St. Croix Falls School District Superintendent Mark Burandt was present at the Plan Commission meeting on Monday night to discuss the school possibly purchasing Saints Field from the city.
“I would like to gauge interest and open discussions about whether or not the city would like to sell the athletic field to the school,” stated Burandt. “It's a unique situation and it's been a great relationship. Our lease is up in seven or eight years.”
“Would this include the tennis courts?” inquired planning commissioner Warren White. This brought a furor of sardonic chuckling.
The tennis courts have become a bit of an albatross for the city. While the history has been described as “a bit murky,” it seems as though they were built with a grant from the Department of Natural Resources under the stipulation that they be maintained and always used for some recreational activity.
Unfortunately, the courts have been left in state of disrepair, and that is how they now sit.
Burandt stated that there was likely some stipulations on the tennis courts due to the grant. Depending on those restrictions, the school would be willing to enter discussions regarding the courts.
“Why does the school want to purchase the property?” inquired Plan Commissioner Milt Stanze.
“It would help clear up some muddy legal issues,” stated Burandt. “For instance, if someone gets hurt. I fear in these days and times. Who owns it and who is responsible? Whose insurance company would pay out first? It would also eliminate the need to renegotiate the lease.”
“Is there a public interest in keeping it?” inquired Mayor Arnie Carlson.
“Why does the city have interest in owning it?” inquired Commissioner Chris Chellberg.
It was pointed out that the city maintained ownership has to do with mostly historical reasons. It was the location of one of the city's better wells, but since has been capped.
There was some concern expressed that it still be kept accessible to the public. Burandt stated that he did not envisage any changes to the way the field is currently being used and stated that if the city had concerns that it be kept as a sports/entertainment venue they could include those requirements in covenants.
“The school has always acted in fantastic faith and has shown good stewardship,” observed planning commissioner Brian Blesi, adding that he had no problem with selling the district the football field proper provided that there are covenants that it remain open to the public as an athletic field.
Burandt will be meeting with city officials in the future to further discuss the sale.
Community meetings, school walk-throughs set up
By Lynda Berg Olds
All who live within the School District of Luck should have recently received a schedule of Community Meetings and a Referendum Newsletter. This comprehensive mailing is in an effort to provide taxpayers with sufficient information to make an informed decision about an upcoming referendum vote come spring. Citizens are urged to attend one of the Referendum Community Input Meetings and Facility Walk-throughs to be held in the commons area near the main entrance of the school at the following times: Sept. 24 at 4 p.m; Oct. 8 at 9 a.m; Oct. 9 at 1 p.m; 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Luck School District Administrator Cory Hinkel says feedback from these sessions will help drive the spring 2019 referendum question.
In Hinkel's message to the Luck Community, he began, “The School District of Luck is very fortunate to have residents that support the educational process and have a vested interest in the future of the children of the area.”
This, Hinkel said, was evident as the community supported the $300,000 per year operational referendum that was passed in April of 2014. Without these additional funds, $300,000 would need to be cut from the budget, most likely in the areas of school supplies, technology, staff, and extracurricular activities.
“The current operational referendum is expiring after the 2018-19 school year, and the District will again be asking taxpayers to vote on continuing this operational referendum for another five years at the same $300,000 per year rate in April 2019.”
Since the District is asking for the same rate as in previous years, Hinkel noted the effect on taxes will be minimal.
“The District prides itself on offering a well-rounded education and experience for its students,” Hinkel continued. “Ongoing funds from an operational referendum can aid in this endeavor. In addition to the operational referendum, the District is considering a referendum to cover the cost of much-needed capital improvements. In recent years, the District has focused its efforts on energy efficiency and safety and security improvements. However, a recent facility evaluation identified problem areas in our aging facility. This included everything from updating our classroom cabinetry and sinks to bringing a majority of our bathrooms to ADA compliance.”
In addition to what basically amounts to maintenance and some updates, the District was also presented with options to renovate the current elementary gym into a shared auditorium space and construct a new School/Community Wellness Center.
The St. Croix Falls Saints played host to the Cameron Comets and the boys in blue finally victorious.
The first quarter saw the Saints come on strong taking an early lead of 14-0 thanks to a 23 yard run from Calan Leahy for a touchdown and a 76 yard run by Spencer Steek for another six points and a two point conversion run by Leahy.
Things were kept interesting in the second quarter as the Comets appeared to rally adding 12 points of their own to the scoreboard.
Not to be outdone, the Saints had McKinley Erickson to thank for a 15 yard touchdown and two-point conversion made good by Steek and Leahy and Alex Mysicka for a completed touchdown pass and two-point conversion for another 16 points.
The name of the game was consistency for the Saints who matched the 14 points scored by Cameron in the third with 16 of their own. Finally in the fourth quarter the Saints again managed to keep the Cameron team scoreless as they did in the first. Final score: 62-26, SCF.
“It was nice to get back into game mode after having a bye during week four,” observed Saints Head Coach Grant Belisle. “You never know how kids will react to that situation, but I feel like we came out of it pretty well.
It's big, it's beautiful, it's the Gandy Dancer Marathon
By Lynda Berg Olds
Excitement is mounting for Luck's Annual Gandy Dancer Trail Marathon as they are celebrating their fifth anniversary this year on Oct. 13. Runners, walkers and volunteers by the score are gearing up for another fabulous fall event.
And this year, those who have participated for all five years will get a special commemorative memento (see photo).
In addition to the official 26.2 mile marathon, there is also the Half Marathon, the 5K and the Marathon Relay.
There is one tiny glitch this year due to the Village of Luck's Main Street Improvement Project. The course has changed a little bit due to the construction. Runners will go a bit further to the north on the Gandy to make up for not being able to run down Main Street for that final leg.
Organizers Seth Petersen and Eric Olson advised they had no other option than to change the course of the Marathon.
“By doing this we are unable to make this year's course a certified Boston Qualifier. However, the Gandy Dancer Trail Marathon guarantees the course will be 26.2 miles and will still qualify as a marathon for 50 states club, etc.”
Olson and Petersen thank everyone in advance for their understanding. The races will simply end where they began by the Fire Hall.