Southeast Area Cooperative board holds a mortgage burning ceremony

Southeast Area Cooperative board holds a mortgage burning ceremony by Craig Steensland With the lighting of the large white mortgage document and flames traveling closer to the fingers, the debt of the Southeast Area Cooperative located in Beresford went up in smoke.

The occasion was the mortgage burning of the $35,910 debt of the Southeast Area Cooperative. Holding the lighter was 2003 Southeast Area Cooperative Chairperson Pat Norin, president of the Centerville School Board. Gingerly handling the burning mortgage papers was Gary Nelson, 1992 chairperson of the Southeast Area Cooperative and a former member of the Viborg School Board.

What started as a dream on Dec. 16, 1992, came to fruition on April 1, with the burning of the mortgage papers.

The building, located on S.D. Highway 46, was purchased in late 1992 for $72,500. Financing included a Community Development Block Grant from South Dakota Gov. George Mickelson, plus assistance from the Union County Commission. A $35,910 10-year loan was also secured from the State Bank of Alcester.

The Southeast Area Cooperative is a collection of member school districts that stretches from Alcester-Hudson, Beresford, Canton, Centerville, Elk Point-Jefferson, Gayville-Volin, Irene, Viborg and Wakonda. The goal of the cooperative is to provide educational services to

the member school districts that would not be provided as effectively or as economically if they were acting alone.

The member schools receive: school psychological services, preschool services to children with disabilities, speech and language services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, alternative school (Aspire High), Project Skills (jobs program), Medicaid payment services, Southeast Birth to Three Connections, and Southeast District Learning.

Southeast Area Cooperative also provides a means for school group purchasing, plus school staff training programs.

The budget for Southeast Area Cooperative exceeds $1 million. It employs 30 full- or part-time personnel. The director of the program is Dr. Dean Lindstrom.

Members of the 1992-93 board of directors that purchased the Beresford site include: Chairperson Gary Nelson � Viborg School District, Curt Keiser � Alcester-Hudson School District, David Lawrenson � Beresford School District, Lyle Schwartz � Canton School District, Mike Austin � Centerville School District, Ron Hoffman � Elk Point School District, Sara Jepsen � Gayville-Volin School District, Catherine Harts �

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Irene School District and Van Moser � Wakonda School District.

Members of the 2003-2004 board of directors that made the final payment for the building include: Chairperson Pat Norin � Centerville School District, Pam Hughes � Alcester-Hudson School District, Brenda

Hansen � Beresford School District, Julie Verley � Canton School District, John Trudeau � Elk Point-Jefferson School District, Kathy Jorgensen � Gayville-Volin School District, John Gunderson � Irene School District, Gene Larsen � Viborg School District and Jim Morrison � Wakonda School District.

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