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Open Forum

Farewell to Crosslake Communication’s Paul Davis

Letter to the Editor

On Thursday, July 19th, 2014, Crosslake Communications staff, along with many loyal citizens, said “Farewell” to Paul Davis. Paul will be moving on to a new position with Emily Cooperative Telephone Company.

Paul Davis has been the Network Engineer at Crosslake Communications for the last 10 years. Paul monitored our crucial networks making sure our internet was always up and running, he repaired our computers right here in Crosslake, he developed and managed websites and taught monthly seminars for those of us needing extra help with new technology.

Paul was a great asset at Crosslake Communications as well as to our city. Why would Paul take another job when he was often heard saying “I plan to retire from Crosslake Communications”?

Some of you may not be aware that our Crosslake City council, contracted with an outside consultant to provide strategic alternatives to the City as well as a written “Valuation” of Crosslake Communications.

The consulting company is Charlesmead Advisors LLC out of Baltimore, MD. Crosslake will pay $40,000 for their services. Charlesmead Advisors offers advice related to strategic alternatives, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, leveraged buyouts, spinoffs, recapitalizations, and restructurings. Lots of unknowns as to what the City Council will do with the information provided by these consultants.

We have lost one very valuable employee at Crosslake Communications. I sincerely hope that our City Council will not take steps to sell this valuable asset.

Ann Schrupp
Crosslake

Across Minnesota, Meals on Wheels Programs are Losing Funding

Letters to the Editor

Since 1978, the majority of Minnesota seniors have had access to a Meals on Wheels program. Today, there are many compounding issues that are leading to programs having to close their doors. Four twin cities Meals on Wheels locations have already closed, with the Burnsville location fighting to survive. In Cass County, in 2010 the Senior Nutrition site in Longville closed and in 2013 a dining site in Hackensack closed. Faith in Action for Cass County has stepped in to deliver meals to these communities.

Increasing competition for funding is an issue, along with rising food costs. In Cass County, Lutheran Social Services (LSS) provides a communal and meal delivery program called Senior Nutrition. Senior Nutrition in Minnesota receives the following funding – 6% local site sponsorship, 29% state, 33% federal, and 32% customer donations. With 32% coming from donations, it is easy to see how a decrease in donations can affect an entire program.

Marie Lindahl, manager of the Walker Nutrition Site, stated, “We are funded in part with the Older Americans Act funds administered through the Central Minnesota Council on Aging, but must rely on community support for the rest. Due to the rising cost of food and supplies and stagnant government funding, it is challenging to continue this service in the rural areas, although the need is great”.

Another challenge is getting people signed up; they might be reluctant because they feel that making meals is the last thing they want to give up, or that it is only for the “elderly”. Many people are unaware of the resources available to them, or they are not interested in visiting the communal dining centers or  signing up for meal delivery. If there are not people to use the resource, then it will no longer be available.

The Pine River nutrition site is located in the Heartland Apartment building. Manager Dee LeMieux stated, “People have the misconception that you have be a resident to eat here, but it is open to anyone in the community. It is a great way to socialize with neighbors and have a nutritious meal for a low cost”.

Some years are better than others. Lindahl said that when there are sufficient donations, “The money is used to purchase more fresh fruits, vegetables, and treats on holidays that we would not be able to do otherwise”.

All Senior Nutrition meals are made according to nutrition standards. For people 60 plus, there is a suggested donation of $4 per meal. For anyone else in need of a meal, the cost is $7.15. Meals include bread, milk, and dessert and are delivered by friendly volunteers that understand the importance of a healthy meal and frequent check-ins.

For more information on how to receive home meal delivery, volunteer, or donate, contact LSS Senior Nutrition at 218-587-2921 (Pine River) 218-547-4181 (Walker) or become a Meals on Wheels volunteer driver with Faith in Action for Cass County by calling us at 866-675-5435. Faith in Action is “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”.

Kaila Forster: AmeriCorps Vista serving with Faith in Action

Crosslake Council changes definition of Residential Zoning

Letter to the Editor

Bob Kvam had a very interesting letter in last weeks Northland Press. He pointed out all of the dangers in allowing unlimited rentals in residential areas.

Until this Crosslake Council modified the city’s Land Use Ordinance there was a restriction on renting a residence in a Residential Zone. Owners were limited to a maximum of three (3) rentals a year. The underlining reason was to prevent residential zones from becoming commercial rental areas and letting a residence perform like a motel. Most residents (particularly lake shore residents) did not want neighboring properties being rented on a daily or weekly basis.

The current council in their most recent series of ordinance changes eliminated any prohibition on renting activity in residential zones. This opens up the ability of absent landlords to buy properties and advertise them for rent on a daily basis. It opens up the possibility of renters using the lake without any regard to potential ecological damage or disruption of a permanent resident’s quiet enjoyment of their property.

This is the latest example of the current Council’s favoring real Estate companies, contractors and developers over summer and permanent residents.

Dick Dietz
Crosslake

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Lake home owners concerned about private properties rentals

Letters to the Editor

We are concerned and frustrated lake home owners in Ideal Township next to a very visible neighbor who purchased his lake home for investment rental purposes renting weekly all summer with a new group change EVERY weekend.

We bought our lake home in Ideal Township almost three years ago. Is it a gamble if you’re stuck with this problem once you purchase? The truth was not told to us when we inquired about this exact thing before we purchased our property.

Our townships and city councils need to have regulations in place regarding rental practices.

If we wanted to live/purchase next to a bed and breakfast or hotel we could’ve purchased accordingly. There are constantly three to six vehicles in the driveway along with one to two boat trailers where there’s only room for three units without parking or driving on the grass. The renters have barking dogs that run free and have pooped on our property without picking it up. There’s extra noise, stinky garbage, traffic plus safety concerns for children. A lake home two doors down was purchased last summer by out-of-staters. The new owners are renting it out also causing the same problems.

Who is promoting this practice? Breezy Point has a four-times-per-year limit on private properties being rented out. Crosslake used to have a three-times–per-year limit but reversed that ordinance. Our neighbor owned a place on Cross Lake but sold it and bought his current place because Crosslake had the three-times-per year rental restriction. Crosslake people need to be aware of their Council’s decisions.

Will our property values be affected from this?

Regulations need to be in place to stop investors from buying lake homes for rental purposes only.

Contact your local city councils or mayors to voice your concerns.

Bob and Mary Kvam
Pequot Lakes, MN

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