Here we are….Steele County Free Fair week, already! Always a great celebration and reunions of family and friends.

Our Medford community is also excited to have its own day — Thursday, August 15 — to co-celebrate with all our area senior citizens. All Medford area residents are encouraged to wear maroon and gold throughout the day. You will see many 4H and FFA young people taking care of animals or spending time around the 4H building and exhibit area. Our senior citizens, too, will be enjoying the entertainment venues, exhibits and visiting with friends throughout the day.

The Muckle Museum will also have our basket of goodies-contributions from the Minnesota Outlets and More, Glitzy Fashions, Anhorn Gas & Fuel, and Abe Paquette Insurance. Register for this and other community baskets at the museum.

Thursday evening at 5 p.m. is also a special Medford Program at the United Prairie Stage in Fair Square Park. Miss Medford Makinley Smith will be there to greet the crowd and share her summer activities that includes hours of cheerleading practice. Kevin Werk, Medford’s Athletic Director and our fall coaches, David Bon, Cross Country; Jerome Johannes, Football; and Missy Underdahl, Volleyball will be there with many of our student athletes to share Tiger expectations of their fall season. We look forward to celebrating Summer Days Carnival Nights with you this week.

During the school year, our schools are the community’s social hub. School does get underway for the senior high right after Labor Day. Elementary parents and their children have appointments with teachers to start the year off with expectations and information so have a staggered school start that first week. Kindergarteners start the following week. All eager to get back into a new year routine. Medford looks to have record-breaking numbers as they start another academic year. We certainly wish everyone a successful school start!

With last week’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) meeting, drafts of our new community brochure, “Medford: Grow With Us,” was shared around the table. This brochure will be circulated to chambers and businesses around the area as well as having available for our new residents and developers interested in our area. The final version will be ready later this fall.

Also, presented at the EDA was Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) representative, Alissa Oeltjenbruns, about the process for organizing our own Medford Community Foundation. A number of residents have expressed interest in offering their time and talents to initiate this foundation. One we know will have long-lasting impact and support for our area. If you are interested in this undertaking, please contact me as we will have a board organizational meeting sometime early this fall.

The 2020 budget process has also started! Review of estimated income and expenses for the next year studied at a special work session prior to our July council meeting gets the budget process underway. Right now, we are at 1.8% tax increase. Activity and numbers will be reviewed during the next months before the preliminary filing with the county in September. Final budget review is done in December.

The council did move to implement a $3 flat rate fee increase for sewer costs to all users. This is in anticipation of the wastewater plant expansion in the next few years. We continue to explore all costs with this expansion, funding sources and possibility of regionalization. An extensive process that will have staff and council attention well into this next year.

Now, we are looking to seeing you at the Steele County Fair!

Lois M Nelson is now serving her seventh year as Medford Mayor.

Jeffrey Jackson is the managing editor of the Owatonna People's Press. He can be reached at 507-444-2371 or via email at

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