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Heartland passes JOBZ hurdle


Fri, Jul 2nd, 2004
Posted in Features

“Are your meetings always like this?” an out of town reporter after Monday nights special Preston City Council meeting

PRESTON - Last fall Preston City Council member Heath Mensink voted to deny Heartland Energy & Recycling’s application for Job Opportunity Building Zones (JOBZ) subsidies, a state program designed to stimulate economic development in rural Minnesota by creating jobs in return for tax exemptions. On Monday night at a special meeting of the Preston City Council, Mensink joined council members Pat Gartner, Jerry Scheevel and Steve Knoepke in voting to approve Heartland’s replacement of the Preston Iron Works in the Preston JOBZ subzone.When asked what had changed since last fall, Mensink was quick to say, “the lawsuit.”The lawsuit Mensink was referring to was the suit Heartland’s developer Bob Maust brought against the city for failing to issue the proposed tire-burning facility a building permit. That suit was due to be heard in federal court until the city of Preston and Maust reached an out of court settlement on May 27. The terms of the settlement agreement stipulated that the city would pay Maust $150,000 with JOBZ and $325,000 without. “It’s plain and simple,” said Mensink, “this (JOBZ for Heartland) wouldn’t have been on the table otherwise.”For council member Jerry Scheevel, nothing had changed. “This (Heartland) has always been about jobs, in my mind. When the state made JOBZ this was the kind of business they were looking at.”In addition to approving the JOBZ swap between Heartland and Preston Iron Works on Monday night, the council also voted to apply to the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for their approval of the modification. DEED is the state agency administering JOBZ.If approved, Heartland stands to receive approximately a million dollars in property tax relief over a 10 year period. In return Heartland will need to employ an estimated 30 people and pay them a higher than living wage. Heartland will also house their trucking operation in Preston.Because Heartland's replacement of the Preston Iron Works in JOBZ constitutes a change in the Preston JOBZ plan, DEED requires that other taxing entities that will be effected, namely, the Fillmore County Board and the Fillmore Central School Board, adopt resolutions approving the change. Both groups are ex .....
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Rushford City Council Report

Fri, Jul 2nd, 2004
Posted in Features

Land developers Mike Sexhauer and Richard Holle each addressed the Rushford City Council at the regular June 26 meeting about water run-off issues on land they were hoping to develop. Sexhauer informed the council that he and Brian DeFrang from Otomo ..... 
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Journal Opinion

Fri, Jul 2nd, 2004
Posted in Features

Iraq

Last week’s hand-over of authority in Iraq, and the turnover of dictator Saddam Hussein to the Iraqi government, are significant milestones for the struggling country. Time will tell whether the United State’s intervention ..... 
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Doing business in China

Fri, Jun 25th, 2004
Posted in Features

KUNMING, CHINA - Kunming is a city of about five million, the capital of the southern Chinese province of Yunnan. It is in a mountainous region bordering Vietnam and Laos on the south, Myanmar on the west, and at an altitude of nearly 6000 feet, it i ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report: Trail enhancements to Coffee Street Bridge presented to council

Fri, Jun 25th, 2004
Posted in Features

LANESBORO - Landowner Eric Bunge brought to the Lanesboro City Council’s June 21 meeting plans for creating trails to enhance the Coffee Street Bridge. Bunge owns a triangle of land near the trail and plans to turn ownership over to the city after th ..... 
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Preston City Council Report: Flooding and construction damage top June 21 city council meeting

Fri, Jun 25th, 2004
Posted in Features

PRESTON - The nuts and bolts of small city government - sorting out flooding problems, construction damages, variances, and land issues - topped the Preston City Council meeting on Monday, June 21.

Joe Palen, an engineer with Bo ..... 
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Commissioners’ Report: County Board asked to reconsider on county farm

Fri, Jun 25th, 2004
Posted in Features

“There are many reasons why we feel Fillmore County should wait to sell the County Farm until the DNR can purchase it,” said Sandra Benson as she read a letter written by herself and her husband Judge Robert Benson to the county board during Citizen ..... 
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Fillmore Central School Board: Daycare program considered a huge success

Fri, Jun 25th, 2004
Posted in Features

“Nothing but praises from parents,” said Allen LaFleur, the district’s day care instructor, as he summed up Fillmore Central’s first year as a daycare provider. LaFleur was briefing the Fillmore Central School Board at their June meeting on June 22. ..... 
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Fillmore County District Court

Fri, Jun 25th, 2004
Posted in Features

Felony Charges

•Paul Arthur Jewison, 39, of Chatfield was charged in Fillmore County District Court on Monday, June 21, with one felony count of assault in the third degree stemming from a fight at a Chatfield bar on November 15 ..... 
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