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School board, NR City Council reach consensus on several issues


Staff Writer

Unlike the political posturing we have to endure in Washington and St. Paul, the first ever face-to-face meeting of the NRHEG School Board and New Richland City Council saw agreement and cooperation from both sides.

School Board Vice Chair Michelle Moxon convened the meeting in the absence of Chair Rick Schultz who was supposedly taking hula dancing lessons.

Superintendent Kevin Wellen gave a brief overview of the purpose of the meeting, which was discussion concerning the softball fields, summer recreation and signage for the crosswalk/school zone.

“We share facilities,” said Wellen. “They have served their purpose well.”

NRHEG Activities Director Dan Stork presented a list of immediate and long-term improvements to the softball fields at Legion Field. 

“The most important items from a safety standpoint are the backstops,” said Stork. “They need to be repaired or replaced.”

Other items on the list were:

• Removal and spraying of weeds along the fence lines.

• Infields need to be tilled and leveled to allow better drainage.

• Fill in a low spot in the outfield of the north field with dirt and sod.

For the long term, Stork mentioned replacement of safety netting between the fields, moving the fence to 200 feet to conform to high school varsity standards, covering the dugouts, straightening or replacement of several light poles, installation of electrical outlets and erecting a scoreboard on the varsity field.

The group decided to form a joint committee to spearhead improvement efforts. Members nominated include Mike Moen, Michelle Moxon and Rick Schultz from the school board, and Christine Gislason and Jody Wynnemer from the city council.

Discussion was held concerning the city’s summer recreation program. The city council will continue to provide and pay the lifeguards at St. Olaf Lake Park. The Red Cross has changed their policy regarding the Water Safety Instructors. Assistant City Clerk Corrine Schuller will work out any details.

The last item of business was the school zone adjacent to the highway. The current crosswalk sign has been damaged several times and is currently not operating properly. Since the zone involves a state highway, the group inquired as to who is responsible for the installation and maintenance of signage. City Clerk Wayne Billing stated a 20-mph school zone would need state approval. Different types of signs were discussed and the general consensus was that the LED signs would be the most visible. Costs of a solar powered version are around $1,600 each. Funding sources for the project will be explored by both bodies, who agreed it will be money well spent.

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