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Paynesville Press - October 23, 2002

Community roundtable promotes town cooperation

By Jennifer E. Johnson

Paynesville’s first community roundtable discussion was held last week. Conceived by Mayor Jeff Thompson, the quarterly meetings will serve as a way to promote dialogue between local governments and the area’s many associations.

Participating in the first meeting were: Mayor Jeff Thompson, Don Pietsch and John Atwood of Paynesville Township; Lance Louis of the Paynesville Chamber of Commerce; Mark Dingmann of the Paynesville Area School Board; Pastor Dave Nelson of the Ministerial Association; Jerry Hunter of the Koronis Lake Association; and local resident Wayne Walther.

The loosely-organized meeting divided the hour between defining future roundtable goals and identifying the initial concerns from each group.

Among the issues raised at the first meeting were: Highway 23 expansion and concern as to how it will affect area businesses; funding and property issues relating to the ongoing development of the Lake Koronis Trail; the need to provide affordable housing to young families as incentives to relocate to the area; declining school enrollment; keeping District #741 solvent while addressing the needs of the students; and growing businesses in Paynesville.

Representatives of the hospital district and of the Rice Lake Association were also invited.

Interested Paynesville area organizations and individuals were also invited and are encouraged to attend the next meeting. Both the time and location are yet to be determined, but the information will be posted in advance to promote greater participation. Future discussions will likely continue as mid-week, lunch-hour events.

Community roundtable questions or issues can be directed to Mayor Jeff Thompson at city hall at 320-243-3714.

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