The week that was

SEEKING COMMUNITY INPUT Souris Valley United Way’s online survey offers a good opportunity for area residents to let their voices be heard on local projects. The organization is conducting an online survey seeking information on future projects, and general comments on the organization. The survey is available at (www.surveymonkey.com/s/whatthisplaceneeds). The United Way will use the information from poll responses to help formulate its spending plans, and to gauge the feelings of community members when it comes to spending the money that is contributed by area residents. We encourage residents to take a little time to answer the survey, and help provide an important community organization with valuable input.

BACK IN THE NEWS North Dakota Attorney?General Wayne Stenehjem ruled this past week that the Common Schools Trust Fund cannot provide grants to fund school capital projects. The fund, administered by the Board of University and School Lands, had been in the news in recent months, as opponents of Minot’s two school bond issue votes argued that the school district should get money from the trust fund rather than pay for capital projects through bonding and property taxes. School district officials consistently said that state law prohibited them from accessing Common Schools Trust Fund money. This past week, in response to a letter from Rep. Scott Louser, R-Minot, Stenehjem agreed. There are ways for the trust fund to make loans, but “the Land Board could not gift or grant funds because grants deplete the fund with no possibility of a return,” Stenehjem wrote. Let’s hope that clears up the debate.