City asked to take over museum

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 3/31/99.

The future of the Paynesville Historical Society depends on a bill in the Minnesota Legislature.

Bertha Zniewski, museum curator, asked the Paynesville City Council at their Wednesday night meeting that if the bill isn't approved, would the city take over operation of the Paynesville Historical Society.

At present, the city is not able to donate any more than $2,000 per year to the historical society. Pending legislation would change the funding guidelines, enabling cities to help groups such as the historical society.

The bill has been passed in the House and is still going through the Senate. "We are hoping it will be passed by May," Zniewski said.

"If we could receive $10,000 from the city, we wouldn't need to have the city take over the operation of the museum. We can't live on our present donations," Zniewski added.

At present the museum is open only three months, June to August. Zniewski explained they would like to expand their hours to six months and eventually be open year-round.

"However, if the legislation doesn't pass, we would look for the city to take over the museum and its assets," she added.

The Paynesville Historical Society was organized in 1969 by Zniewski. Operation of the museum has relied upon donations since its opening.

Hospital district report
Willie LaCroix, Paynesville Hospital Administrator, provided the council with a hospital district report. The hospital district is expanding and on April 15, the board will be opening bids for a new $800,000 clinic in Richmond. The clinic is expected to employ three full-time personnel.

LaCroix said a bill is in the Legislature to allow Richmond to join the hospital district. Other neighboring communities have also indicated an interest in learning more about the district as well.

LaCroix added that since 1994, the monthly patient load at the Paynesville clinic has gone from 1,000 patients per month to more than 2,580 patients.

In other business:
•The council approved the Paynesville Police contract with Paynesville Township. The contract runs from April 11, 1999, to April 11, 2000. The contract is for 1,200 hours at a cost of $24.69 per hour.

The township approved the contract at its meeting March 22.

•The council approved a variance request for a car wash at H&L Express. The car wash will be located on the southeast corner of the property.

•The council approved setting up a meeting with the Paynesville Township Board to discuss the county's long-term land use analysis report.

•The council approved contributing $3,000 to the Paynesville Fire Department Fire Relief Association.

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