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Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
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“Continued, slow and steady improvement” for Rushford funds


By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, May 19th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

The city received their annual audit report at the Monday, May 12 meeting from Smith Schafer & Associates and it appears the city is moving in the right direction.

There has been no increase in the tax levy in the last three years and the city has been operating with actual expenditures under budget. Local Government Aid from the state has remained steady the last four years and is expected to rise slightly in 2014. Local property tax now makes up 57 percent of revenues.

Also receiving commendation was the city’s Flood Loan Recovery Fund. “City staff is doing a great job handling these loans,” said Wente. The Economic Development Authority Revolving Loan Fund was likewise noted as seeing significant increases over the last five years.

Previously, there had been some caution regarding the level of the General Fund Reserves, following a sharp drop in 2010 after a transfer to the sewer fund. Reserves dipped further in 2011, following a transfer to the liquor fund, to just 11 percent. The city has gradually built back the reserves to 28 percent, closer to the recommended state level of 30-50 percent. “We’re slowly working our way back,” noted auditor Tom Wente.

Currently, there are three outstanding general obligation bonds for the city, relating to the 2009 and 2011 Capital Improvement Projects and the 2012 Levee Improvement Project. One other note, a contract for deed regarding land purchased in 2007, remains. The audit found no issues related to debts.

Capital Projects and Capital Improvement Funds have seen a drop, from activity due to levee recertification, the Rush Creek Bike Trail project, the Highway 43 project, and the Highway 16 storm sewer project. The city will be reimbursed for work related to the Highway 43 project. Additionally, engineers have estimated that FEMA owes the improvement fund $551,487.

Interfund amounts have been problematic for the city, according to Wente. Sewer Fund advances totaled $807,762 from sources such as the General Fund and Electric Fund. A Liquor Fund advance includes $166,042 from the General Fund, as well as $81,743 already due to the fund. “There really isn’t really any way to pay it back,” stressed Wente. “Making a dent will be very difficult. Wait and see how FEMA gets resolved, but you’re going to have to deal with it.”

“There is a way forward,” responded City Administrator Steve Sarvi.[Read the Rest]

Third District Commissioner Amunrud to retire

Mon, May 19th, 2014
Posted in All Government

Commissioner Chuck Amunrud announced his impending resignation, effective May 27, at the county board’s May 13 meeting. Amunrud who is half way through the second year of a four year term commented that serving as District 3 county commissioner ..... 
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Mutton busting during Chatfield Western Days

Mon, May 19th, 2014
Posted in Chatfield Government

Dean Hilsman, President of the Chatfield Lions Club, asked the city council at their May 12 meeting for permission to sponsor a Mutton Busting event on the evening of Thursday, August 7 at Mill Creek Park. The family orientated event will entertai ..... 
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Houston City Council amends several city codes

By Angie Rodenburg

Fri, May 16th, 2014
Posted in All Government

The Houston City Council held a meeting on May 12. Before the regularly scheduled meeting a public hearing was held to discuss a draft of ordinances that will amend city code in several areas. Changes were made to several ordinances including trees, ..... 
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Rushford Village Mayor Schwanke resigns; city recaps plans moving forward

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, May 16th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Government

To the surprise of many, Rushford Village Mayor Dale Schwanke resigned his post as mayor, effective June 3, following a decision to relocate to northern Wisconsin. Until that date, Schwanke and the council are reviewing current goals and plans. “W ..... 
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Lanesboro still searching for funding for dam

Fri, May 9th, 2014
Posted in Lanesboro Government

The City of Lanesboro has been seeking funding to repair the damage to the dam since flooding caused damage in 2008. The cost of the project has only increased over the years with regulations requiring the repairs be made with historically accurate m ..... 
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Government the week of May 12, 2014

By Peyton Bergey

Fri, May 9th, 2014
Posted in All Government

•Monday, May 12, Whalan City Council meeting, 5 p.m., City Hall. •Monday, May 12, Houston City Council meeting, 7:30 p.m., City Hall. •Monday, May 12, Wykoff City Council meeting, 7 p.m., City Hall. •Monday, May 12, Chatfield City Counci ..... 
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Prescription drug drop-off volume increases

Fri, May 9th, 2014
Posted in All Government

Sheriff Daryl Jensen reported at the Fillmore County Board’s May 6 meeting that participation in the 2014 National Take Back Initiative (Prescription Drug Drop Off Program) was way up from last year. The drop off program designed to give residents ..... 
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Fountain City Council hears recommendations for WWTP

Fri, May 9th, 2014
Posted in Fountain Government

The Fountain City Council met on Thursday, May 1, at 6 p.m. instead of the normal 7:30 p.m. in order to accommodate guests whom they hoped had answers the council has been looking for in relation to problems with the wastewater treatment plant. Al ..... 
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