Underdahl says hospital is “very committed” to being an independent organization
Mayor Dana Graham, Administrator Ben Martig and Northfield Hospital CEO Steve Underdahl met this week to discuss concerns the Mayor brought up when the Hospital Board made mention of moving away from the City and becoming an independent non-profit. THAT discussion took place due to recent changes to accounting rules that meant a nearly $30 million hit to the hospital’s balance sheet. Underdahl gives the cliff notes version of GASB68 saying because they participate in PERA (as a municipal hospital) this rule said if there’s any gap between what PERA has as assets and what they might have to pay out at any given moment, that amount has to be reflected on the books of the individual organizations not on the pension itself. Which is how it HAD been. There were several concerns the Board and Underdahl had. In the last weeks, they’ve learned much more about the implications of those changes and he’s not so “wigged out” now. If the hospital became a 501c3, they would no longer participate in
PERA which means GASB68 would not affect them. Graham became very concerned and called the Hospital out. Underdahl said the conversation really got out before they had their own questions answered and conducted further research. After meeting, Underdahl says they all have a better understanding with the City, “the hospital board wasn’t attempting to make ownership decisions but was trying to do some fact finding to decide whether this even made sense to engage our colleagues at the City in a more significant discussion”. He says while there’s still concern over the effect of GASB68, they aren’t feeling any urgency to make decisions about it. Underdahl said many Municipal hospitals that talk about becoming a 501c3 are really doing that as they consider a merger, “and that’s just not the case with us. I think it’s one of the points of commonality that we have with the Mayor that we are very committed to the idea of being an independent organization”…
CROCT gets okay for power tools
CROCT got the okay from Council to use power tools. Project Manager Jasper Krugel explained the Memo of Understanding to council. The Cannon River Offroad Cycling and Trails Chair Marty Larson and Griff Wigley presented to Council in February. They’ve been building obstacles and maintaining the 1.88 mile trail but would like to do it at convenient times for them without having to wait for City staff. Krugel said part of the MOU includes increased insurance coverage of $2 mil and $4 mil, training their own people on proper use of the equipment, equipment will need approval from the City Engineer, Staff will evaluate the changes before it’s opened to the public and CROCT must secure the area while working with power tools. Council then discussed their involvement regarding changes to the park. They agreed, if necessary, those should go before the Park Board. This MOU applies only to Sechler Park. Council will vote on it next week.
St. Olaf continues to take input on sexual assault policies
St. Olaf College is taking input on their sexual assault policy via their website through May 31st. A Title IX working group was formed April 7th after student Madeline Wilson spoke to media about her dissatisfaction with administrations handling of her sexual assault and demanded change. Class of ‘73 Tim Maudlin is the Chair of the group. They’ve been focused on listening to students, faculty, staff, and other experts. Yesterday he and President David Anderson met with some members of the Grey Shirts group, those are victims of campus sexual assault. President Anderson confirmed his commitment to making any needed changes to St. Olaf’s policies before the 16/17 school year begins. Click on the link for more information. St. Olaf update…
Carleton receives multi-million dollar gift
Carleton College announced a $20 million gift for the expansion of the Weitz Center. The Weitz family and their children are making possible a music performance commons addition to the facility. It will house the music program and create a new performance space. The new addition includes a 400-seat performance hall; rehearsal spaces that range in size for individuals or small groups; faculty offices and studios; and two gathering lounges for before and after performances. The new building includes 13 individual practice rooms, along with 6 practice/teaching studios and 11 teaching studios. Full release is HERE.
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