Saint Peter working towards home rehab program for moderate income families, looking to improve housing stock

By |2018-08-30T13:54:15-05:00August 30th, 2018|

Saint Peter and Minnesota Valley Action Council are teaming up to establish a Small Cities Development Program to help families make safety and basic improvements to their home. Funding for the program could be available in 2019 through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, with the potential to receive between 50-thousand to 100-thousand dollars to aid in the rehab of 20 homes. City Administrator Todd Prafke anticipates there will be interest in the program for moderate-income families to be able to make improvements that they might not otherwise be able to afford.  "The goal really is to improve housing [...]

Long-running Minnesota sex offender case comes to end

By |2018-08-23T16:15:51-05:00August 23rd, 2018|

A long-running class action over the constitutionality of Minnesota's civil commitment program for sex offenders has come to an end. U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank on Thursday dismissed the final remaining claims. He cited a decision by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which overturned his earlier declaration that the program was unconstitutional because few people had ever been released from it. The U.S. Supreme Court then declined to hear the case. The dismissed claims dealt mostly with allegations of other rights violations, which had been put on hold. The judge says he stands by his conclusions that some of [...]

Swanson joins nationwide lawsuit to protect DACA

By |2018-07-23T15:43:42-05:00July 23rd, 2018|

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is joining a nationwide lawsuit seeking to protect a program for immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. President Donald Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program earlier this year and called on Congress to replace it. Former President Barack Obama created the program in 2012 to give hundreds of thousands of immigrants permits to work. Swanson says she wants to "stop the rug from being pulled out" from under 800,000 so-called Dreamers in the program. She filed a brief Monday in the federal case surrounding Trump's decision to rescind the program. Swanson [...]

Safe Routes to School program in Minnesota ranked 3rd overall in nation

By |2018-06-25T14:39:53-05:00June 25th, 2018|

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership has ranked Minnesota's Safe Routes to School program the third best in the nation. According to the “Making Strides: 2018 State Report Cards on Support for Walking, Bicycling and Active Kids and Communities", 12.3-percent of K-8 students in Minnesota either walk or bike to school. The State scored 147 out of 200 points on the report card. Officials credit the ranking to the implementation of Complete Streets policies, establishing goals of lower walking and biking fatalities and an active statewide transportation plan. Over 300 schools in Minnesota have Safe Routes to School plans and [...]

North Mankato launches Northside Revivals for homeowners looking to make upgrades

By |2018-05-09T12:20:14-05:00May 9th, 2018|

North Mankato is taking on a new program to preserve the City's aging housing stock. With 61-percent of homes over 30 years old, Northside Revivals will offer homeowners who own homes over 50 years old the opportunity to apply for incentives to make interior and exterior upgrades totaling up to 25-thousand dollars. City Administrator John Harrenstein says the program will help beautify neighborhoods and provide enhanced living choices for older homes. "Some of the older features that they may want to improve include bathrooms, bedroom additions, kitchen remodels. To qualify for the program or receive the incentives, the program does need [...]

Eagle Lake working with the county to provide loans to childcare providers

By |2018-04-27T14:53:06-05:00April 27th, 2018|

Eagle Lake and Blue Earth County are teaming up to establish a Forgivable Childcare Loan Program. The loan program will serve as funds to expand or improve the availability of childcare in small cities and townships across the county, according to City Administrator Jennifer Bromeland. "Hopefully this'll be a program, if it's successful, that will maybe be a pilot program for other counties and cities. So, the need is out there." One of the stipulations of the program is that applicants must provide full-time care to at least five children.  "Because you can be in existence and already operate and still [...]

Johnson backs border-to-border broadband bill

By |2018-04-26T12:29:43-05:00April 26th, 2018|

A local lawmaker has signed on to bill that would establish a 51-million dollar grant program that would help establish border-to-border broadband in Minnesota. House Representative Clark Johnson (D-North Mankato) says he met with New Ulm Telecom and West Central Telephone to discuss the issue on Wednesday. "These folks are able to access federal money, but they also need the state money combined with that, along with their own efforts. It really is a nice kind of public, private partnership, slowly but surly expanding broadband. So, I think I've been a co-author on those bills ever since I've been here." State [...]

Commerce Drive project receives an additional $700,000 from MnDOT

By |2018-03-06T14:35:49-06:00March 6th, 2018|

North Mankato has been awarded another large chunk of money to help with the 2-million dollar overhaul of Commerce Drive. The grant of 700-thousand dollars from the MnDOT Area Transportation Partnership (ATP) Program will go towards reconstructing the roadway in 2019. City Administrator John Harrenstein says the funds are on top of the 900-thousand dollars the city has already received from the Federal Surface Transportation fund.  "That really helps to get the project done as well as reducing the impact on the tax levy, annual CIP (Capital Improvement Program) borrowing. We're excited for it. Commerce Drive is well traveled." It's estimated [...]

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