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$2.7 million plan to maintain school

The state’s new long-term facility maintenance program will allow the New York Mills School district to invest almost $2.7 million back into the school through the next 10 years. About a third of the funds will come from local taxpayers, while two-thirds will come from the state.
At last week’s school board meeting, the NY Mills School Board approved a 10-year facility maintenance plan, which covers everything from roof and parking lot repairs to new toilets. This plan was submitted to the Minnesota Department of Education, along with an application for the funding. The funds will be available starting in fiscal year 2017, which begins July 1, 2016.  
The long-term facilities maintenance revenue program replaces three programs–alternative facilities, deferred maintenance and health and safety.
“The new revenue program will finally provide adequate, equitable, and sustainable long-term maintenance funding for all school districts statewide,” according to MDE news release.
Local taxpayers will cover about 39 percent of the new revenue, while state aid matches at 61 percent. The local portion dips to 36 percent by year three, and the state increases to 64 percent.  read entire story. . . .

Visiting writer to host Open Mic night Sept. 9

Metaphors can be a powerful tool for a writer, helping to describe feelings, emotions and situations. The Cultural Center’s current residency artist, Jhon Sanchez, knows metaphors can make the immigration process a lot easier, too.
Originally from Columbia, Sanchez immigrated to the United States 16 years ago.
“I fell in love with the English language,” said Sanchez. “The kind of love I needed to survive.”
In other words, Sanchez knew he needed to become adept in his second language in order to survive in his new country. One day, without knowing the word “cloud,” he described what he saw as “cotton in the sky.”
During this experience, Sanchez realized that by utilizing and developing metaphors he was able to communicate. His ability to use metaphors also encouraged him to follow his dream of becoming a writer.
An attorney in New York City, Sanchez made the decision to write professionally two years ago. Most days he squeezes in chunks of writing time in between attorney duties. He’s found success, publishing short fiction and poetry pieces in “The Brooklyn Paramount,” “The Overpass Magazine,” “Startling Sci-Fi” and “The Bronx Memoir Project.”
His work incorporates memories, experiences and imageries from his childhood in Colombia, as well as his life as an immigrant in New York City. Sanchez will share a selection of his work on Sept. 9, from 7:30–9 p.m. at the Cultural Center. Participants can bring their own work too, as the evening will merge into “Open Mic” night, allowing everyone an opportunity to share their creativity.
“Reaching out to the community is important to me,” said Sanchez, who is in Minnesota for the first time. He hopes the night at the Cultural Center will offer an opportunity to continue to grow his understanding of Minnesota culture and history.  read entire story. . . .

Deer Creek mayor urges council to talk tax, fee hikes

As the City of Deer Creek plans next year’s budget, Mayor Tom Svarvari said the council has some big decisions to make, including whether to raise property taxes and water and sewer fees.
“I would entertain a discussion on possibly raising taxes this year,” he said at the August 24 council meeting.
The city hasn’t raised taxes since at least 2010, he said, even though the cost of living has been rising and city employees have received raises.
One of the city’s biggest financial challenges is paying off debt from water and sewer system projects. It owes about $650,000 for its water tower, sewer lift station and 2014 sewer project. In 2016, loan payments on water and sewer projects are expected to be $63,750, nearly 30 percent of its annual budget.
“I really want you to look at water and sewer because that is killing us,” he told the council members. “If we want water and sewer to pay for themselves, we’ll have to raise water and sewer rates.”
If the city doesn’t raise fees or taxes, the mayor said, it would have to cash out two certificates of deposit that will cover sewer and water expenses through the end of 2016. At the end of that time, however, the council will need to figure out how to finance the remainder of the debt, some of which will last for another two decades. Another option is to cash out certificates of deposit and use the funds to pay off one of the water and sewer loans, thus bringing that department back into solvency, the mayor said.
Council member Brenda Lee, who is also in charge the city’s water and sewer billing, suggested assessing sewer costs onto property taxes for a set amount of time. Svarvari objected to that, saying that would penalize property owners who don’t receive water and sewer service and that the water and sewer system should support itself.  read entire story. . . .

Family doctor in NY Mills every day

The New York Mills Perham Health Clinic has welcomed a new family physician to its staff. Dr. Jessica Grimes is practicing five days a week in NY Mills and is accepting new patients.
Although Grimes and her husband Matthew hoped to move to the area upon retirement, they were excited for the opportunity to come to Minnesota so much earlier in life. Grimes grew up in Bismarck, N.D., spending summers on area lakes. Even when she moved to North Carolina after college, her family would come back to Minnesota every summer.
“My dad has a cabin on Otter Tail Lake and my mom has a cabin near Detroit Lakes,” she said, mentioning that she’s happy to be living near her parents again.
Grimes received her undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota. She transferred to the St. Louis University Medical School, where she earned her doctorate degree and completed her residency. Following medical school, Grimes practiced at Duke Primary Care in North Carolina for two years.
As a family physician, Grimes looks forward to being able to see and treat a wide-range of people and problems in an average day.
“I like to be able to treat people forever,” she said, of why she chose family medicine. “I really wanted to do women’s health, which is easier to do under family medicine than internal medicine.”  read entire story. . . .

Surgeon holds weekly clinics in NY Mills

A month ago, Dr. Brett Glawe joined forces with Dr. Randel Stollee to expand the surgery department at Perham Health. Though all the surgeries are conducted at the Perham facility, Glaw will spend one afternoon a week seeing patients in New York Mills.
Stolee has been on his own for the past 20 years, explained Glawe. Adding him as a partner, allows for the Perham Health to schedule general surgeries every day of the week. Typically, when Glawe is in the clinic, Stolee is in the operating room and vice versa.
Glawe attended St. Olaf in Northfield, Minn. for his undergrad degree. He then spent two years working at Northwestern University in Chicago before attending medical school at the University of Minnesota. Then, Glawe completed a five-year residency at the level one trauma center in Des Moines, Iowa, which he wrapped up last spring.
“I wanted to get back to a smaller town,” said Glawe. “My family is from the area; my wife’s family is from the area, so when the opportunity came about we jumped at it.”
Glawe’s will do general surgery procedures such as hernia repairs, removal of skin appendages, as well as gallbladder and appendix removal. He also does breast, stomach and colon surgery at the Perham facility.
“I have always been fascinated with medicine,” said Glawe. In fact, the 2000 Perham High School graduate can pinpoint exactly when his fascination began. When was in fourth grade, he was injured in a farm accident. He was airlifted to Fargo and spent several days in the hospital. While most people may have found this scary, Glawe said he found the entire atmosphere exciting.  read entire story. . . .