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News from the week of July 18, 2001 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

EDA considers city investment for attracting `tele-work' center

Would a $10,000 to $20,000 outlay of city funds lead to the establishment of a new “tele-work” center in Tracy?

Tracy Economic Development Authority members are scheduled to consider that question next week, as they weigh a proposal from a Bloomington consulting firm.

Everest Information Services has offered to provide analysis and design services that it says would make Tracy attractive for a tele-work centers. The cost to the city for Everest's services is estimated at between $10,000 to $20,000.

“They aren't making any guarantees, but they feel confident that there would be businesses wanting to come into Tracy with a telework center if we did this,” comments Robert Gervais, Tracy Community Development Director.

A tele-work center would employ local people at a Tracy work site. By utilizing on-line technology, tele-work center employees could perform services for a variety of business and agencies. For example, a tele-work center might be contracted to answer consumer product questions for a company. Tele-work centers could be involved in sales and marketing. Some centers could perform specialized projects on-line for companies. Employees would be trained to the specific needs of the project.

“Technology is definitely the wave of the future,” said Gervais. “It doesn't matter where you live anymore. The Internet makes it possible for people to do the same work that they used to have to drive into the city to do.”

Community gardens set near high school

Southwest Foundation provides seed money with $10,000 grant

Tracy Area High School students have a chance to become ag entrepreneurs this fall, thanks to a successful grant written by industrial arts instructor Chris Howard.

A $10,000 grant from the Southwest Minnesota Foundation will help Tracy FFA students develop community gardens on school property near the high school.

The school district is matching the grant by providing land, student labor, water costs and machinery expenses. This fall is the target date for launching the program.

Youth entrepreneurs will run the program. Students will determine details such as how the plots will be laid out, the most efficient way to provide water, and marketing.

The community gardens will be located in a 75 x 125-foot area east of the football practice fields. Currently there are several apple trees on the plot. Preliminary plans call for planting additional apple trees and starting a self-pick strawberry patch.

TNT grant would establish technology center in Tracy

Is a technology center on the horizon for Tracy?

Yes, if a grant application from the Technology and Telecommunication Consortium (TNT) of Southwest Minnesota is successful. TNT recently applied for $250,000 worth of federal grants to establish technology centers in 16 Southwest Minnesota communities, including Tracy.

The technology centers would be located in Luverne, Lakefield, Marshall, Montevideo, Olivia, Ortonville, Redwood Falls, Franklin, Willmar Worthington, Benson, Appleton, Spicer, Dawson, Granite Falls, and Tracy. All are members of the TNT consortium.

A TNT grant application, submitted to the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education, seeks to develop a network of locally managed community technology centers. The goal is to create a regional interactive “virtual learning community” by linking people and regional education service providers.

Jeff Salmon, Tracy representative on the TNT board, is optimistic about the grant prospects.

Assisted living plans still unsettled

Plans for a proposed assisted living building project involving the Prairie View Health Care Center and Tracy Hospital remain unresolved.

“We're definitely going to do it, it's just a matter of when,” reports Tim Byrne, Prairie View administrator. “It's taking longer than we originally thought.”

The Sioux Valley Health Network, which leases the Tracy Hospital, clinic and O'Brien Court from the City of Tracy, remains interested in a joint-assisted living project, according to Dan Reiner, Tracy Area Medical Services administrator.

“We believe there are some opportunities,” Reiner said of the proposed cooperative venture. But he added, “nothing is happening now.” Reiner said planning can not progress until decisions are made by Prairie View's owners.

Tealwood, the corporate entity that owns Prairie View, announced plans in March of 2000 to build a 20 to 30-unit assisted-living apartment complex off the south side of the existing nursing home. Groundbreaking was to have occurred in July of 2000.

Church ground-breaking

Christian & Missionary Alliance dream comes closer

To God be the glory, great things he hath done.

—Hymn sung at Tracy Christian & Missionary Alliance Church groundbreaking ceremony

Parishioners of the Tracy Christian & Missionary Alliance Church raised their voices in prayer and song Sunday morning as they witnessed a dream coming true.

As a breeze whispered through a sun-dappled alfalfa field, the congregation held a ground-breaking ceremony for a new church building. The new church will be located in the Broadacres Addition.

Pastor Edsel Miller recalled that a new church building has long been a goal of the congregation. “It's been talked about many years,” he said. He thanked previous generations who laid the foundations for the new building project.

The 4,000 square foot church is being built on a four-acre parcel on Front Street, northeast of Tracy Elementary School. The one-level church will have a sanctuary, fellowship hall, kitchen, offices and classrooms. Completion is targeted by the end of this year. Art Peterson is the general contractor.

Pastor Miller told parishioners that they shouldn't think of the new church as something that “they” are building. “God is the one who is making this church possible.”

Although the congregation undoubtly will enjoy the new building, Pastor Miller told his parishioners that the new church also needed to serve those “outside its walls.”

Museum has new flock of fine-feathered friends

By Dave Brakke

Thanks to a donation from Ruthton, the Wheels Across the Prairie has a new display featuring birds of the Upper Midwest

A collection of mounted birds was donated to the Tracy museum from the school in Ruthton.

"We are always glad to take donations of any kind,” said Dorthey Pamp, museum president.

The stuffed birds are interspersed throughout the museum. Future plans call for the birds' move to the museum's 19th century log cabin. The cabin is now being restored.

The bird collection includes a starling, quail, grebe, common tern, belted king fisher, screech owl, bald eagle, sharp hawk, and mallard.

"We will have to do some research. Then we can put informative signs for each separate bird," said curator Mary Lou Ludeman. "I think that it's a great teaching tool."