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Environmental Protection Claim against DNR dismissed


Fri, Oct 29th, 2010
Posted in Government

Another leg in the legal process that began with the quest years ago to build a State Trail from Preston to Forestville State Park has run its course with a court order issued on October 21 by District Court Judge Jeffrey Thompson granting the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources motion for summary judgment. Attorneys Larry Peterson and Brent Kleffman, St. Paul, for the plaintiffs John and Bernadette Snyder and Vernon and Kay Ristau filed a complaint in November, 2009.

The complaint alleged that the DNR violated the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) by not conducting an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The DNR moved for summary judgment arguing that their determination that no EAW or EIS is necessary is supported by substantial evidence in the record and not mandatory under Minnesota law.

The arguments were heard by Judge Thompson on August 4, 2010.

History

On May 1, 2009, the city of Preston after exhaustive efforts to purchase the remaining parcels petitioned for condemnation of property owned by the plaintiffs to acquire the trail right of way. The plaintiffs own the last couple of parcels that are needed to construct the planned 9.2 mile trail route to Forestville Mystery Cave State Park.

As reported recently, construction of the trail route from the city of Preston is in progress. All parcels needed for the trail as far as Carimona have been purchased. It is expected that the trail will be built at least that far dependent on available funding.

The Decision

The judge says the plaintiffs lacked proof of their claim. He notes that it is not the court's role to determine who is right in their conclusions, the DNR or the plaintiffs' expert, but "to ensure the DNR's decision was based on substantial evidence and not arbitrary or capricious." The judge concludes at the end of his 13 page decision that the "record reflects that the DNR met those requirements in making its decisions."

Arguments were made by the plaintiffs that construction of bridges and culverts will damage water quality and trout stream habitat especially where parts of the river have been designated as "impaired waters." This potential damage and the presence of threatened or endangered species necessitate an EAW or EIS. The judge determined the evidence provided by the plaintiffs on these issues was neither relevant or consequential.

The judge notes the .....
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Housing Access Services can help you move

Mon, Oct 25th, 2010
Posted in Government

Housing Access Services helps people move to a place of their own, one person at a time, to a place of their choice. Typically, people are moving to modest living arrangements by themselves or at times with a roommate to off-set household expenses. ..... 
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CrV special meeting minutes 2

Mon, Oct 25th, 2010
Posted in Government

Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag

The September 28, 2010, special meeting was called to order by Mayor Gordon Johnson at 7:00 p.m. Council members present: Dennis Overland, Roger Ekern, Dale Schwanke. Absent: Elizabeth Atkinson. Zoning Board ..... 
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CRV minutes

Mon, Oct 25th, 2010
Posted in Government

Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag

A closed meeting took place at 6:00 p.m. with League of Minnesota Cities Attorney Jason Kaboushek regarding continuing litigation. The September 21, 2010, regular meeting was called to order by Mayor Gordon ..... 
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Monthly meeting of the Ostrander City Council September 7, 2010

Mon, Oct 25th, 2010
Posted in Government

Submitted by Rhonda Klapperich, City Clerk/Treasurer

The monthly meeting of the Ostrander City Council was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Linda Schwenn.

Motion was made by Kunert, seconded by Thompson and unanimously carried to ..... 
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Lanesboro Library forgives all fines

Fri, Oct 22nd, 2010
Posted in Government

The Lanesboro Public Library has forgiven all outstanding fines for overdue materials and will not impose additional fines for the remainder of this year.

"With our new director, Tara Johnson, at the helm, we want to start everyone with a cl ..... 
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Preston to issue Casey's building permit

Fri, Oct 22nd, 2010
Posted in Government

City Administrator Joe Hoffman reviewed the Casey's General Store development proposal at the Preston City Council's October 18 meeting. A building permit had been applied for to construct the convenience store on the triangle of land at the Hwy 52 ..... 
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Board of Adjustment denies variances

Fri, Oct 22nd, 2010
Posted in Government

Property line setback variances for two separate applications were discussed and denied at the Fillmore County Board of Adjustment's October 21 meeting. All applications concerned wind conversion systems.

Johnson Application

LeRoy J ..... 
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Overview of ARMER grants

Fri, Oct 15th, 2010
Posted in Government

Judy Indrelie, Special Grants Coordinator, with the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office, reviewed the grant process for the Regional Radio Board (RRB) at the Fillmore County Board's October 12 meeting. Commissioner Tom Kaase sits on the RRB.

The ..... 
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