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County says NO to Heartland subsidy


Fri, Nov 5th, 2004
Posted in Features

The Fillmore County Board on Tuesday voted unanimously to recommend that the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) deny a request for a JOBZ land swap for the proposed Heartland tire-burning plant.

Heartland was seeking a Job Opportunity Building Zone subsidy in the form of sales, property and income tax exemptions valued at $930,000 over ten years. Due to the settlement of a lawsuit, the city of Preston was attempting to replace Heartland in the citys JOBZ zone. DEED required that all three taxing districts to agree to the change.

Citing an incompatibility with the countys comprehensive plan, its potential conflict with the growing tourism industry and the belief that the company didnt need the subsidy to operate, the commissioners one by one voiced opposition to the plan.

Commissioner Duane Bakke, who crafted the resolution to deny, said, It is my educated opinion that Heartland is a bad idea economically, environmentally, and just the perception of this plant locating here is causing economic harm to our local economy.

About a dozen opponents of the Heartland plant who were at the meeting were quick to praise the boards action.

They gave it a lot of thought and listened to the public, Ann Ott of Preston said. They had the courage to stand up for what they truly believed was best for the county.

Fran Sauer, who serves as president of Southeastern Minnesotans for Environmental Protection, an environmental group opposed to the plant, applauded the decision.

This was a decision with the future of this county in mind, Sauer said.

The boards decision went against a Fillmore County Economic Development Authority recommendation to allow Heartland to submit a full application. But both, the EDA and a sub-committee of the group, which also recommended a full application, did so on the condition that Heartland submit more detailed financial information.

But Bakke told his colleagues that he was not going to make the EDA, which is made up of volunteer citizens, go through this (full application).

No commissioner spoke for the project or for going to a full application.

Commissioner Chuck Amunrud, who chaired the EDA subcommittee, said, I really question if they (Heartland) need a su .....
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93% voter turnout in Fillmore County

Fri, Nov 5th, 2004
Posted in Features

Nearly 12,000 voters turned out in Fillmore County on Tuesday to cast ballots in the general election. The Fillmore County Auditors office tallied 11,798 ballots from 12,679 registered voters, 93% of eligible voters.

On the nat ..... 
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Some election food for thought

Fri, Nov 5th, 2004
Posted in Features

A year of relentless attack ads and $4 billion later, we finally have a president.

Regardless of whether your man won - whether you voted the way you did because of Iraq, the war on terror, the economy or some moral questions a ..... 
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Chatfield Police Officer charged in burglary ring

Fri, Nov 5th, 2004
Posted in Features

A Chatfield police officer and two Chatfield residents were charged with multiple felony counts of theft and burglary in Fillmore County District Court on Wednesday, November 3.

Ryan Michael Lettner, 26, a police officer with th ..... 
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Fillmore County District Court:Rochester man sent to prison for meth activities

Fri, Nov 5th, 2004
Posted in Features

Douglas Ray Howard, 31, of Rochester, was sentenced to 45 months in prison by Fillmore County District Court Judge Robert Benson on Monday, November 1, after pleading guilty to two felony charges related to the manufacture of methamphetamine.< ..... 
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Preston City Council Report: City renews contract for EDA services with SEMDC

Fri, Nov 5th, 2004
Posted in Features

The Preston City Council agreed at their Monday, November 1 meeting to renew the citys contract for economic development services with the Southeast Minnesota Development Corporation in Rushford for 2005. The previous Economic Development Authority ..... 
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We owe a debt of thanks to all veterans

Fri, Nov 5th, 2004
Posted in Features

  Editors note: The following is part of a speech that Mr. Halloran gave on Memorial Day in Chatfield. Mr. Halloran grew up in Chatfield and now lives in Colorado.

I can tell you personally, that just s ..... 
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Letter from China

Fri, Oct 29th, 2004
Posted in Features

TANGSHAN, CHINA - Most visitors to China stay in the cities. There are hundreds of modern cities with populations of more than a million, where economic development has raised the standard of living, new construction is a 24 hour a day pursuit, and c ..... 
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Civility wins in Hanson - Davids debate

Fri, Oct 29th, 2004
Posted in Features

RUSHFORD - There may not have been a clear winner in last Wednesdays debate between State Representative candidate Peggy Hanson and her opponent, the incumbent Greg Davids, but the whole event could be considered a victory for civility.
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