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Clarification of public communication options


Fri, Dec 4th, 2009
Posted in Government

The Fillmore County Commissioners are continuing to gather information in order to make the best choice to comply with the 2013 narrowband mandate. Steve Borchardt, statewide radio board southern regional interoperability coordinator, along with Fillmore County Sheriff Daryl Jensen, presented more detailed options and fielded questions for about two hours at the board's December 2 meeting.

Why the Change

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), an independent US government agency, responsible to congress, has mandated that all public communication systems be narrow banded by January 1, 2013. The state of Minnesota in 2007 increased the 911 fee by 30 cents to build a fund for the Allied Radio Matrix Emergency Response (ARMER) plan. With those funds and revenue bonds the state is paying for the initial infrastructure, termed the backbone of the system, including operation and maintenance costs. Sixty-two million has been set aside state wide for an 800 megahertz (MHz) system which would meet the FCC mandate. Nine-hundred and sixty-three thousand would be available to Fillmore County. The funding needs to be claimed by September 2010 or the funds will be redirected.

The state has built two towers near Amherst and Wykoff and will build two more in the county near Leroy and Harmony. One of the unknowns for the commissioners is how well these four towers plus those in nearby counties will cover if the county would choose to go with the option of full and complete migration into the ARMER system. Jensen explained there was no consensus among user groups which include 27 agencies county wide such as ambulance services, fire departments and law enforcement agencies as to which option would be best for them.

Testing Coverage

Steve Borchardt and Jensen spent four or five hours traveling across the county testing the portable 800 MHz radios in an attempt to find spots where they wouldn't work. Jensen remarked, "It was pretty hard to find a place they didn't work." They found a very short stretch on County Road 105 and also in the basement of the Rushford City Hall where they lost the signal. Sheriff Deputy Mike Ask noted the portables sent a very clear voice.

They tested the radios in spots where they now have the most problems with the existing system. They would be able to do a better test if the other two towers were erected and if there was maximum foliage. Borchardt said he has heard a variety of opinions from .....
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Wastewater plant in Fountain soon to begin operation

Fri, Dec 4th, 2009
Posted in Government

The final details were worked out at the December 3 Fountain City Council meeting in preparation to get the wastewater treatment plant up and running. McGhie and Betts engineer Dave Morrill says the plant is tentatively scheduled to be put into oper ..... 
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City of Rushford Village council meeting

Fri, Dec 4th, 2009
Posted in Government

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Gordon Johnson. Council members present: Dale Schwanke, Dennis Overland, Roger Ekern, and Elizabeth Atkinson. Also present: Zoning Administrator Howard Otis, Attorney Thomas Manion, and Clerk Joy ..... 
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2010 budget and levy hearing

Fri, Dec 4th, 2009
Posted in Government

The county board held a public hearing on the Fillmore County 2010 proposed budget and levy as required by state statute on December 1. County Coordinator Karen Brown noted the Minnesota legislature's requirement for a Truth in Taxation Hearing as a ..... 
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CUPs approved for EcoHarmony west wind and Scheevel feedlot

Fri, Nov 27th, 2009
Posted in Government

Another hurdle was crossed with the recommended approval of two Conditional Use Permits (CUP) for EcoHarmony West Wind, LLC, at the November 19 meeting of the Fillmore County Planning Commission.

Project Manager Don Miller, who has an office ..... 
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Spring Valley renews Mutual Aid Agreement

Fri, Nov 27th, 2009
Posted in Government

The Spring Valley City Council meeting on Monday night was pretty low keyed and dealt mainly with housekeeping issues.

A Mutual Aid Agreement was renewed between the city and Gold Cross Ambulance. The agreement includes Gold Cross Ambulance ..... 
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Chatfield offers services of wastewater operator to Fountain

Fri, Nov 27th, 2009
Posted in Government

The Chatfield City Council adopted a resolution offering operator services at the Fountain Wastewater Treatment Plant at their November 23 meeting. City Clerk Joel Young said they have been working with the city of Fountain for several months to det ..... 
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State officials provide details on veteran cemetery proposal

Fri, Nov 27th, 2009
Posted in Government



Deputy Commissioner Minnesota Veteran Affairs Michael Pugliese and David Swantek, Minnesota Veteran Affairs, Little Falls Cemetery, presented information and answered questions at the November 24 board meeting. State Senator Sharon Erickson- ..... 
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Rushford city council concludes with surprise resolution proposal

Fri, Nov 27th, 2009
Posted in Government

With another nearly-packed room, the council nailed down several agenda items at the Monday, November 23rd, meeting. However, an impromptu proposal that was put forth shortly before adjournment, garnered puzzled looks and whispers from the audience, ..... 
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