At the July 16 Preston City Council meeting, the implementation of an area fundraising effort for the proposed veterans home was discussed. This is fundraising over and above commitments that have already been made by the city and the city’s utility.
Funds raised or pledged prior to August 24 will be counted for a 2:1 federal match. The goal is to raise $750,000 or more for the federal funding match. The council supported the fundraising effort. The funds raised must be current funding. Land and existing infrastructure provided by the city will not be included in the amount for the 2:1 match.
Cathy Enerson, representing the Veterans Home Committee, said they want to make as much impact as they can. There was some discussion about whether donations and pledges should be accepted by the city or the Preston Community Foundation or both. Mayor Kurt Reicks asked if there was any reason the donations and pledges shouldn’t go through the Community Foundation. The funds will be collected and put into an escrow account. City Administrator Joe Hoffman preferred the city not hold any funds donated by counties.
Enerson said the Community Foundation is willing to set up the fund. Letters of request will be created and sent to counties in the catchment area. A request for support from Fillmore County will be made. Veterans service officers in the area will be informed as to the fundraising effort and the deadline. Local pledges will be sought from Servicemen’s Clubs, Legions, and VFWs. A list of other large potential donors will be created.
A report with the amount of local contributions is due to the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs by late August 2018.
Other business in brief
• Tom and Dorle Kaase intend to close the purchase of the Jailhouse Inn on July 31 and take over on August 1. They requested approval for a 3.2 malt liquor license and a wine license. These licenses are held by the current owner.
Dorle said it was her dream to own a bed and breakfast. The couple intends to move back to Preston and reside at the third floor innkeeper’s apartment. Approval was given for the transfer of the licenses. Councilman Robert Maust, speaking to Tom and Dorle, said it is fortunate you are acquiring the Jailhouse Inn and will keep it going.
• Heidi Jones introduced herself to the council as a candidate for Fillmore County Auditor/Treasurer. She said she grew up in Beaver Township where she was one of seven children. She has two children of her own and one granddaughter. She studied business management in college. The majority of her working career has been in public service, 11 years working her way up within the auditor/treasurer’s office. She said she is passionate about transparency, letting people know where their money goes, including her own and her family’s tax dollars. There will be a primary election on August 14, as three people are running for the office. The two highest vote getters will go on to the general election in November.
• An annual appropriation in the amount of $3,000 requested by the Preston Historical Society was approved.
• Approval was given to purchase a new front plow for the 2003 Sterling plow truck (Maust and Collett voted no). Jim Bakken, public works, explained repairs to the existing 15-year-old plow will cost $3,800 and may allow it to be of service for another five years. He recommended the purchase of the new plow at a cost of $8,100. A cutting edge will be needed for either plow at a cost of $960.
• A permit was approved for a fireworks show at the County Fair on July 20 at dusk. The seven-minute show will be done by Flashing Thunder Fireworks Inc. Proof of insurance was provided to the city.
• A list of election judges was approved for the primary and general elections.
• A request from Austin Baukol to add a driveway approach to his home at 500 Pleasant St. was approved. A shared driveway currently provides access.
• Discussion about the placement of two culverts and ditch cleaning along Cottage Grove Ave. to control storm water runoff was tabled until the next council meeting. Maust felt there was a better way to deal with the runoff and asked for the delay to discuss possibilities with staff and Scheevel and Sons.
• Approval was given to continue to use League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) as the city’s insurance provider, keeping tort limits in place as it has in previous years.
• The city wants to acquire a street easement from Cecil Anderson. After a closed meeting discussion, Hoffman was directed to negotiate the purchase of the easement and bring it back for the city council’s approval.