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Council looks for ways to cut budget


Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Features

With Local Government Aid (LGA) reductions affecting Harmony to the figure of $43,000 this year, and an additional $80,000 next year, council members started to take a close look at department budgets at their Tuesday, April 15 meeting. The council had requested that each department bring back a dollar amount they felt could be subtracted from the original budget. The following reductions were turned in: Library, $5,615; Streets, $1,200; Street Lighting, $7,000; Snow & Ice, $1,450; and Public Works, $500. The Fire Department didn’t turn in an amount as of yet, however, the council temporarily penned in $6,000. The total came to $21,765.Insurance premiums versus the amount of coverage was also scrutinized. The council had asked for a detailed list of insured city structures and vehicles and the value placed on said items. The biggest cut was made on the current $2,309,000 coverage for the Community Center and Library. $1,000,000 was cut from coverage as the council felt they could replace the building for considerably less, as there probably wouldn’t be the need to rebuild as large a building in the future. The current premium is $4,789. There also was $80,000 in replacement value cut on a city maintenance building located on 2nd Ave. NW. In addition, the council will seek agent advice on other structures to ensure adequate coverage.Insurance deductibles also came under fire. The present policy shows a $250 deductible for structures and vehicles. This jacks the premiums up considerably, especially with automobiles. When the council discussed the merits of raising the deductible to $500, another weakness in the policy showed up. Of the 17 vehicles insured, eight of them were 19 years or older and still had full coverage. The council agreed to only carry full coverage on vehicles that were 1996 or newer. Mayor David Runkel brought to the council’s attention that it was approaching the time to replace a squad car whose odometer was reaching the 100,000 mark. Sheriff Jim Connolly had informed him the city could purchase a new Chevy Impala through a state bid for $17,000. Equipment off the old car could be reused on the new Impala. The Mayor also informed the council of a business that buys back ex-squad cars at a reasonable price. Though the city would be spending more money at a critical time, the savings in the long run justified the purchase. Approval was given. Runkel .....
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County accepts bids on courthouse project

Fri, Apr 11th, 2003
Posted in Features

"I was 28 years old when I started this project, and look at me now," joked David Kane, President of Kane and Johnson Architects, Inc. in Rochester, as his team was finally given the green light on the project to remodel the courthouse.
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County Board rules that EAW not required on Bucknell Subdivison

Fri, Apr 11th, 2003
Posted in Features

A request by Bruce and Linda Bucknell of Racine for a conditional use permit to establish seven lots and two outside lots on land they own located in Sumner Township came to a halt in early March due to a petition requesting an Environmental Assessme ..... 
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Catholic nun recalls mission work in third world

Fri, Apr 11th, 2003
Posted in Features

“Itchy feet.” That is the working title of a book Sister Joseen Vogt is planning on writing about her experiences around the world.

“When I was leaving Australia, the head master asked me what I was going to do next. I told him ..... 
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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 ..... 
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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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