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News from the week of September 26, 2001 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

Vision offered for Tracy tech center

A vision for a technology-based call center in Tracy began to take shape last week.

Tracy Economic Development Authority (EDA) members and other civic leaders participated in a two-hour focus group meeting hosted by a Mankato consultant. It is hoped that last week's gathering, and future meetings, will be the foundation of a business plan that leads to the creation of a new technology-based business in Tracy.

“What we want to do is define a vision and a mission for what we want to do,” said Frank Cesario, of Pettipiece Cesario Development Solutions Inc. of Mankato.

Late this summer, the EDA approved a contract with Dale Petelinsek, of Everest Information Services of Bloomington, to develop a business plan for the proposed Tracy technology business. Petelinsek has hired Cesario to help develop the plan.

Cesario said the local suggestions and opinions are vital to the success of the business plan. “If we just give you a plan (without local input) it will just sit on a shelf.”

He also stressed that any plan for a Tracy technology center “needs to be driven by customers.”

City airport grant terms accepted

A resurfacing project at the Tracy Airport is ready to take off.

A city council resolution Monday night officially accepted the terms of a Minnesota Department of Aeronautics grant that will pay for 90 percent of the airport improvements. The action clears the way for Duinick Construction of Prinsburg to begin the $99,100 project. Work is expected to begin soon.

A bituminous overlay is planned on the airport's runway and apron area.

Redistricting plans draw charges of partisanship

Vickerman-Lesewski, Winter-Seifert races possible as wider district boundaries loom

By Valerie Scherbart Quist

The 2000 Census is over and the people have been counted, but for Minnesota legislators, the work isn't over yet. By March, a redistricting plan must be created for the state.

A redistricting hearing is planned next week in Windom. The hearing will allow the public and local government officials to give their input on redistricting plans currently before the Legislature.

Senator Larry Pogemiller, chair of the Senate Redistricting Working Group, is holding the hearing.

DFL Senator Jim Vickerman of rural Tracy said he would like to keep his old district, which was expanded 10 years ago to include Balaton, Tracy, Walnut Grove, and other area towns. The Senate redistricting plan, he said, would extend his district into Rock and Pipestone counties. In the Republican redistricting plan, he would be put into the same district as incumbent Republican Senator Arlene Lesewski of Marshall. His biggest worry is losing the towns he fought to include in his district 10 years ago.

While Vickerman said the redistricting plan will likely be ultimately chosen by the court, it is important for people to give their input.

“If people want me to represent Tracy, they need to go to these hearings,” Vickerman said. “I don't want to lose my hometown.”

Dick & Dorothy Stelter buy Tracy laundromat

The Clothesline Laundry in Tracy is operating under new ownership.

Dorothy and Dick Stelter purchased the Hwy. 14 business from John and Susie Clancy. The change took effect Sept. 15.

The laundromat's hours remain the same, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Services will also remain the same, including custom laundry and ironing. The laundromat has 17 self-service automatic washers and eight dryers.

Dorothy Stelter will manage the laundry's day-to-day operations. She plans to be on site most days from about 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., including Sundays, the laundromat's busiest day.

Although operations will remain basically the same, the Stelters intend to change the laundromat's name at some future time.

“The laundromat is a needed service,” Dick Stelter said.

The Tracy business is the only laundromat in the immediate area. The next closest laundromats are located in Marshall and Slayton.

Home health shows growth

By Valerie Scherbart Quist

Shetek Medical Services home health agency is showing growth, according to Tracy Area Medical Services CEO Dan Reiner.

Reiner reported to the TAMS hospital board that the home health agency has seen growth in Murray and Lyon counties. In Murray County, there are now 24 clients. There has been limited success in Westbrook, with one patient in Cottonwood County.

Efforts are underway to purchase a home health information system for Shetek Medical Services. Reiner said the goal is to have the information system software in place by the end of the year.

Reiner expects home health care to be profitable for TAMS this year.

Efforts are also underway to develop a regional ultrasound and vascular program. A grant for $90,000 was received about six months ago to be used for the project.

Chicago farm manager persevered to become owner of Nettiewyynnt

The following is the third in a series of stories about Tracy area century farms that were recognized this summer.

By Valerie Scherbart Quist

Nettiewyynnt Farm in Gales Township was originally owned by four men from Chicago, who bought the land in about 1880. The name "Nettiewyynnt" was formed from the numbers "twenty" and "ninety." These were the numbers of titles which brought the profits used to buy the land.

In 1886, the four men from Chicago hired Stephen P. Hicks, who was in the coal business at the time, to come from Chicago to manage the farm.

S.P. Hicks moved to Nettiewyynnt with his wife, Mary Alice, and their two children. Six more children were born to the couple after they moved to the farm.

Hicks bought a share of the land in 1887. After he was killed in an accident in 1924, his son, Tom, took over the farm. Tom continued to operate the farm until 1956, when Dave Hicks took over. Dave and Jean Hicks raised three children, Brian, LuAnn, and Karen, on the farm.

In 1995, Dave's son, Brian, began farming the land, and continues to farm it today. Brian and his wife, Michelle, and their five children live on the farm.

During the early years, S.P. Hicks raised mostly livestock on the farm. Over the years, the farm was gradually diversified.

"When I started, there was still a lot of small grain raised on the farm," said Dave Hicks. "It has now evolved to corn, beans, and hay. There was a lot of pasture when my grandparents were here."

During the 1930s, some of the land was divided and sold, but the center section of the land and half of two other sections were maintained by the Hicks family.