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No eminent domain proceedings for Burr Oak extension


Fri, Aug 14th, 2009
Posted in Government

The Chatfield City Council took the possibility of eminent domain off the table as a method to acquire property needed for the Burr Oak extension at the council's August 10 meeting. City Attorney Fred Suhler had followed the council's July 23 instructions to make one last effort to acquire needed property by certified mail with a formal offer to Isabelle French. The letter asked for a response within five working days and received no response at all. However, Mrs. French and Lanny Isensee and other interested parties were in attendance this day.

A resolution had been prepared and was voted down. The resolution would have allowed the city attorney to exercise the power of eminent domain as set forth in Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 117, to acquire property for a public street and in the public interest. Councilors Josh Thompson, Paul Novotny, and David Frank voted not to adopt the resolution. Councilors Ginny Engle and Ken Jacobson voted in favor of the resolution.

City Clerk Joel Young, in a memo to the councilors, stressed the need to move the project forward or to cancel it. He warned of the city's increasing liability to the contractor with the many weeks of indecision from the divided council. He noted the negative sentiment of the public toward eminent domain, but spelled out the financial loss faced by the city with the cancellation of the project. The city will loose nearly $700,000 promised for the project by Olmsted County. The more than $200,000 spent by the city in preparation for the project will yield nothing.

Young expressed a need for eminent domain sometimes for a "true public purpose" to develop infrastructure. Land was required from three property owners. One agreed fairly early. The alignment of the road was shifted to go around another one. One more remained. He insisted there was "never any question on the part of the city that the demands of the property owner could not be met." These demands included an agreed upon price, appropriate fencing, appropriate field approaches installed, the city would acquire land to place a storm water structure, and other parties would be satisfied. He also states the city believed the "satisfaction clause" would only involve those property owners which were to sell right-of-way.

Discussion Before the Vote

Mayor Les Knutson made it clear from the beginning of the discussion that the issue needed to be resolved so they could move on.

Josh Thompson expressed .....
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Lanesboro discusses signs

Fri, Aug 7th, 2009
Posted in Government

During a quick meeting on August 3, the Lanesboro City Council had some discussion with City Attorney Tom Manion about signs in the downtown area. At the last meeting, Manion explained that Cheryl Lamon, who owns Cheryl's Apparel, had asked him if s ..... 
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Elected county officials donate unpaid leave

Fri, Aug 7th, 2009
Posted in Government

Elected official voluntary salary reductions were approved by the county board at their August 4 meeting, which was dominated by departmental budget proposals for 2010. With last December's unallotment total of $143,805, the board required employees ..... 
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Rushford Village Council meets

Fri, Aug 7th, 2009
Posted in Government

Pledge to Flag

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. on July 7, 2009, by Acting Mayor Dale Schwanke. Council members present: Dennis Overland, Roger Ekern, and Liz Atkinson. Also present: City Attorney Thomas Manion, Zoning Administra ..... 
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Dangerous trek for bicyclists near Eagle Cliff

Fri, Jul 31st, 2009
Posted in Government

Horace and Sally Stang, residents at Eagle Cliff Campground, made their concerns known during the county board's July 28 meeting. Mr. Stang said the half-mile section along State Highway 16 from the campground property to the Whalan Bridge is very d ..... 
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Senator Erickson-Ropes addresses the Rushford City Council

Fri, Jul 31st, 2009
Posted in Government

The theme could have easily been summed up, "Let's go through this together," with Senator Sharon Erickson-Ropes addressing the council at the Monday, July 27th, meeting. While it's an appreciated goal, and certainly one the city is intent on foster ..... 
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Chatfield City Clerk Joel Young to serve on local government aid study group

Fri, Jul 31st, 2009
Posted in Government

Mayor Les Knutson announced the appointment to the LGA group and congratulated Mr. Young at the city council's July 27 meeting. The formation of the Local Government Aid (LGA) Study Group was authorized by the 2008 Tax Bill, 3149. State Senate Tax C ..... 
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Spring Valley ambulance purchase?

Fri, Jul 31st, 2009
Posted in Government

The Spring Valley City Council met Monday night, July 27th. The one item on the agenda that took up the most time was the proposal to purchase a new ambulance.

Ambulance Director Jim Cooper addressed the council and presented a purchase prop ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council discusses bullying issue

Fri, Jul 24th, 2009
Posted in Government

The Lanesboro City Council spent a lot of time discussing the recent school bullying issue at their meeting on July 20. Council member Ceil Allen had read about the problem in the papers and felt that it was a community issue, not just a school issu ..... 
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