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Sunday, February 7th, 2016
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Rushford approves amendment to lodging tax ordinance


By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Feb 8th, 2016
Posted in Rushford Government

A short January 25 Rushford council meeting hosted a public hearing and wrapped up a final decision on the fate of lodging tax dollars. The hearing was held to take public comment to a proposed amendment to the city’s ordinance on the funds. The issue has been in discussion for some time and a date was set for the hearing at the last council meeting.

“The purpose of the amendment is to clarify definitions and procedures for the administration of the tax,” stated city documents. Also included is language to formally designate the Rushford Peterson Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors as the local convention or tourism bureau for the purpose of marketing and promoting tourism. Through state statute, 95% of lodging tax funds is to be spent by the acting tourism bureau, with the city retaining the remaining 5% to marketing a tourism purposes.

Another change put forth in the ordinance is the inclusion of city-owned campgrounds as a private source of the lodging tax. Previously, it had been limited to lodging establishments, public and private campgrounds, but excluding municipal campgrounds.

John and Eileen Loken, owner/operators of Loken’s Rushford Inn, have been vocal in supporting the use of the funds for marketing and tourism, but that the collection of funds should be fair across the board for any type of lodging. The Lokens also stressed a desire that the ordinance, collection, and usage of lodging tax dollars be reviewed annually.

Jennifer Hengel, Director for the Rushford Peterson Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Peggi Redalen, Chamber President, were on hand at the meeting and expressed no concern with the ordinance amendments. All items relating to the funds will be reviewed by the Chamber Board and city quarterly with a formal report annually. City Administrator Steve Sarvi cautioned the city not to include a review policy directly into the ordinance, noting the quarterly review stipulation will satisfy oversight.

“It’s more definitive. The intent of the lodging community meetings was to have a more open communication and improve the climate for tourism,” stated councilor Vern Bunke.

“Having the money in an establishment that is working hands on with it and bringing it back to us is a win-win,” added councilor Terri Benson. “It feels that’s the right place to go.”

The city has historically made contributions to lodging .....
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Cost estimates for Dairy and Farm reuse

Mon, Feb 8th, 2016
Posted in Preston Government

Preston city council members dicussed funding sources to pay expenses associated with the potential purchase and renovation of the Dairy and Farm property at their February 1 meeting. Plans are being made to renovate the 50- by 90-foot building to h ..... 
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Snow postpones meeting with legislators

Mon, Feb 8th, 2016
Posted in All Government

The February 2 meeting of the Fillmore County board was shortened due to the winter storm. Rep. Gregg Davids and Senator Jeremy Miller were scheduled to meet with the board to hear the county’s legislative priorities for the upcoming session. This ..... 
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National American Legion Commander to visit Preston

Mon, Feb 1st, 2016
Posted in All Government

If you are a member of the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, or Sons of American Legion, you will want mark your calendar for noon on Thursday, February 4, 2016. On this special day, National American Legion Commander Dale Barnett and St ..... 
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County ordinance amendments discussed

Mon, Feb 1st, 2016
Posted in All Government

The Fillmore County planning commission met for the first time in 2016 on January 21. Zoning administrator Cristal Adkins opened the meeting with a run down of the rules of order. She noted that she and Duane Bakke had attended a training session on ..... 
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Northern long-eared bat complicates County Highway plans

Mon, Feb 1st, 2016
Posted in All Government

At the January 26 Fillmore County Board meeting, County Engineer Ron Gregg discussed a new complication for the upcoming CSAH 1 project, due to the listing of the northern long-eared bat as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. White-nosed ..... 
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What swimming facility will Chatfield residents want?

Mon, Feb 1st, 2016
Posted in Chatfield Government

At the Chatfield City Council’s January 25 meeting, the city’s swimming pool and its future was again discussed. Councilor Paul Novotny was absent. Burbach Aquatics, Inc. has done an analysis on the current pool. They have determined that the ..... 
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Plan details for Dairy and Farm reuse

Mon, Jan 25th, 2016
Posted in Preston Government

Councilman Robert Maust updated the Preston City Council at their January 19 meeting, offering more detailed plans for use of the former Dairy and Farm building. If the city purchases and renovates the building, it will house the Historical Society, ..... 
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Rushford Village preps for new year

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Jan 25th, 2016
Posted in Rushford Village Government

The brief Tuesday, January 5 Rushford Village Council meeting highlighted assignments, designations, and other annual housekeeping for the city. Councilor Dennis Overland was once again nominated and approved as mayor pro tem, acting in place of M ..... 
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