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Preston City Council: Issue of special assessment unresolved


Fri, May 9th, 2003
Posted in Features

The Preston City Council met Monday, May 5 lacking one member, Mike Gartner. Mayor Pechulis asked for a moment of silence to wish Mr. Gartner well, as he was admitted to the hospital late last week.

Joe Palen, an engineer from Bonestroo and Associates of Rochester, explained the options for special assessments to pay for improvements on Ridge Road and Spring Street. The total cost of the projects will be over $2,000,000. However, the City is only responsible for approximately $933,000. These figures are only estimates until bids are made and a bid is accepted.

The problem on this evening lies in how to be fair to all property owners involved. The two projects were contracted with the county at different times, even though they are scheduled to be completed at the same time. The Ridge Road project was signed off on prior to a change in Fillmore County policy last fall. Since then, the county has been forced to cut expenses and has a new policy which imposes more costs on the city. The City, in turn, will then lay most of these expenses on the individual property owners involved.

The problem for the council is equability and fairness. Should the projects be pooled together, in which case property owners involved would all pay approximately $18.09 on a per adjusted front footage basis? Or, should the Ridge Road residents pay about $9.10 per foot of frontage and the Spring Street residents about $29.88? Palen stressed that both projects would provide many of the same improvements and the same potential for increase in property values. The engineer pointed out that these proposed assessments are low in both cases because of the cost sharing by county and state for the projects. Normally, the assessment would be between $50 and $60 per foot for an urban street.

Palen suggested a public hearing be held on May 27. Questions commonly asked would be: What is the improvement? What will it cost? What is it going to cost me? But Mr. Palen also suggested that if the council decides to assess at two different rates that there should be two separate hearings to avoid confusion.

The council has the option to reduce, defer, or eliminate specific assessments because of agricultural land, unbuildable land, or a planned future pond. However, these changes will not be made until after an assessment hearing. If the City offers a reduction, then the City must make up .....
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Lanesboro City Council refuses to consider closing alley

Fri, May 9th, 2003
Posted in Features

Tempers flared as the Lanesboro City Council heard from developer Dan Anderson, Bethlehem Church Council President Eric Ruen, and Warren Kramer of Northcountry Cooperative Development on Monday, May 5.

Kramer first spoke to the ..... 
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Fillmore County District Court

Fri, May 9th, 2003
Posted in Features

Felony Charges

•Mandy Kay Vreeman, 24, Preston, charged with felony DWI from an incident on March 22, 2003. Alleged to have been in control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol within 10 years of having been convict ..... 
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Beef industry stands strong in light of general economy

Fri, May 2nd, 2003
Posted in Features

"Packers like farm raised finished cattle," notes Joe Nelson, owner of Lanesboro Sales Commission.

Nelson says the producers in the area have paid attention to their genetics, purchasing good quality bulls that help upgrade the ..... 
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3-2 split favors Heartland

Fri, May 2nd, 2003
Posted in Features

Council members Mike Gartner and Jerry Scheevel requested the special meeting of the Preston City Council held Tuesday, April 29. A large crowd again over-flowed into the entry way.   Scheevel made a motion stating that, base ..... 
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Public Hearings, but No Public

Fri, May 2nd, 2003
Posted in Features

The Rushford City Council started out their April 28 meeting with two public hearings, but there was little sign of a public to hear from.   The first hearing of the night concerned the re-adoption of the Minnesota State Buil ..... 
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Have knives will travel

Fri, May 2nd, 2003
Posted in Features

Any farmer who raises cattle for his own meat knows that there are a number of small processing plants around Fillmore County that provide the valuable service of butchering and processing the homegrown stock.

When it’s time—wh ..... 
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Heartland wins. Or did they?

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

On Monday evening, the Preston Council Chamber was literally over flowing, with people sitting on the floor and many standing in the corridor straining to hear the proceedings of the Preston City Council. The council was meeting to decide whether to ..... 
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County to reopen zoning density debate

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

At last Tuesday’s meeting of the Fillmore County Planning Commission, Commissioner Duane Bakke unveiled a new zoning ordinance amendment that would allow individual townships to select from a menu of choices that would determine how many homes are bu ..... 
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