), and an overall levy increase of 7.22 percent.
MORRIS - The Stevens County Board of Commissioners passed a $12.3 million budget with a 7.22 percent levy increase at a meeting on Monday night. The county budget for 2012 includes an increase in expenditures of about 3.5 percent over the 2011 budget, an increase from about $11.8 million in 2011 to $12.3 million in 2012. The budget also includes $6.1 million in revenues, including anticipated County Program Aid. Of the 7.22 percent total levy increase, about 6.12 percent comes from increased debt service payments and an anticipated loss in County Program Aid from the state.