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Huge challenges for Rushford council


Fri, Jul 2nd, 2010
Posted in Government

The Monday, June 28th, meeting was laid out in a lengthy agenda of nearly 20 scheduled items of general business, plus the additions of at least five items. The added topics included discussion of the hot-button issues of the community center, the new library project, and the municipal liquor store. In all, the meeting stretched over four and a half hours and likely brought forth more questions than answers.

Leading off the agenda, Bradley Peterson, of the legal firm of Flaherty and Hood, addressed the council representing the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC). The CGMC has worked diligently to lobby against deep cuts to aid and credit at the state level to greater Minnesota municipalities. Peterson pointed out the cold, hard facts. The 2010 February forecast by the state indicated a $1.2 billion deficit, and while only roughly 3.4 percent of the budget, local government aid was significantly reduced. The city of Rushford is looking to save $65,000 of what was cut in 2010 allotments. However, Peterson urged the city it would take "a strong effort going forward to secure the future of local government aid." Without aid, the city's already high tax levy would theoretically need to increase 137 percent in order to keep the current level of spending. With the close of the 2010 legislative session indicating the projected deficit for the next biennium to be in excess of $5 billion, Peterson noted the lack of aid would be a huge challenge and indicated the city must demand answers and be a part of the discussion.

The tough news continued to roll in as John Stewart of BDM Consulting Engineers and Surveyors presented an update report regarding the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) upgrade and its financing options. "This is not a pleasant meeting item," said Stewart. "The sewer enterprise fund is in the red. There's a big shortfall and there are a number of things coming that will decimate it."

There was a $53,553 deficit in the funds of 2009 and there are bond payments from past upgrades coming due. Within the next three years, that deficit could grow to $161,000. The WWTP is expected to have further upgrades in 2011-2012. Additionally, Public Works Director Jeff Copley was on hand to tell the council there is a Rotomax screen at the plant which is in failure mode. The city will argue the screen issue is an underlying flood damage issue and therefore eligible for FEMA funding. There is presently no other means to fund the defic .....
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Preston issues two resolutions

Fri, Jun 25th, 2010
Posted in Government

Fourth District Commissioner Duane Bakke updated the Preston City Council on the process that may lead to a National Veterans Cemetery on the county land south of Preston at the council's June 21 meeting. The council will provide letters of support ..... 
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Agreement reached with MN Dept. of Corrections

Fri, Jun 25th, 2010
Posted in Government

Sheriff Daryl Jensen explained an agreement at the board's June 22 meeting between the county and the state whereby selected state prisoners could be housed at the county jail solely for the purpose of working on the Sentence to Serve (STS) crew. He ..... 
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City of Rushford Village regular council meeting

Fri, Jun 25th, 2010
Posted in Government

The June 1, 2010 Regular Meeting was called to order by Mayor Gordon Johnson at 7:00 p.m. Council members present: Dennis Overland, Roger Ekern, Elizabeth Atkinson, Dale Schwanke. Also present: Zoning Administrator Howard Otis, Attorney Thomas Manio ..... 
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Lanesboro discusses banking options and Veteran's Cemetery

Fri, Jun 25th, 2010
Posted in Government

On June 21, the Lanesboro City Council and the Public Utilities Commission had a joint meeting. Mike Bubany of David Drown Associates was there to talk to them about upcoming capital improvements and their effect on taxes and utility rates.

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Wykoff approves sewer rate increase

Fri, Jun 25th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Wykoff City Council held its regular monthly meeting on Monday, May 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm in the Municipal Building with the following members present: Tim Grabau, Betty Niemeyer, Jeremy Comstock, Cheryl Davis. Absent: Mike Holzer, Al Williams and ..... 
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Rushford looks for answers

Fri, Jun 18th, 2010
Posted in Government

Nearly 50 people packed the council meeting room Monday, June 14th until it was standing room only, and barely. After several additions, deletions, and rearranging of the scheduled agenda, the council proceeded on task, questioning developer Tom Ser ..... 
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Rushford looks for answers

Fri, Jun 18th, 2010
Posted in Government

Nearly 50 people packed the council meeting room Monday, June 14th until it was standing room only, and barely. After several additions, deletions, and rearranging of the scheduled agenda, the council proceeded on task, questioning developer Tom Ser ..... 
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No appeals to County Board

Fri, Jun 18th, 2010
Posted in Government

After the County Board members were swore in by Auditor/Treasurer Shirl Boelter, County Assessor Cynthia Blagsvedt reviewed the obligations of the board at the June 15 meeting of the County Board of Appeal and Equalization. She explained sales, valu ..... 
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