OLMSTED COUNTY NOTEBOOK Byron will offer teachers Web sites in the fall

BYRON -- Most teachers in the Byron school district will have a Web site by the start of this school year.

The pages will feature things such as homework assignments, lesson plans, test dates and general information about the teacher, said Jennifer Hegna, information systems manager for the district.

The goal is to have Web sites for all high school and middle school teachers and 80 percent of elementary school teachers by the start of the school year, she said.

The teachers' sites will be accessible through the school district's Web site at Go to the staff directory and then to the teacher's name.

Up to 70 percent of district teachers received Web training the week of July 14 during Bear Technology Week, the district's annual summer teacher-training session.


New U-Haul, used-car dealership

PINE ISLAND -- A used-vehicle/U-Haul rental store has opened along U.S. 52 in Pine Island.

CJ Auto Sales, 2877 520th St., opened for business July 7. The city annexed the business from High Forest Township in the spring. It is the first U-Haul rental shop in the city and its third used-vehicle dealership.

Jayne Krause, who owns the business with her husband, Carl, said they opened the business along U.S. 52 just south of the Goodhue County line for its visibility. About 30,000 cars a day pass by, and they have already sold about 20 vehicles since opening.

The dealership sells campers, trailers, tractors and cargo vans along with used vehicles.

CJ Auto Sales was previously based in Rochester.

Standing still on water, sewer

ORONOCO -- A; questionnaire sent to some Oronoco residents about water and sewer issues has the city at a standstill about future actions.


The questionnaire asked residents of the east side of the city -- where many septic systems have failed -- about what they think should be done to remedy the situation. About 55 percent of the residents responded; many said they don't need anything.

City council member Dick Nelson said the survey was flawed because many residents were scared off by the cost of adding municipal water and sewer services.

Oronoco is one of the few cities in the state still without municipal water and sewer services. A city official had previously forecast adding such services could cost residents as much as $200 a month over the next 20 years.

Nelson has since debated the cost issue, claiming the exact cost of improvements are unknown. Nelson also said the city is not even looking at municipal services and is instead looking at a "cluster system," which would serve 10 to 12 homes with a shared system. The costs for such a system, he said, have not been worked out.

The city of Oronoco, which is bisected by U.S. 52, has two rivers going through the city and a lake, which Nelson called a "geographic horror" for providing municipal services.

"To put a system in to cover the whole town doesn't make a lot of sense in my opinion," he said.

Results from the survey, Nelson said, will likely result in the city doing nothing in the immediate future to rectify the failed system problems.

"The result wasn't what we expected," he said. "(Too many) people were reluctant to talk about it."


Upcoming city council meetings

Byron: 6 p.m., today, Fire Hall.

Chatfield: 7 p.m., July 28, Thurber Building (City Hall).

Dover: 7 p.m., Aug. 7, City Hall.

Eyota: 7:30 p.m., Thursday, City Hall.

Oronoco: 7 p.m., Aug. 20, City Hall.

Pine Island: 7 p.m., Aug. 19, City Hall.

Stewartville: 7 p.m., Aug. 12, City Hall.


Olmsted News is a weekly report of what's happening in small cities in and bordering Olmsted County. The report appears Wednesdays in the City/Region section. If you have news or comments, call area reporter Lanier Frush Holt at 285-7635, or send him an e-mail at

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