Letters to the Editor

Taxation concerns

Now that the 2019 valuations from the County Assessor have arrived, I looked at the numbers pertaining to the proposed school bond election, relating to our farm. I do not know and question if the estimated assessment was referencing the 2018 valuations or the new 2019 valuations. Our 120 acre parcel, containing mostly farm fields, no buildings, increased 40 percent for next year. I also question if, as there are several, current and future TIF Districts will be assessed for the levy. Property owners must also be aware the current 40 percent exemption on ag land was not written in stone. This must be approved every two years. With the Governor and Legislature we now have attempting to spend the state out of debt, this exemption could easily disappear which would reflect the numbers I have referenced below.

If my calculations are correct, based on the numbers provided by the school board, the cost to our home and farm will be: 

Question 1 - 2018 valuation: $1,047 per year

Question 2 - 2019 valuation: $1,211 per year

When using the $20.78 factor per $125,000 valuation, an insignificant dollar amount is viewed. Using the increase amount based on a valuation of $25.64 a somewhat increase in the insignificant amount is viewed. When multiplying by 12 or the yearly tax bite is used, that insignificance disappears and the number which will show up on next year’s tax statement will show up. I would have to assume business-commercial and recreation classes will have a bite as well. I hope renters will not assume taxes do not reflect on the rent they pay.

I suggest property owners and taxpayers actually take a look at the valuation notices from the assessor and figure the yearly cost to their property to avoid “sticker shock” when the property tax statement shows up in the spring of 2020.


Roger Dukowitz

Browerville, Minn



Rights for crime victims

Every year, millions of people’s lives are forever changed by crime. They are our families, neighbors, friends, and colleagues. Crime victims often struggle to work, pay bills, or support their loved ones. Many have life-changing injuries and need long-term care and support. April 7-13 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week – a wonderful opportunity to renew our commitment to underserved crime victims, to create partnerships, and to enhance the services and offerings from local providers to ensure that all victims of crime receive the necessary support to address their victimization and begin the healing process on their terms. 

This year’s theme, “Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future,” encourages commemoration, honor and respect toward the crime advocates, allied professionals, and selfless volunteers who have courageously worked for increased rights for crime victims. The theme also invites us to look toward the future of inclusive, accessible, and innovative resources and services for survivors.

During this year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week let us reaffirm our commitment to creating a victim service and criminal justice response that assists all victims of crime and express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for those community members, victim service providers, and criminal justice professionals who are committed to improving this response so that all victims of crime may find the relevant assistance, support, justice, and peace they deserve.


Barb Dinkel Goodrich

General Crime Services Coordinator

Hands of Hope Resource Center


School project is about the future

School is where dreams are born and futures are determined. I want my kids to dream big! That’s why, this May, I’ll be voting in favor of the proposed building renovations for Staples/Motley Schools.

My youngest will be heading off to kindergarten next fall. I get teary eyed just thinking about it. The school day seems so long. She seems so little. If you’re a parent, I’m sure you can relate. The transition to school is a big one.

I’m concerned about her future, her safety and her ability to dream. Simply put, our school buildings are old, cramped - and in some cases - crumbling. We cannot expect our schools to help our kids if we don’t help our schools. Schools should be inspiring environments.

We can shuffle students from building to building, but it doesn’t change the fact our buildings don’t support modern education. Unless we invest in renovations, our district will start to backslide.

For starters, our elementary school needs a new kitchen. Our cooks perform daily miracles by feeding our kids with the current set-up. Our classrooms are also horribly outdated. Education is changing to meet the ever-changing demands from employers and society. Why aren’t we?

The high school needs even more work, especially considering it’ll be housing three more grades next fall. Space is needed and so are many, many updates. We can’t just house our students, we need to maximize their potential. Teachers can do their best work with the right tools.

The gyms at both schools are begging for attention. If approved, the high school and elementary will get gyms designed for the needs of all our students. Considering my youngest is blessed with Down syndrome, I applaud the detail and thought put into these plans. Each school will be equipped with adaptive amenities for all students that are specific to their needs. I love that this plan will not only help our kids exercise their minds but also their bodies. The plan does not add court space. It does add opportunity.

We are blessed with some great teachers in this community and some exceptional students. They need our support. They need to know we value them and believe in them. They need us to vote YES this May.

Next fall, when I hug my youngest and wish her well on her first day of school, I know she’ll feel my support. Will she feel yours?

For more information on why you should vote yes, visit: www.voteyes2170.com.


Jennifer Hines,

Staples, Minn.


Staples World

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 100
Staples, MN 56479
Telephone: (218) 894-1112 - Fax: (218) 894-3570
Toll Free: 1-888-894-1112
E Mail: info@staplesworld.com

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