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Heartland wins. Or did they?


Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

On Monday evening, the Preston Council Chamber was literally over flowing, with people sitting on the floor and many standing in the corridor straining to hear the proceedings of the Preston City Council. The council was meeting to decide whether to issue a conditional use permit (CUP) to Heartland Energy & Recycling LLC to build and operate a tire-derived fuel energy plant. Mayor Dave Pechulis established a three minute speaking limit for concerned citizens and warned that people needed to be civil to one another. After considerable discussion lasting over three hours, with many residents speaking out for and against the initiative, the council on a three (Jerry Scheevel, Mike Gartner, and Heath Mensink) to two (Mike McGarvey and David Pechulis) vote approved the Heartland CUP. But to the great surprise of everyone in the room, the mayor declared the resolution had failed. Pechulis cited the Preston ordinance, under Land Usage number 155.281 section (G) Discharge of Powers, part (2) , that "The concurring vote of four members of the City Council shall be necessary...to decide in favor of the applicant on any matter which is required to pass under this chapter..."While attorneys started leafing through the Zoning Ordinance, council members started firing questions at consulting attorney Mary Tietjen, of Minneapolis law firm Kennedy and Graven, who was advising the council throughout the meeting via speaker phone. Tietjen, unaware of the wording in the ordinance, was rendered speechless as city employees began faxing pages of the zoning ordinance to her. After several minutes of silence, Tietjen requested more time for research, saying that she would give an opinion on the matter the following day. She didn't think it would be necessary for the council to reconvene on this issue since the vote would not change. So, at the end of the night, the status of Heartland's CUP was in limbo once more.Petitions and LettersEarly on in the meeting, Kay Laging handed the mayor 29 petitions with 370 signatures from Preston citizens requesting that there be a special election allowing citizens to vote on this matter.Two letters from Peters and Peters, attorney for Southeastern Minnesotans for Environmental Protection (SEMEP) were read at the request of Council member Jerry Scheevel. The first letter requested that the city investigate whether Robert Mau .....
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County to reopen zoning density debate

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

At last Tuesday’s meeting of the Fillmore County Planning Commission, Commissioner Duane Bakke unveiled a new zoning ordinance amendment that would allow individual townships to select from a menu of choices that would determine how many homes are bu ..... 
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County Social Services see child protection caseload increase

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

"We would like to see a month where there is no hitting, no drug abuse, no sexual abuse, no emotional neglect, children being bathed when they smell, and children being properly fed," stated Wendy Ebner, Social Service Supervisor, as she recapped the ..... 
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Former Ostrander City Clerk sentenced to jail and home monitoring

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

Saying that he wanted to send a message to others who hold a position of trust, that abuses of power will be dealt with harshly, Judge Robert Benson sentenced former Ostrander City Clerk Tonya Michelle Burns to 15 days in jail, 130 days electric home ..... 
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Lanesboro Council responds to citizen requests, adjusts budget

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

Art promotions, a raffle, a dance, and the brush dump were on the minds of citizens as they addressed the Lanesboro City Council April 21, 2003.

Holly McDonough, Executive Director of the Cornucopia Art Center, asked the counci ..... 
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City of Rushford Audit report presented

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

At a special meeting of the Rushford City Council on Monday, April 21, 2003, Tom Wente of Smith, Schafer and Associates presented the city’s audit report to the council.

"You’ve done a good job either budgeting or staying in th ..... 
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A “Norwegian” farm girl returns to her native Vietnam

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Features

A self-described “Norwegian” farm girl, Julie Knutson DeHart grew up in rural Lanesboro, the adopted daughter of Sharon and Robert Knutson.   At Lanesboro High School, the 1992 graduate played in the band, went out for volley ..... 
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Preston Planning & Zoning Commission recommends granting CUP to Heartland

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Features

It was a balmy summer-like evening, the Preston City Hall overflowing with interested residents, when the Preston Planning & Zoning Commission met to consider a conditional use permit application from Heartland Energy & Recycling, LLC.

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Council hears possible water solutions

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Features

The Water Utility System Analysis Report presented by Bill Chang of BDM was the focal point of the Rushford City Council meeting on Monday, April 14. Chang first detailed some recent improvements to the water system of the city such as the new well # ..... 
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