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Preston City Council Report


Fri, Feb 7th, 2003
Posted in Features

The Preston City Council met February 3, even though Monday presented the Preston area with the most inclement weather of the season. In what has been an unusually calm winter, the intense wind, blowing snow and falling temperatures brought everyone back to a “winter” reality. Mayor David Pechulis called for a moment of silence out of respect for the Columbia astronauts who lost their lives Saturday. A decision is still imminent on what to do about the conditional use permit (CUP) that was approved in May 2002 for Heartland Energy and Recycling, LLC. According to state statute, the city should have waited until all regulatory permits have been issued before awarding a conditional use permit. The question now is whether the city should rescind the permit it awarded Heartland in May. The council has sought legal counsel to help them understand their options.Fred Nagle, the Preston City Administrator, explained that the law firm of Kennedy and Graven out of Minneapolis has been enlisted to research the problem of the CUP and to provide a legal opinion on how to best rectify the situation. Mary Tietjen, a lawyer with the firm, is in the process of examining the impact of certain environmental regulations as they pertain to the CUP. She will also clarify any legalities involved with the possibility of rescinding the CUP. Tietjen is further exploring Preston's ordinances as they pertain to the issue. Nagle wants Tietjen to make specific recommendations. Council member Mike Gartner says that we're going to have to use this format in the future. Gartner said, "We've got to follow it by the letter. . .we're in quicksand now. . .we want to come out of it." Citizens, representing SouthEastern Minnesotans for Environmental Protection (SEMEP) voiced concern over the delays that have occurred resolving this problem. At the request of SEMEP, Karen Marty, an attorney out of Bloomington, sent a letter to the council. Marty states in her letter that state statute requires that governing bodies act only subsequent to an environmental assessment worksheet (EAW) completion, when an EAW is required. Marty wrote to the council, "If a city approves a project, or issues permits for a project while the EAW is pending, it becomes much more difficult for the city to halt the project if that is the proper response to the environmental concerns." Marty goes on to say, .....
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Benson rules in zoning case

Fri, Jan 31st, 2003
Posted in Features

Judge Robert Benson has denied a request by Fillmore County for a summary judgement in a zoning dispute between the county and Eli Slabaugh of rural Canton Township.

Former Fillmore County Attorney Matt Opat filed the civil act ..... 
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Commissioners’ Report: Social Services’ budget safe from state cuts for now

Fri, Jan 31st, 2003
Posted in Features

"I don’t see much that’s going to effect the county," Tom Boyd, Fillmore County Social Services Director, told the county board on Tuesday. Boyd was commenting on the state’s potential budget cuts and the impact they may have on his department. This ..... 
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The devil is in the details

Fri, Jan 31st, 2003
Posted in Features

Kane & Johnson Architects, Inc. of Rochester, brought back more revisions to the courthouse remodeling project after several meetings were held with the architects, Judge Robert Benson, Court Administrator James Attwood, Sheriff Jim Connolly, and Com ..... 
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Rushford City Council Report: New site promoted for back-up generator building

Fri, Jan 31st, 2003
Posted in Features

Brian Guenther of Power Plus, an engineering firm, was present at the January 27th Rushford City Council meeting to explain the newly proposed back-up generator site. The building to house three back-up generators with space for a future fourth gener ..... 
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DNR looks at changing deer season

Fri, Jan 24th, 2003
Posted in Features

In the early 1950s, the sighting of whitetail deer in southeastern Minnesota was so uncommon that a local newspaper carried it as a front-page news item when a farmer in Carimona Township reported seeing a herd of 18 deer. The great migration of deer ..... 
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Harstad pleads guilty on Mandelko charges

Fri, Jan 24th, 2003
Posted in Features

Andrew Todd Harstad, 20, of rural Harmony, plead guilty in Fillmore County District Court on Tuesday to one count of felony Criminal Vehicular Homicide stemming from an incident on May 26, 2000 which resulted in the death of Justin Delbert Mandelko o ..... 
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Rural Peacemakers to meet in Rushford February 1

Fri, Jan 24th, 2003
Posted in Features

About a dozen peace advocates, opposed to war with Iraq, marched in Preston on Saturday, January 18, in solidarity with anti-war demonstrations in Washington, D.C. and other major cities in the United States and throughout the world. The group known ..... 
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Planning & Zoning ready to tackle new issues in 2003

Fri, Jan 24th, 2003
Posted in Features

The Fillmore County Planning & Zoning Commission held their first meeting of the new year on Thursday, January 23. About 30 people braved the cold temperatures to listen to commission members talk about zoning issues that the group will likely addres ..... 
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