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Rushford City Council receives levee recertification update


Fri, Jun 12th, 2009
Posted in Government

In a lengthy, occasionally vague presentation, the council heard an initial report by URS Corporation and American Engineering Testing at the Monday, June 8th meeting. The presentation detailed the current analysis of the flood protection system, as well as statistics of Rushford's flood history. The recertification, which is being funded by a grant from the Minnesota DNR, is, as City Administrator Windy Block called it, "An uphill battle."

The intention of the study is to provide documentation to FEMA that the levee system meets current flood protection standards. If this cannot be done prior to August 25th, 2011, the areas behind the levee would be classified as a floodplain.

Preliminary findings indicate that while the system isn't failing, "seepage and uplift at the land side toe generally do not meet FEMA standards." Basically, it does not cover the margin of safety that FEMA now requires. As engineers explained, water against and under the levy create uplift pressure. In highly permeable soils, such as sand, this water creates under-seepage. The makeup of soils behind the levy must have enough weight, or resisting force, to compensate for this uplift pressure. This can become a "hazard to the levee" when the water carries additional soil, forcing greater velocity against the land side soil "blanket." This can lead to a "blowout" or breech of the levee system. While the 2007 flood didn't cause such a breech, there was upward seepage.

In obvious frustration, Mayor Les Ladewig asked, "How can we be expected to fulfill these standards when we met the standards when the levee system was built?"

Engineer Art Kalmes stated the facts bluntly, "We're playing by their rules," noting that FEMA can and has imposed new standards since the levee's construction in 1967.

Continuing on, Ladewig made his feeling clear, "What it represents for this community with these new specifications... it could impose very expensive financial ramifications."

The group laid out a plan of corrective measures needed to improve seepage conditions and to meet FEMA standards. The solution is a trenching system on the land side of the levee, roughly 5-10 feet wide and similar in magnitude for depth, to alleviate some of the uplift pressure. The seepage would have a ponding effect in the trenching areas.

In response to a question of what assurances the Corps of Engineers can give the city, the team assured the council that it had d .....
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Chatfield, Preston and Ostrander receive grants

Fri, Jun 12th, 2009
Posted in Government

Southeastern Minnesota Develpment Corporation (SEMDC), in partnership with Semcac awarded a $474,200 in Small Cities Development Program Grant. The grant will assist the following communities: Ostrander, Preston, and Chatfield to help pay for improv ..... 
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Cash for Clunkers passes House

Fri, Jun 12th, 2009
Posted in Government

(Washington, DC) - Last week, Congressman Tim Walz voted to create jobs, revitalize the economy, and help reduce harmful carbon emissions from vehicles.

H.R. 2751, the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act of 2009, also known as "Cash ..... 
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Fillmore-Houston boards approve grant agreement

Fri, Jun 5th, 2009
Posted in Government



The June 2 meeting of the Fillmore County Board included a teleconference for the Fillmore-Houston Joint Board of Health. A resolution was once again passed for 2009-2010 to enter into a grant agreement for Toward Zero Deaths Safe Roads Gran ..... 
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Senator Ropes in Preston: We are all in this together

Fri, Jun 5th, 2009
Posted in Government



State Senator Sharon Erickson-Ropes-DFL addressed the Preston City Council at their June 1 meeting. She discussed the recent legislative session and inquired as to how the city dealt with the loss of Local Government Aid (LGA) funds totaling ..... 
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Bunge seeks 'Conditional Use Permit' at Lanesboro City Council meeting

Fri, Jun 5th, 2009
Posted in Government

Members of the Lanesboro City Council took a break from the usual at their last meeting on June 1. Street Superintendent Andy Drake took the group on a bus tour of the city's streets. He showed the conditions of some of the streets, and pointed out ..... 
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Ideas abound on tri-city tourism

Fri, Jun 5th, 2009
Posted in Government

At a Town Meeting Initiative this past March, the desire to enhance tourism in the cities of Rushford, Rushford Village, and Peterson were one of three principal ideas that developed. Now, community and business members, hoping to spur economic grow ..... 
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City of Rushford Village Council Meeting May 5, 2009

Fri, Jun 5th, 2009
Posted in Government

Pledge to Flag

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor, Gordon Johnson; Council members present: Dennis Overland, Roger Ekern, Dale Schwanke and Liz Atkinson, Howard Otis - Zoning Administrator and Judy Graham - Clerk.

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'Junk Ordinance' revisited at Spring Valley City Council meeting

Fri, May 29th, 2009
Posted in Government

The first order of business to be tackled by the Spring Valley City Council at the May 27th meeting was another round at violations of the Junk Ordinance. Things have been relatively calm over the winter but now that the snow has cleared and the gra ..... 
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