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Preston citizens troubled over Nursing Home closure


Fri, Jan 25th, 2008
Posted in Government

Preston City Council chambers were full to capacity at the January 22 meeting. Citizens came to air their grievances after Good Samaritan announced their intention to close the Preston Good Samaritan Society nursing home by early March 2008. City Administrator Joe Hoffman said that he had had several meetings since the announcement with Mayor Kurt Reicks, who was absent this evening, and Chris Gastner to discuss any options for keeping the nursing home open.

Hoffman emphasized that he was told bluntly that the beds were not to be transferred or sold but were to be turned back to the state. The state has been trying to reduce the number of nursing home beds in the state.

City councilman Robert Sauer added that the bed use across the state has not dropped below 93% occupancy. Good Samaritan has no interest in continuing to operate the nursing home. Their interest is to sell the property or to find another use for it. Sauer explained that the facility needs a great deal of maintenance and repair to be brought up to code.

Sauer insisted that the facility has been a victim of lack of funding. He accused the political faction that wants to limit or reduce taxes of "starving the beast" by denying adequate funding. Good Samaritan officials have claimed financial losses of $1.1 million over a two to three year period. The lack of funding also makes it difficult to attract adequate professional staff. Father Frances Galles served on the Good Samaritan board and suggested that it has operated in the red for a long time. He was thankful that the nursing home was there for his recuperation after surgery. He felt that he should have come to the council to discuss how the home could have been helped during those years it operated in the red. Galles suggested that the council and others see if the building can at least be converted to a needed community center.

Inez Stahl expressed her concern that the loss of the nursing home will have a "trickle down" effect and hurt other businesses in town like the pharmacy and grocery store. Andy Bunge insisted that the success or failure of small towns like Preston is determined by the loyalty of its residents to support and shop at the local businesses.

Ken Stager, whose mother is a resident at the nursing home, has been in contact with Tom Syverson, Good Samaritan regional director and the individual tasked with the closing of the Preston facility. Stager repeated that he was told that th .....
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Lanesboro city considers new software purchase

Fri, Jan 25th, 2008
Posted in Government

Lanesboro's City Administrator Bobbie Vickerman would like the city council to approve a software upgrade for the city office employees. She presented information and bid amounts to the council at the regular meeting on January 22.

The soft ..... 
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Legislators meet with county board

Fri, Jan 18th, 2008
Posted in Government

Area Representatives Jeanne Poppe and Ken Tschumper, along with Senators Sharon Ropes and Dan Sparks, met with Fillmore County commissioners on Tuesday, January 15, to discuss upcoming bonding priorities for the 2008 Minnesota legislative session wh ..... 
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Rushford City Council: Rushford and Winona Health at odds over clinic building

Fri, Jan 18th, 2008
Posted in Government

The Rushford City Council, meeting for the first time in 2008 on January 14, immediately swore-in newly-elected council members. Not since former Mayor Ted Roberton resigned 2½-years-ago after only 5-months into his second term have residents e ..... 
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Spring Valley City Council discuses new swimming pool

Fri, Jan 18th, 2008
Posted in Government

The meeting of the Spring Valley City Council on Monday night was typical of the beginning of a new year. Committees were filled with new members and the legal steps of passing resolutions consumed most of the agenda.

The Mayor brought up t ..... 
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Kelleher tells county board "flood victims need to apply"

Fri, Jan 11th, 2008
Posted in Government

PRESTON - With the new year the county board elected a new chairman, Randy Dahl, and a new vice-chairman, Chuck Amunrud. Dahl started by again thanking everyone involved in the flood recovery effort including city and county staffs and the many volu ..... 
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Preston will blacktop Industrial Drive

Fri, Jan 11th, 2008
Posted in Government

PRESTON - The Preston City Council voted at their January 7, 2008 meeting to proceed with blacktopping Industrial Drive in the Industrial Park.

General Manager Richard Eichstadt of POET Biorefining (Pro-Corn, LLC) had first requested an imp ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report: Chamber activities updated

Fri, Jan 11th, 2008
Posted in Government

The Lanesboro Chamber of Commerce is holding their annual meeting on January 14 to discuss highlights from 2007 and plans for the next year. Executive Director Julie Kiehne presented the City Council with the Annual Chamber Report at the regular mee ..... 
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Rushford Council considers flood loan for business start-up

Fri, Dec 28th, 2007
Posted in Government

RUSHFORD - The process for distributing state flood recovery loans to Rushford businesses, a bumpy ride initially, is becoming more smooth: a flood-damaged business fills out a mountain of paperwork which then goes to the EDA and a special loan comm ..... 
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