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Rushford to determine "real cost" of WWTP upgrades


Fri, Sep 17th, 2010
Posted in Government



As the 2009 Street and Utility Improvement Project continues to make headway in Rushford, the council has pressed on with another necessary improvement, the Waste Water Treatment Plant. The project, consisting of several much-needed repairs and upgrades, has been reviewed, engineered, and estimated, but the city is unsure of the real cost of the proposed work. John Stewart, of BDM Consulting Engineers urged the council to move forward with design and bid package preparation.

While the city has still heard nothing from FEMA regarding funding on the headworks portion of the project, preliminary plans and specs are at the PFA (Public Facilities Authority). Stewart presented two options for this portion of the project: proceed with it, but bid on a separate cost basis, or simply wait until the headworks fall apart. "If we start when the economy is soft, we'll get a better price for the city," added Stewart. Current estimates on the project do include a contingency amount.

Seeking to understand the impacts of the options, Stewart indicated that FEMA would hopefully fund the headworks portion, otherwise it would be dropped off the project. If funded by FEMA, work could start as early as next April or May with the balance of the project being funded by a PFA loan and possibly green-technology grants. The worst-case-scenario for the plant would be a drastic stop in function, which could lead to a myriad of violations. "If you don't do it on your schedule," warned Stewart, "You'll be doing it on the state's."

In addition to the WWTP project, Stewart addressed the concerns over the current sewer rates. As of 2009, the enterprise fund was in the red 16.1 percent. The shortfall in funding will continue to grow should the city opt to do nothing. To amend the issue, the city is considering a 35 percent rate increase. A comparative survey of other municipalities show the increased rates would be in a "ballpark" amount.

A public hearing in regards to a proposed sewer rate increase was set for Tuesday, October 12th, 7:00 p.m., at city hall.

Representatives from the EDA (Economic Development Authority) and Tom Serie, of F&L Development, Inc. were on hand to discuss a potential $60,000 business loan to Serie in regards to the Guardian Inn motel. F&L Development is seeking an infusion of funds from a local source to complete a permanent financing package through Merchant's Bank of Winona. While Serie had hoped to find either th .....
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Spring Valley approves TIF

Fri, Sep 17th, 2010
Posted in Government



Some major issues were approved in the regular meeting of the Spring Valley City Council on Monday night. They passed Resolution 2010-27 to approve an Interfund Loan for TIF 1-6 (Tax Increment Financing) for the TIF Districts 1-6. These loan ..... 
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Liquor license approved by Harmony council

Fri, Sep 17th, 2010
Posted in Government



During the Harmony City Council meeting on September 14, there was some discussion about the ongoing 3rd St. project. The council approved a second payment request for $42,176.44. They also approved an extension of three weeks for the substa ..... 
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Approval of CUP recommended for Mulhern expansion

Fri, Sep 17th, 2010
Posted in Government



At the September 16 meeting of the Fillmore County Planning Commission Mike Frauenkron assured members that the Mulhern Dairy's management plans were up to date and they were meeting all federal and local rules. The dairy is located in Fillm ..... 
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County board reviews 2010 progress

Mon, Sep 13th, 2010
Posted in Government

In January, when Duane Bakke became chairman of the county board, he listed seven issues that would need the board's attention during the year. The board looked at what has been accomplished to date on these issues at their September 7 meeting.
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Preston sets preliminary levy

Mon, Sep 13th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Preston City Council considered a revised budget at their September 7 meeting before approving the 2011 budget and preliminary levy. One of the changes in the budget was a reduction in the expected health insurance premium to just a two percent ..... 
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Lanesboro works toward getting approval of levy

Mon, Sep 13th, 2010
Posted in Government

At the meeting on September 7, the Lanesboro City Council approved the preliminary budget and tax levy for 2011. They approved a proposed levy of $442,720. City Administrator Bobbie Vickerman explained this number, which is a seven percent increase ..... 
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Preston sees a challenging budget year and potential bond interest savings

Fri, Aug 27th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Preston City Council discussed the 2011 budget challenges and the upside potential of significant interest savings through the refinancing of debt at their August 16 meeting. The weak economy's low interest rates have given the city an opportuni ..... 
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Lanesboro prepares for public hearing

Fri, Aug 27th, 2010
Posted in Government



Mike Bubany of David Drown Associates came to a special joint meeting with the City Council and the Public Utilities Commission. The first item he discussed with them was refinancing two electric revenue bonds. They have a bond from 2001 and ..... 
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