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Snyder/Ristau lawsuit against Preston and DNR


Fri, Oct 23rd, 2009
Posted in Government



Most of the Preston City Council meeting held Tuesday, October 20, was closed to the public to discuss with their attorney, David Joerg, the complaint which was recently filed by the Snyder/Ristau attorney, Larry Peterson. A lawsuit was filed on October 14 by attorney Larry Peterson representing John and Bernadette Snyder and Vernon and Kay Ristau against the city of Preston and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Peterson had filed a citizen petition for an environmental review for the proposed Preston to Forestville State Park trail in early August 2009. This petition with signatures from the Snyders and Ristaus and about nineteen other Preston area citizens was filed with the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB).

On September 23, 2009, a decision made by the DNR declared an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) was not required for the trail, which is to begin at the west end of the Trout Run Trail and to end at the Historic Site in the park.

All of this legal wrangling commenced after the Preston City Council exercised its power of eminent domain to acquire the last two properties owned by the Snyders and the Ristaus in March 2009. The effort to make the trail extension a reality began over a decade ago with the six city Joint Powers Board. Most of the other twenty or so properties needed for the planned trail were acquired years ago.

The lawsuit

The lawsuit notices the city of Preston and the DNR and requires an answer to the complaint within twenty days of service of the complaint.

The lawsuit contends the proposed 10-mile long and 10 foot wide hard-surfaced trail will run along the South Branch of the Root River and cross the river at eight different points.

The EQB in August 2009 designated the DNR as the Responsible Government Unit (RGU) to decide on the necessity for an EAW. It is posted in an EQB publication that the RGU, referring to the DNR, made a decision regarding the need for an EAW in response to the citizen petition. It simply states: "Minnesota DNR, Preston to Forestville State Trail in Fillmore County, Minnesota. Denied."

The lawsuit contends the DNR decision was in violation of the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), Minnesota statute, chapter 116D. MEPA became law in Minnesota in 1973. The lawsuit says the act "requires RGUs to conduct an environmental review of proposed actions by governments in the form of an EAW or EIS (Envir .....
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Rushford's Mayoral race heating up

Tue, Oct 20th, 2009
Posted in Government

In recent back to back interviews, incumbent Mayor Les Ladewig and challenger Chris Hallum were asked a series of questions by Fillmore County Journal publisher Jason Sethre. The interviews were conducted by video so as to capture not only each cand ..... 
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Rushford's Mayoral race heating up

Tue, Oct 20th, 2009
Posted in Government

In recent back to back interviews, incumbent Mayor Les Ladewig and challenger Chris Hallum were asked a series of questions by Fillmore County Journal publisher Jason Sethre. The interviews were conducted by video so as to capture not only each cand ..... 
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Canton's liquor licenses

Tue, Oct 20th, 2009
Posted in Government



The regular meeting of the Canton City Council met Wednesday, October 7, 2009, with acting Mayor Cindy Shanks calling the meeting to order. Those present were: Carl Ernst, Hank Selden, Ross Duckett, Lolly Melander, and Jon Nordsving. The min ..... 
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Rushford, 2009 Municipal improvement projects

Tue, Oct 20th, 2009
Posted in Government

In a relatively short meeting, Tuesday, October 13th, the council proceeded to tie up paperwork with the loan application for 2009 Municipal Improvement Projects.

The completed PFA (Public Facilities Authority) loan application indicates tha ..... 
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Harmony sanitary sewer extension

Tue, Oct 20th, 2009
Posted in Government



A public hearing was held before the regular Harmony City Council meeting on October 13. A sanitary sewer extension will be placed on 2nd Ave. NW near Solberg Welding and Ironside Trailer Sales and Service. City Administrator Jerome Illg had ..... 
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Six in the running for Rushford's City Council seats

Fri, Oct 16th, 2009
Posted in Government

While we often hear from candidates regarding their views and goals, it is unusual for the public to be granted a forum to question the candidates. Taking this position, the six Rushford City Council candidates were recently asked a series of questi ..... 
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Chatfield takes a step forward for Potter

Fri, Oct 16th, 2009
Posted in Government

At the October 12 meeting of the Chatfield City Council the councilors unanimously adopted the resolution drafted by the Potter Steering Committee. Items in the resolution were detailed and discussed at an informational joint meeting on September 28 ..... 
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Preston extends until 2050 with SMMPA

Fri, Oct 16th, 2009
Posted in Government

The Preston Public Utility Commission and the Preston City Council met jointly early on October 13, to hear City Attorney Dwight Luhmann's opinion on his review of the current contract offered by the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) ..... 
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