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Preston looking at community gardens


Fri, May 22nd, 2009
Posted in Government



Councilman Jon Haugan encouraged the establishment of community garden plots at the city's May 18 meeting. He explained the gardens could be helpful for people that lack their own space for a garden during this time of economic woes. Haugan added, "It is a way for the city to give back to the community." City Administrator Joe Hoffman said Master Gardener Laverne Paulson is willing to act as an advisor.

Hoffman suggested they make twelve 20 foot by 20 foot plots by the skating rink near the fair grounds. He expects it would cost about $200 annually to maintain the garden plots. Each plot would be rented out for $20. Hoffman said the city would rent a tiller to work the ground. The plot rent would help pay for the city's out-of-pocket expenses.

The council voted to approach the Park Board to see if they would manage the gardens. Hoffman remarked there already has been interest in renting plots.

2008 Audit

Tom Wente from Smith-Schafer and Associates, Rochester, summarized the city's finances. He noted that the general property tax levy makes up 28% of the total government revenue for 2008. The Local Government Aid (LGA) decreased by $46,927 or 9% from 2007 to 2008. Property taxes and LGA are the largest sources of city revenue.

Joe Hoffman commented Preston is in the middle when compared with about 800 other cities in the amount of funds they have in reserve compared to the general fund expenditures. He noted it is also about in the middle when ranked with similar sized cities as to the amount of debt.

The city is servicing three bonds (2003, 2005, and 2007) totaling over $1 million. All debt service payments have been made on a timely basis. All revenue bonds which are paid through utility payments have all had timely payments.

The audit was approved as presented. Hoffman complimented Sheila Marzolf for her accounting work. Very few adjustments were made by the auditor.

Other Business In Brief

• Lease and maintenance agreements were approved by the council for the historic school house. The Fairboard is willing to basically give the school house to the city. The Preston Historical Society (PHS) will be responsible for its maintenance. The PHS will use it as an interpretive center. The city will lease the building and provide property insurance coverage and liability insurance.

City Attorney Dwight Luhmann explained it would be a 25 year lease ($1 per year) with an o .....
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Lanesboro reviews expenses and revenues

Fri, May 22nd, 2009
Posted in Government

Jason Boynton from Smith Schafer and Associates presented the Lanesboro City Council with their audit report for 2008. Boynton went over the highlights with the council, starting with the city's revenues.

Boynton pointed out that the levy co ..... 
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Community members "roll up their sleeves" to save summer ball programs

Fri, May 22nd, 2009
Posted in Government



With at least 50 people in attendance, concerned and driven parents met with Community Education staff May 18th to help determine the fate of the summer ball program in the Rushford-Peterson community.

Director Beth Thede led the mee ..... 
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EcoEnergy to add meteorological tower

Fri, May 22nd, 2009
Posted in Government



Don Miller, representing EcoEnergy LLC, explained to the Planning Commission at their May 21 meeting that the additional tower would be located in the Southwest portion of the proposed wind farm west of Harmony. The property is in Bristol To ..... 
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Post-Flood and economic stress a concern at Rushford City Council Meeting

Fri, May 15th, 2009
Posted in Government

Going in circles at times, the Rushford City Council meeting on May 11th brought forth concerns from community members looking for understanding on proposed public utility improvements. Projects are slated over a 10-12 year period, depending on fina ..... 
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Harmony City Council dicusses TIF District

Fri, May 15th, 2009
Posted in Government

The Harmony City Council had a lot of discussion and made some final decisions on some improvements in the downtown area at the May 12th meeting. The alley behind the bank will be improved with new lighting and street improvements. At the same time, ..... 
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County Board updated on EcoHarmony West Wind Project

Fri, May 15th, 2009
Posted in Government

Don Miller representing EcoEnergy brought the board up to date on the status of the proposed EcoHarmony West Project at the board's May 12 meeting. The comment period regarding the application for a Large Wind Energy Conversion System Site Permit en ..... 
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Spring Valley is a "Storm Ready Community"

Fri, May 15th, 2009
Posted in Government

Mainly routine business at the May 11th Spring Valley City Council meeting Monday night. Todd Shea of the National Weather Service in LaCrosse was on the agenda to inform City officials that after years of work Spring Valley has been awarded the tit ..... 
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Preston to update Land Use Plan

Fri, May 8th, 2009
Posted in Government



The Preston City Council's meeting was relatively brief on May 4. City Administrator Joe Hoffman explained the purpose of a Land Use Plan for the city. The plan was last updated October 1999. The plan along with the zoning map and the land u ..... 
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