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Pine Technical and Community College receives state funding, and more news

The end of the 2023 legislative session brought exciting news for Pine Technical and Community College as a last-minute bonding bill brought the college over 20 million dollars.

PTCC President Joe Mulford said the money will fund an expansion project that began in 2018.

“Almost all of our core technical education programs will be impacted,” Mulford said.

He said the nursing, automotive, gunsmithing, automation, and welding programs will get new labs for learning.

“Right now, our welding program has 10 booths and is limited in space. We’ll be up to 24 booths and add a second year of curriculum because they will be able to do a lot of things they can’t do now,” Mulford said.

The just over $21 million allocation will go toward the construction of a new 25,000-square-foot expansion to the building. Mulford said they will then renovate another 15,000 square feet of existing space once programs move into the new spaces.

Mulford thanked State Senator Jason Rarick and State Representative Nathan Nelson for their support in getting the funding through the legislature.

“It's one of the few schools in the state that is growing in enrollment,” Rep. Nelson said. “Many of the students are staying in this community whether it’s something industrial, automotive, nursing, or they are just furthering their education. Its a great opportunity to expand that school to the needs that are there. I know that they’re excited at Pine Tech to be able to help that.”

Mulford says more information will be available as they finalize plans and begin work on the college.

Isanti County announces administrator finalists

Isanti County has announced the five finalists for the position of county administrator.

Candidates with close area ties include Josi Wood, who currently serves as Isanti City Administrator, and Dan Meyer, the county’s former Veteran Services Director.

The other finalists are Becker County Administrator Pat Oman (who previously spent several years in the same capacity for Mille Lacs County); former Scandia and Pine City administrator Kenneth Cammilleri; and James Greene, who has worked in leadership positions in the U.S. Army but doesn’t have public sector experience.

Interim county administrator Chad Struss is resigning in July.

Interviews will be held during the county board of commissioners’ regular June 6 meeting.

Pine City Schools to hold active shooter training

The Pine City School district will host members of the Pine County Sheriff’s Office early this month for active shooter training.

Pine City’s School Resource Officer Aaron Quesenberry happens to be one of the trainers for the department.

He told the school board during the May meeting that he hopes to have school staff as role players to better train responders and Pine City school staff.

“I felt that it would be more beneficial to put the invite out there to school personal,” Quensenberry said. “It just puts it into a realistic perspective of being inside a building that you normally wouldn’t do that in.”

He went on to say that role-playing staff can then pass the information along to others within the district for a better level of preparation.

The training will take place over two days at the Pine City High School on June 6 and June 8.

Chisago County Ag Society turns down bid to buy fairgrounds

The Chisago County Agricultural Society turned down an offer to purchase the county fairgrounds last Monday.

According to a press release, an offer was made by businessman Dennis Frandsen during a Chisago County Fair Board meeting.

Frandsen floated the idea of moving the fair from Rush City to somewhere more centrally located in the county, like Almelund. Frandsen’s offer for the fairgrounds was a one-time payment of $1 million.

The board’s vote against the purchase was unanimous.

The Chisago County Fair is in its 151st year, and will run from July 20 through July 23.

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