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Commissoner's Report: County Board goes down to the wire in making 2004 budget cuts


Fri, Sep 5th, 2003
Posted in Features

“It is not work that kills men; it’s worry. Worry is rust upon the blade.”Henry Ward Beecher

“Not business as usual”, proclaimed Chairman Marc Prestby as painful deliberations continued at Tuesday’s county board meeting with an $800,000 budget shortfall looming over the county’s head. A September 15 deadline where counties must have levies set is not far off. “Levy maximum amount and reduce it later down the line”, said Prestby. A county has the right to come down from their capped figure, but can not raise it at a later time.In the last several weeks, department heads have been presenting their proposed 2004 budgets. Many have already streamlined numbers, with little margin to spare. Cost shifting (courtesy of the state), grant shuffling or total elimination of some revenues, and overall continual rising costs have hammered on department budgets with little regard for the long-term effects.As the board members paged through proposed 2004 budgets, Prestby noted several times that not all department heads had presented a list of mandated services (required by state) and non-mandated services. This is a critical area for potential dollar savings. Prestby said the board needs to give departments a dollar amount to cut if the commissioners aren’t provided with enough information on mandated services.Appropriations “They’re all good, not contributing to anything bad, (wasteful)” noted Policy Coordinator Karen Brown as discussions began. There are two types of appropriation categories. The first includes bigger budgeted areas such as, Agricultural Society (county fair), Historical Society (Fountain’s museum), ambulance services, SWCD, and Extension. The second type includes programs such as the EDA whose funds are appropriated at the Annual Meeting. It was pointed out that the commissioners could cut all appropriations and it still wouldn’t be enough to balance the budget. They’d just have a lot of people really angry concluded the board. With SWCD having one of the largest budgets, it was tough not to look closer at that area. The board cut $50,000 from SWCD, $20,000 from the Library Fund; $6,300 from ambulance services; $8,600 from Historical Society; and $8,400 from the Ag Society. All other appropriations will be cut by 20%.County needs Big-Ticket reductions“We need Big Ticket items for reductions” state .....
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Lanesboro City Council Report: Cooperation continuing on Church Hill Cooperative development

Fri, Sep 5th, 2003
Posted in Features

Developers Jeff Allman and Warren Kramer of Northcountry returned to the Lanesboro City Council with a refined plan for the Church Hill Cooperative property (the Old School) on Tuesday night. The new plan calls for one handicapped and eight other ind ..... 
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Tragedy on the trail

Fri, Sep 5th, 2003
Posted in Features

The 11th annual “Ride the Root River Trail” wagon ride ended in tragedy on Wednesday, September 3 when a large dead elm tree fell across the trail hitting one of the wagons.

Killed was Marty Quandt, 53, of Rochester. Two other p ..... 
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Chatfield grocery closes doors after 10 years

Fri, Aug 29th, 2003
Posted in Features

"Red pickup, yet?" inquired Bob Vondal of his customer as he carried two bags of groceries out the store’s doors.   Vondal, a 30-year veteran in the grocery business, has been subdued lately as he prepared to close the doors ..... 
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Rushford aims to build Nanobridge into 21st century

Fri, Aug 29th, 2003
Posted in Features

Nanotechnology? Nanu, nanu? No, it’s not a flashback to the old days of Robin Williams’ Mork and Mindy! According to Kevin Klungtvedt of the Rushford Institute for Nanotechnology (RINT), nanotechnology is the “direct manipulating of atoms and molecul ..... 
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Court of Appeals upholds Tuchek conviction

Fri, Aug 29th, 2003
Posted in Features

On Tuesday, August 26, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the Fillmore County District Court’s conviction of former Lanesboro Police Chief John Tuchek for the April 2002 “hero fire” that destroyed three historic buildings in downtown Lanesboro. [Read the Rest]

Fillmore County District Court

Fri, Aug 29th, 2003
Posted in Features

Felony Charges

•Garwick Robert Sneed, 30, Rochester, was charged in Fillmore County District Court on Monday, August 25, with felony theft of a motor vehicle stemming from an incident in Spring Valley on June 17. Sneed was relea ..... 
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Heartland opponents ask for county board’s support

Fri, Aug 29th, 2003
Posted in Features

Over the past several months, citizens of Preston and outlying areas have been in a dispute over the proposed Heartland tire burning facility, dividing its residents.

Concerned citizens came to the County Commissioners on Tuesd ..... 
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Rushford City Council Report: Rushford officials respond to drought conditions

Fri, Aug 29th, 2003
Posted in Features

At the advice of Public Works Director Jeff Copley, the Rushford City Council urged voluntary citizen cooperation in water conservation at the August 25th council meeting. Citizens have been asked to refrain from watering lawns and washing cars until ..... 
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