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Preston sees a challenging budget year and potential bond interest savings


Fri, Aug 27th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Preston City Council discussed the 2011 budget challenges and the upside potential of significant interest savings through the refinancing of debt at their August 16 meeting. The weak economy's low interest rates have given the city an opportunity to possibly save as much as $100,000 over the life of three bonds. However, the budget ills at the state level, driven in part by the weak economy, have reduced Local Government Aid and left the city "guessing" at this point of how much aid can be counted on from the state for 2011. Councilman Jon Haugan was absent.

Bonds

Mike Bubany of David Drown Associates explained the city has a 1998 bond which is already callable and 2003 and 2005 bonds which can be called by February 1, 2011. State law allows the refinancing of the bonds to occur 90 days prior to the call date. However, both the old bond and the new bond would have interest due during that period.

Bubany said he was confident the city could obtain an A-rating from Standard and Poors. The only risk the city would face by ordering the credit rating is the cost of the rating which is expected to be about $5,000. That is, if interest rates had a substantial bump before October, the city could be on the hook for the cost of the rating and decide not to refinance. Bubany expects he could have a proposal prepared by October.

City Administrator Joe Hoffman stated in a memo that the bonds currently averaged 5 percent, 4.5 percent and 3.8 percent. The refinancing could have a rate nearly as low as 2 percent. He said there is a lot of upside potential and he certainly would recommend going ahead with the refinancing process. Reicks said the city could save about $10,000 per year.

The council authorized the preparation of an official statement and ordered the Standard and Poors rating.

Budget

Hoffman explained that more unallotments are anticipated, but they don't know what the number will be. In 2010, the city is expected to receive $517,597 in total state aid. Hoffman believes that number will be less in 2011.

The street light fee, which provides $23,000 revenue for the city, was put into place last year and offsets a portion of property taxes. Health insurance is up only about 2 percent, as the city is insuring fewer people and has had half of the anticipated claims. City employee salaries are up a total of $22,000 across all of the departments. Employees are receiving a 3 percent cost of living in .....
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Lanesboro prepares for public hearing

Fri, Aug 27th, 2010
Posted in Government



Mike Bubany of David Drown Associates came to a special joint meeting with the City Council and the Public Utilities Commission. The first item he discussed with them was refinancing two electric revenue bonds. They have a bond from 2001 and ..... 
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Chatfield debates budget

Fri, Aug 27th, 2010
Posted in Government

After a record short seven minute council meeting on August 23, the Committee of the Whole spent the greatest share of two hours discussing the 2011 budget. The big unknown for any city, or the counties, adding to the confusion, is the amount of sta ..... 
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Spring Valley council concerned about jeopardizing federal grant

Fri, Aug 27th, 2010
Posted in Government

City Administrator Deb Zimmer presented the first look of the proposed budget to Council on Monday night and the Preliminary Budget Comparison shows a decrease in many departments. Increases were shown in administration, going from $179,016.00 in 20 ..... 
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Disputing utility bills in Wykoff

Fri, Aug 27th, 2010
Posted in Government



The Wykoff City Council held its regular monthly meeting on Monday, July 12th, 2010 at 7:00 pm in the Municipal Building with the following members present: Mike Holzer, Tim Grabau, Michele Hitchcock, Betty Niemeyer, Al Williams and Cheryl D ..... 
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Referendum will be the hot topic

Fri, Aug 27th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Fillmore Central School Board chose three meeting dates for times to meet with residents in Preston, Harmony, and Fountain. These meetings will be a chance for residents of these towns to ask questions and discuss the upcoming referendum the dis ..... 
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Ropes addresses Rushford city council

Fri, Aug 27th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Monday, August 23rd, council meeting began nearly 15 minutes late as council waited for the arrival of Mayor Chris Hallum and councilor Mark Honsey. City Administrator Windy Block was also notably absent. In familiar attendance was Senator Shar ..... 
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More belt tightening: is this the most responsible path?

Fri, Aug 20th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Fillmore County Board finished scrutinizing each individual department's proposed budget for 2011 at their August 17 meeting, and the wisdom of continuing to tighten the belt in lieu of equipment replacement was a concern. Commissioners seemed t ..... 
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Fillmore County enters into Pilot Project to treat chemical dependency

Fri, Aug 13th, 2010
Posted in Government

The county board approved an agreement for Fillmore County's participation in the "State-County Chemical Health Care Home Pilot Project" at their August 10 meeting. The Region 10 southeast counties, including: Dodge, Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, Mowe ..... 
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