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Preston extends until 2050 with SMMPA


Fri, Oct 16th, 2009
Posted in Government

The Preston Public Utility Commission and the Preston City Council met jointly early on October 13, to hear City Attorney Dwight Luhmann's opinion on his review of the current contract offered by the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA). City Administrator Joe Hoffman noted the city and utility have been discussing the pros and cons of an extension over the last six months. SMMPA is a nonprofit, tax exempt organization and is financially stable.

In August, the SMMPA staff answered questions and detailed their expectations for the future. SMMPA staff members want the extensions to improve their ability to plan and forecast how much energy may be needed in the out years and find ways to service that need. The city staff has checked into other options. Luhmann said he reviewed the current contract that was signed in April 1981. He called it straight forward, not one sided. Luhmann stressed the contract has worked for the past twenty-eight years. The extension will tie the city to SMMPA for another forty years, twenty years past the current contract.

Hoffman asked about any language in the contract that addresses the ability to terminate the agreement. Luhmann answered that either side can terminate after 2030 with a one year notice. SMMPA has the right to terminate for nonpayment from Preston or any other participating municipality for power received. The only other way out would be the result of a natural or other disaster making it impossible for either party to perform.

Hoffman made it clear that if they vote to extend, SMMPA can't terminate before 2050 and the city can't terminate before 2050. Mayor Kurt Reicks asked what would be the city's options if SMMPA raised their prices well over the prevailing market and it was not economically feasible to continue. Hoffman assured him that was not likely to happen as SMMPA's board is made up of seven individual staff members from member municipalities and they set the rates. He noted they have in the past been slightly higher with their rates, but have also been lower as they are currently.

Hoffman stated about five or six municipalities out of sixteen have extended so far including Owatonna. Rochester and Austin opted not to extend a while ago.

Councilman David Collett remarked if something is working good, don't fix it. Commissioner Heath Mensink said the city plant has the option in an emergency of operating and providing power to the city with diesel gene .....
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Spring Valley City Council discusses trip to Chicago

Fri, Oct 16th, 2009
Posted in Government

The Spring Valley City Council held their meeting Monday night and timewise it was probably one of the shortest meetings ever held, barely 12 minutes.

The main item on the agenda was giving permission for three city representatives to trave ..... 
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Federal Energy Tax Credit Q & A

Fri, Oct 16th, 2009
Posted in Government

Question: Which products are eligible for a tax credits for energy efficient home improvements? Are they available for new construction also? What about vacation homes? Rental properties?

Answer: Tax credits are available at 30% of the cost ..... 
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Easy Ways to Save Water and Money

Fri, Oct 16th, 2009
Posted in Government

Perhaps no issues are more hot button these days than the environment and the economy. The general feeling is that both need to be saved, but there are differing views as to how to go about doing so.

One of the ways that can help save the en ..... 
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County passes opportunity for stimulus funds to municipalities

Fri, Oct 16th, 2009
Posted in Government

Mike Bubany, David Drown Associates, described the pros and cons of the Federal Recovery Zone Bonds to the county board at their October 13 meeting. Fillmore County was one of 55 Minnesota counties to receive an allocation. The county was allocated ..... 
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Board requests details on recovery zone bond allocations

Fri, Oct 9th, 2009
Posted in Government

Cris Gastner, Economic Development Authority (EDA), talked over with the Fillmore County Board the possibilities and limitations of the Recovery Zone Bonds allocated for Fillmore County at the board's October 6 meeting. The bonds are a possible fina ..... 
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National Trout Learning Center in Preston?

Fri, Oct 9th, 2009
Posted in Government

Cathy Enerson, Preston Economic Development Authority (EDA), told the city council at their October 6 meeting that the idea of developing a Trout Learning Center in Preston is in an early discussion stage. The next step is to put together a steering ..... 
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2010 Census announcement

Fri, Oct 9th, 2009
Posted in Government

My name is Ashley Edwards and I'm working as the local government liaison for the State of Minnesota's Census 2010 Campaign. Believe it or not, Census 2010 is just six months away (Census Day is April 1, 2010). As you may know, Minnesota is one of a ..... 
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Lanesboro Community Center repairs

Fri, Oct 9th, 2009
Posted in Government

Lanesboro's City Administrator Bobbie Vickerman recently took a "Junk Tour" with city maintenance employee Andy Drake. They drove through the town to see if there were any properties that were in violation of the city's junk ordinance. They took pic ..... 
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