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News from the week of August 16, 2000 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

School board okays new spending

• Elementary staff bolstered, track resurfacing set

Tracy school board members found themselves in a familiar position Friday— walking a financial and educational tightrope walk.

On three separate issues, board members tried balancing the conflicting demands of improved education and school operations while maintaining spending within the limits of available money

“We are spending money that we don't have,” said board member Eric Nelson, comparing the spending proposals with District 417's projected $100,000 deficit for the coming year. Several other board members echoed Nelsons concerns.

Nonetheless, board members agreed on the need to add staff at Tracy Elementary and proceed with a costly renovation of the high school running track. The board also agreed to seek applicants for an expanded transportation position..

EDA seeks funding boost

$30,000 city contribution requested

The Tracy Economic Development Authority (EDA) is seeking a substantial increase in funding for the coming year.

Con Rettmer, Tracy Economic Development director, asked Tracy City Council members to consider a $30,000 contribution to the EDA's revolving loan fund next year.

This year, the city's budgeted EDA contribution is $5,000. In 1999, the EDA received $10,000, with $15,000 received in 1998.

Rettmer speaking on the behalf of the EDA board, said the $30,000 represents a needed investment in the city's future. EDA board members want to build up the loan fund, so the city is in a position to help if a major business expansion project does turn up.

Restaurant, bar proposed for Pizza Barn building

A Russell woman is exploring the possibility of opening a restaurant and bar in the former Pizza Barn building in Tracy.

Brenda Beck said Monday that many details still need to be finalized. But if all goes well, she hopes to be open at the Hwy. 14 location in time for the Tracy Box Car Days weekend, Sept. 2-4.

Monday night, the Tracy City Council approved an application from Beck's request for a city liquor license.

The Pizza Barn, owned by Greg and Marilyn Frederickson, closed this weekend. The Fredericksons plan to open another restaurant, Maxine's Cuisine, Catering & Cordials, in the former 21st Century Bank building in Downtown Tracy next month.

Beck plans to call her new Tracy business “The Pool Hut.” The casual dining restaurant will also feature a bar and arcade area. She plans to be open six days a week, Monday through Saturday.

TAHS college courses showing strong appeal

Adding up to winning situation

A new “Challenge” program” at Tracy Area High School is a good investment—both academically and monetarily—District 417 school board members were told Friday.

Principal John Rokke said that the Challenge program will keep some upperclassmen who ordinarily would enroll at Southwest State at TAHS. The principal added that the Challenge program is a needed enrichment program for some of the high school's top students.

“We are always talking about how we don't do enough for our gifted and talented. Here's a chance to do something,” the principal said.

The TAHS Challenge program offers six college-level courses. High school instructors teach the classes under the supervision of SSU professors. Students successfully completing a Challenge class receive both high school and college credit.

Bridget Smith begins duties as Panther volleyball coach

Search to fill fall coaching vacancies extends beyond regular school staff

Bridget Smith, an all-state volleyball and basketball performer for Tracy-Milroy in the early 1990s, is once again a Panther.

The Milroy resident, who achieved All-American honors while playing volleyball at Southwest State University, was named the Panthers' C-squad volleyball coach last week.

Smith, an elementary education major at SSU, is a 1995 graduate of Tracy Area High School. As a prep athlete, she helped the Panthers to several state championships in volleyball and basketball, and also excelled in track. Smith has also signed a contract to serve as the C-squad girls' basketball coach this winter.

Smith was one of several non-District 417 school staff members hired for fall Panther coaching assignments last week. The Tracy Board of Education approved the coaching assignments at the recommendation of Activities Director Bill Tauer.

People respond to garbage inspection

Garbage collection issues made their way back onto the Tracy City Council agenda Monday.

Two Tracy residents responded to notices received from the city, accusing them of filling their 60-gallon garbage container, while paying for the less expensive 15-gallon service. All told, the city sent out 32 letters last month to city households that were identified as overfilling their garbage containers. City police accompanied a Ritter Sanitary Service garbage truck on two mornings in July, documenting apparent abuses with Polaroid photographs.

The surprise inspection struck Greenwood Addition resident Erwin Domine as silly.

“Now you've got cops going around sticking their heads in people's garbage containers. It's ridiculous.”