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Discord over Heartland permit status


Fri, Apr 11th, 2003
Posted in Features

The Preston City Council met Monday evening, April 7, on a day when mother nature struck the area with a heavy spring storm. When it came time to discuss the Heartland Energy & Recycling plant and the action to rescind the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) of February 18, 2003, the misunderstanding the issue generated threatened to bring the storm inside.

Mayor Dave Pechulis said that we “got the cart before the horse once, and we're about to do it again.”

On February 18 the council voted to rescind the conditional use permit (CUP) issued by the council on May 20, 2002. This was based on legal advice from the legal firm of Kennedy and Graven. Mary Tietjen of Kennedy and Graven had found two areas where she believed the CUP was at odds with Minnesota statute: an environmental assessment worksheet (EAW) had not been issued by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and an environmental impact statement (EIS) had not been judged to be either necessary or unnecessary.

Since that time, the MPCA has accepted the EAW and didn't require an EIS.

The problem the council faced on Monday night seemed to be over the definition of “rescind.” The dictionary says revoke, nullify, or cancel.

The mayor and Council member Michael McGarvey understood that to mean that permitting process would need to start over from scratch. Meanwhile, Council member Jerry Scheevel's understanding of rescind was different. He believed that the process was somewhere in the middle, and that Heartland would not need to go through another public hearing.

Mayor Pechulis felt he had been misled.

Scheevel fired back that if there was any misleading, the mayor need only “look in a mirror.”

Several citizens aired their opinions and suggestions.

Kay Laging spoke of the right to vote on the Heartland issue. She expressed a desire for a special election which would be the only way to guage how people felt about the project. She read a petition calling for a referendom on the subject which will be circulated around town to help determine where citizens stand. The signed petitions will be presented to the council at the next meeting.

The city of Preston ordinance requires the City Planning & Zoning Commission to find the following before a CUP is issued:

"So .....
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City no longer a partner in Lanesboro Center for the Arts

Fri, Apr 11th, 2003
Posted in Features

With a full council in attendance, the Lanesboro City Council rescinded an earlier motion from March 2002 and withdrew from involvement with the Lanesboro Center for the Arts. The action, which took place at the council’s regular meeting on April 7, ..... 
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Preston council looks at Highway 52 project

Fri, Apr 11th, 2003
Posted in Features

The Preston City Council approved a contract to hire Bonestroo Projects to oversee the city’s share of the Highway 52 project. In conjunction with this, Mike Bubany with David Drown and Associates presented the council with background information on ..... 
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A log home never goes out of style

Sat, Apr 5th, 2003
Posted in Features

I give you shade, I give you warmth, your words are scrolled upon my breast.    I grow tall for all to see. This is what God intended for me. I am just a tree.

"It just kind of evolved. We talked about b ..... 
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On the road in Panama

Fri, Apr 4th, 2003
Posted in Features

Panama, they say, is the next big destination. The next place to go once you’ve burnt out on the crowds everywhere else. It’s tropical and has pristine beaches on two different oceans. There are rain forests and exotic birds and of course, there’s th ..... 
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Sheriff discusses budget options

Fri, Apr 4th, 2003
Posted in Features

"We are looking at some cuts, but not to hurt the staff," stated Fillmore County’s Sheriff Jim Connolly, as he addressed the Fillmore County Board on Tuesday regarding budget cuts, courtesy of the state of Minnesota.   Connol ..... 
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Four-day kindergarten new at Fillmore Central

Fri, Apr 4th, 2003
Posted in Features

Through the innovation of two elementary school teachers, kindergartners attending school at Fillmore Central today are treated somewhat differently than students in the past.

When my son attended kindergarten nine years ago, he ..... 
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Heartland faces local opposition

Fri, Apr 4th, 2003
Posted in Features

While Heartland Energy & Recycling recently received a favorable response from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) - the regulatory agency accepted its Environmental Assessment Worksheet and did not require a costly and time consuming Envir ..... 
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A conversation about war, taxes and the state of Minnesota

Fri, Mar 28th, 2003
Posted in Features

"Live life as it comes," Elmer L. Andersen said as we sat and talked in his St. Paul home.

Elmer L. Andersen was governor of Minnesota from 1961 through 1963 and State Senator from 1949 through 1958. In addition, he was CEO of ..... 
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