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News from the week of June 13, 2001 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

School board considers capital improvement bond referendum

By Kris Tiegs

Financial issues were a common theme at Monday night's District 417 school board meeting.

The board approved a motion to purchase two used school buses, even though the move will leave no reserve in the capital outlay fund. Supt. Rick Clark said he wants the school board to explore the possibility of asking voters to approve a capital improvement bond referendum later this year. Finally, Dr. Clark suggested that the school district should consider ending the long-term relationship it has had with the City of Tracy in operating the Sebastian Park swimming pool.

School referendum

The bus purchase leaves virtually no money in the school's capital outlay budget, Dr. Clark indicated.

The superintendent said that declining student enrollments coupled with reduced state funding has left the school scrambling for money. He is feels two steps are necessary: 1) An existing operating levy must be continued in 2002; 2) A capital bond referendum must be passed.

Milroy dedication is home run

Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad helped make a dedication ceremony for the Milroy ballpark a home run Monday afternoon.

The park was improved recently with funding assistance from The Minnesota Twins Community Fund, under the "Molitor Fields for Kids" program. The Carl and Eloise Pohlad Family Foundation assisted with the funding that provided new fencing along the first and third base lines of the field.

Pohlad was joined by his son Jim. Jim Pohlad caught a first ceremonial pitch from fourth grader Dane Bille of Milroy, son of Dale and Diane Bille and T.C., Twins mascot.

"There is nothing more important for this country than its youth," commented Pohlad. "Everyone can play the game of baseball, even those who cannot participate in contact sports like football and basketball."

School is out for Frank Smith

Head custodian retiring after 35 years with district

By Valerie Scherbart Quist

After 35 years, Frank Smith is retiring from his duties as custodian at Tracy's public schools.

The school maintenance veteran, who became a school employee in February of 1966, is retiring effective June 30.

Smith assumed the head custodian position in July of 1980, at which time he began supervising custodians in the elementary and high school.

“I've had very good staff to work with,” Smith said. “I will miss everyone when I'm gone.”

Smith says he learned all the tricks of the trade from Jim Van Dusen, his mentor for 10 years before taking over as head custodian.

Smith's co-workers threw two retirement parties for him. The custodial staff threw one party, and other school employees planned the other.

“Everyone seemed to appreciate the work I did over the years,” he said.

Ground broken for new Tracy ambulance garage

Construction is underway on a new home for the Tracy Ambulance Service.

Excavations for the 90x54-foot structure began last week. Foundation footings were being poured this week.

The new ambulance garage is being built on the corner of South and Center streets. The City of Tracy donated the land.

Estimated construction cost is $202,000, according to the project's city building permit.

The wood-frame structure will have three large overhead doors for ambulances. Besides the main garage area, blueprints call for a large training room for EMTS, a kitchen, two-bedrooms for personnel on overnight call, an office, storage and utility areas, and shower-equipped men's and women's bathrooms.

The facility will face the southeast, with access onto both Center and South streets.

The volunteer, non-profit ambulance service is now located on the west side of the Tracy Fire Department building.

150 attend American Legion district convention in Tracy

By Dave Brakke

American Legion and auxiliary members from across the region met in Tracy Friday and Saturday for the 81st annual Seventh District Convention.

Over 150 Legion and auxiliary members where present at the Convention.

District Commander Orwill Wigen Jr. of Tracy said the weekend went well.

"I think the convention went really well. It was one of the better conventions that we have had," he said.

State Legion Commander Ray Dezurik extended his greetings to the legionnaires, "This has been a great Legion year, and I can't thank you enough for your dedication and hard work for our veterans, our children, our grandchildren, and our communities.”

Department Membership Director Richard Abraham gave credit to the Legionnaires for all the effort that has been put into the American Legion Program.

"We are a family that we don't want to lose. Not only are we benefiting veterans from war, but also the communities that we live in. More than any other group, the American Legion supports our youth with activities and organizations. Keep up the good work and go that extra mile to help your post and your communities."

TAMS shows loss for year

Tracy Area Medical Services (TAMS) board members heard both good and bad financial news at their regular May meeting.

The bad news was that combined hospital and clinic operations show an unaudited loss of $105,000 for the fiscal year that ended April 30.

The good news was that the loss was smaller than what was projected a month earlier and that patient activity for April was strong. A lower accounts receivable “aging” for both the clinic and hospital was another positive financial trend.

The TAMS operating loss was due largely to one-time expenses booked during April. Until April, TAMS finances for its 2000-01 fiscal year were in the black.