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When safety and convenience collide with history


Fri, Apr 23rd, 2010
Posted in Government

The Fillmore County Commissioners went on their annual road tour on April 20 to view current, upcoming and proposed projects involving mostly roads, bridges and county highway shops. All of the county commissioners, highway engineer John Grindeland, assistant engineer Tom Miles, and maintenance superintendent Brent Kohn went on the tour.

The bridge built in 1906, L-4885, located on Nature Road over Bear Creek, was causing the most frustration for county and Fillmore Township officials. The tour group met Fillmore Township supervisors and other interested people at the bridge to discuss their options. The bridge is a "through truss" bridge listed as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places apparently because it was built by A Y Bayne and Co., Minneapolis. However, besides the ratings of poor deck condition, poor superstructure, serious substructure and being appraised as structurally deficient, it is functionally obsolete. It currently has a four ton limit. Grindeland explained this bridge was supposed to be replaced last year and would have been except for the historic designation.

Commissioner Tom Kaase noted that the first choice of the preservation people is to have the bridge stay in its present location, be restored and used. Grindeland has made it clear that the bridge can not be restored with its historical design and appearance intact and be made functional for modern day heavy traffic, including emergency and large farm equipment. Grindeland said normally township bridges are 24 feet wide, but can be taken down to 20 feet. The old bridge is listed as being 15.7 feet wide with a vertical clearance of 14 feet.

In a report, the Minnesota Historic Bridge Management Plan, prepared for the Minnesota Department of Transportation in June 2006, there is a statement and an acknowledgement of commitment to "protect, conserve and enhance the natural and man-made environment." It is suggested that planners and designers incorporate "to the extent feasible" the preservation of historic resources including bridges.

Fillmore Township could shell out $60,000 or more to have a study conducted by an approved engineer or consultant to determine if the bridge could be remodeled or if it was "feasible" to do so. County and township officials agree it is foolish to spend money to pay for a study to document what they already know. Another option is to move the bridge somewhere else.

The Spring Valley Tourism Commit .....
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City of Rushford Village discusses zoning for campground

Fri, Apr 23rd, 2010
Posted in Government

The April 6, 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 Man ..... 
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Preston considering raising storm water utility rates

Fri, Apr 23rd, 2010
Posted in Government

City Administrator Joe Hoffman at the Preston City Council's April 19 meeting illustrated the coming shortages the city will experience if the current Storm Water fund does not receive more revenue by 2012. He explained the city adopted the Storm Wa ..... 
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Harmony listens to audit review

Fri, Apr 16th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Harmony City Council listened to the audit presentation from Jason Boynton of Smith Schaffer at their meeting on April 13. Boynton went over their fund balances, revenues, expenditures, reserves and debts for 2009. The council approved the audit ..... 
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County board questions land owner cost of getting into Rural Preserve Program

Fri, Apr 16th, 2010
Posted in Government

County Assessor Cindy Blagsvedt updated the Fillmore County Commissioners on the four steps landowners need to follow to apply for the Rural Preserve Program at the April 13 meeting. Blagsvedt said the purpose of the program is to improve or maintai ..... 
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Setbacks for large wind energy conversion system

Fri, Apr 16th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Fillmore County Planning Commission had an informal discussion at their April 15 meeting of what should be the appropriate setback for a large wind conversion turbine from a dwelling. The current ordinance requires a 750 foot setback. Zoning Adm ..... 
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Chatfield hopes to finally resolve wastewater plant headaches

Fri, Apr 16th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Chatfield City Council approved the hiring of Gopher Septic to clean biosolids from three of its reed beds at their April 12 meeting. Superintendent Darryl Haner recommended using Gopher Septic because of their experience and their ability to wo ..... 
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Rushford and Rushford Village hold joint city meeting

Fri, Apr 16th, 2010
Posted in Government

Several issues have plagued the relationship between Rushford and the city of Rushford Village for some time. With staff, engineers, and lawyers present, the two cities recently held a combined meeting to attempt to move towards resolution of at lea ..... 
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Rushford Council discusses costs

Fri, Apr 16th, 2010
Posted in Government

In a fairly cut and dry meeting, the council met Monday, April 12th, and combed through areas of city functions which they are hoping to fine tune financially. First up on the agenda was the topic of the municipal liquor store. It has been an item o ..... 
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