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Counties ask for more flexibility from State Legislators


Fri, Jan 29th, 2010
Posted in Government

Southeast MN legislators, county commissioners and county department heads held a regional summit in St. Charles on January 25 to discuss collaborative efforts and a redesign of governmental services. They are trying to build a more efficient structure. The counties are urging legislators to provide more flexibility to the counties and to reduce state-imposed mandates. The goal is to allow counties the room to operate as efficiently as possible, reducing costs, without compromising services, to their citizens. The discussion centered on four areas including: social service redesign, public health, highway, and environment.

The Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) has had an ongoing effort over a few years to redesign government and the delivery of services. The goal is to build a partnership between state and local government, to open an avenue for an open decision-making process with an emphasis on financial responsibility for services to be delegated fairly, and within a flexible system. Counties specifically don't want state-imposed "one size fits all" government. What works in one region of the state is not necessarily productive in another region.

In opening remarks Mena Kaehler, Winona County, said this should be a nonpartisan discussion.

Public Health

Margene Gunderson, Mower County, noted the present community health service system was developed in the 1970's. The State Health Improvement Program (SHIP) is designed for prevention of chronic diseases associated with obesity and tobacco. SHIP was part of the Minnesota 2008 reform law designed to address the state's rising cost of health care. Obesity, related to a lack of physical activity and an unhealthy diet, and tobacco use and/or second hand smoke are risk factors which contribute to the most preventable causes of illness and death in the United States.

SHIP has incentives to work in a multi-county area and is a community-based program rather than individual based. It strives to promote physical activity through work, school and community design, including the availability of walking paths. Ten percent of the funding goes toward evaluating outcomes. Tobacco use among Minnesota youth has been reduced by 25 percent over five years. Gunderson maintained it is necessary to continue to get the message out on tobacco use.

Multi-county planning and planning involving local governments and schools and hospitals has allowed more to be accomplished wit .....
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Rushford welcomes new manufacturing firm

Fri, Jan 29th, 2010
Posted in Government

While moments of a public hearing to determine opinion for a business subsidy may have been slightly heated at times, the Rushford City Council kept it all in check at the Monday, January 25 meeting.

The hearing was in regards to a loan appl ..... 
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Preston to update street parking ordinance

Fri, Jan 22nd, 2010
Posted in Government

Councilman David Collett, at the January 19 meeting, requested a discussion regarding parking in the courthouse square area. He noted there have been complaints from county workers who are trying to remove snow from the streets and also from busines ..... 
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Lanesboro school board approves board salaries

Fri, Jan 22nd, 2010
Posted in Government

The school board of the Lanesboro Independent School District met for its annual organizational meeting, followed by its regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 21. All board members were present. Chairman David Ruen called the meetin ..... 
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Peterson city council

Fri, Jan 22nd, 2010
Posted in Government

The regular meeting of the Peterson City Council was called to order by Mayor Chuck Eidenschink. Council members present were: Tim Hallum, Bill Grindland, Randy Benson, and Rick Lee. Molly Melander, city administrator, was also present. Jan Smaby wa ..... 
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Wykoff discusses water usage

Mon, Jan 18th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Wykoff City Council held its regular monthly meeting on Monday, December 14, 2009, at 7:01 pm in the Municipal Building with the following members present: Mike Holzer-mayor, Jeremy Comstock, Betty Niemeyer, Tim Grabau, Michele Hitchcock, Cheryl ..... 
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Harmony discusses projects

Mon, Jan 18th, 2010
Posted in Government

A public hearing was held before the Harmony City Council meeting on January 12. Several residents who have property adjacent to 3rd St. SW in Harmony were in attendance to discuss the upcoming street repairs and assessments.

Brett Grabau, t ..... 
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Boundary expansion for Forestville?

Mon, Jan 18th, 2010
Posted in Government



Mark White, Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park and Lake Louise State Park, informed the board about a possible boundary expansion for Forestville State Park. The proposed boundary line expansion would include about 469 acres of Vreeman famil ..... 
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Rushford city council gets off to a fresh start

Fri, Jan 15th, 2010
Posted in Government

The new council convened for the first time Monday, January 11, and there were slight, yet noticeable changes to the flow of the meeting. While some of the changes were simply aesthetic, such as the rearranging of council seating to allow for more a ..... 
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