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Rushford City Council "takes a stab" at a community center


Fri, Aug 14th, 2009
Posted in Government

At the Monday, August 10th meeting of the council, the city made the decision to move forward with plans to seek out proposals on the construction of a 400-seat community center. On a limited budget, the city is offering grant funds of $593,000 for the project. The funds were given by FEMA for the replacement of the Ellen Tenborg Center, which was damaged in the 2007 flood.

Knowing that it's a tall order to meet city specifications with the available funds, the council tossed around incentive ideas that will likely favor the developer. Included in the ideas was the developer gaining management of the building after a 20-year time period to offset costs incurred and seeking out "a way to make it as tax friendly as possible to the developer."

Councilor Robert Dahl was concerned with the viability of a community center and noted comments he'd heard about loss of revenue on a similar structure in nearby Caledonia. Clearly agitated, Mayor Les Ladewig snapped, "We keep bad-mouthing Caledonia and hearing that the downtown is going down the drain, and it's not true." Unfortunately, there were no figures available at the time of the meeting as to the costs be incurred at the center, but no doubt the city will be gathering such information as they move along in the process.

A hesitant councilor, Larry Johnson, wondered about the option of a city-run building in the Darr lot directly west of the municipal liquor store. He also had some concerns over what would happen if no private developers stepped forward with a proposal for the center.

City Administrator Windy Block responded, "It costs approximately $20,000 per year to run the Tenborg Center; this would obviously cost more. There, we'd have all the risk. We're trying to keep our known exposure at a low level. We're looking for a private developer to ante up because they believe there's something good in the end."

The proposed community center would be publicly owned and the city will attempt to put as many specifics as possible into the initial contract. Ladewig commented, "We're merely providing a goal and someone else is the vehicle to get us there."

Block added, "We don't have enough capital to be in the driver's seat," before noting recent financial setbacks.

Ladewig concluded, "Let's let someone take a stab at this. Let's see if anyone is interested in helping us meet that goal."

Land Swap

The EDA (Economic Development Authority) recomme .....
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No eminent domain proceedings for Burr Oak extension

Fri, Aug 14th, 2009
Posted in Government

The Chatfield City Council took the possibility of eminent domain off the table as a method to acquire property needed for the Burr Oak extension at the council's August 10 meeting. City Attorney Fred Suhler had followed the council's July 23 instru ..... 
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Lanesboro discusses signs

Fri, Aug 7th, 2009
Posted in Government

During a quick meeting on August 3, the Lanesboro City Council had some discussion with City Attorney Tom Manion about signs in the downtown area. At the last meeting, Manion explained that Cheryl Lamon, who owns Cheryl's Apparel, had asked him if s ..... 
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Elected county officials donate unpaid leave

Fri, Aug 7th, 2009
Posted in Government

Elected official voluntary salary reductions were approved by the county board at their August 4 meeting, which was dominated by departmental budget proposals for 2010. With last December's unallotment total of $143,805, the board required employees ..... 
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Rushford Village Council meets

Fri, Aug 7th, 2009
Posted in Government

Pledge to Flag

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. on July 7, 2009, by Acting Mayor Dale Schwanke. Council members present: Dennis Overland, Roger Ekern, and Liz Atkinson. Also present: City Attorney Thomas Manion, Zoning Administra ..... 
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Dangerous trek for bicyclists near Eagle Cliff

Fri, Jul 31st, 2009
Posted in Government

Horace and Sally Stang, residents at Eagle Cliff Campground, made their concerns known during the county board's July 28 meeting. Mr. Stang said the half-mile section along State Highway 16 from the campground property to the Whalan Bridge is very d ..... 
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Senator Erickson-Ropes addresses the Rushford City Council

Fri, Jul 31st, 2009
Posted in Government

The theme could have easily been summed up, "Let's go through this together," with Senator Sharon Erickson-Ropes addressing the council at the Monday, July 27th, meeting. While it's an appreciated goal, and certainly one the city is intent on foster ..... 
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Chatfield City Clerk Joel Young to serve on local government aid study group

Fri, Jul 31st, 2009
Posted in Government

Mayor Les Knutson announced the appointment to the LGA group and congratulated Mr. Young at the city council's July 27 meeting. The formation of the Local Government Aid (LGA) Study Group was authorized by the 2008 Tax Bill, 3149. State Senate Tax C ..... 
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Spring Valley ambulance purchase?

Fri, Jul 31st, 2009
Posted in Government

The Spring Valley City Council met Monday night, July 27th. The one item on the agenda that took up the most time was the proposal to purchase a new ambulance.

Ambulance Director Jim Cooper addressed the council and presented a purchase prop ..... 
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