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DEED letter adds more confusion to flood loan process


Fri, Apr 18th, 2008
Posted in Government

RUSHFORD - It was with a grim resignation that about three dozen people gathered at city hall in the council chambers for another regular meeting of the Rushford City Council April 14 at 6:30 p.m..

Some have chosen to be spectators, others have a point or presentation to make, and a large group is there because-well, they have to be.

At three hours and fifteen minutes, this meeting was shorter than the previous one, but still longer than the average person can sit and concentrate comfortably.

The themes for the evening might have been "reversals" and "hesitation." The reversals came in the form of loan applications from the owners of Norsland Lefse and the Windswept Inn.

Hesitation was expressed mostly by councilwoman Laura Deering who felt that the uncertainty created by recent state and legislative attention made a number of the decisions being asked of her "premature."

More Scrutiny

The one-liner last fall was that all the attention from the flood took away Rushford's status as "southeastern Minnesota's best-kept secret." Now, the city finds itself once again in the spotlight as complaints from local homeowners have caused a flurry of questions and opinions at the state level, as well as a "freeze" on all Category 1-A and Category 2 flood relief loans to businesses.

Frustrated homeowners Larry Mierau and Roger Colbenson expressed to legislators their dismay over the two $500,000 low interest loans given for development of two businesses, one of which was not technically in existence at the time of the flood. Why couldn't funds be stretched to cover unmet homeowner expenses?

Do the loans violate the spirit of the legislature? Do they violate the letter of the law? Or is the city perfectly within its right to wish to bolster the local economy with new jobs, as is one of the missions of DEED? (Department of Employment and Economical Development-through which the flood relief money flows.)

The answer to whether funds could be transferred to housing in Rushford appears to be "no", but beyond that, nothing is certain.

There's been no shortage of opinions, and yet many understand that an opinion is not the same as an answer. Windy Block, city administrator, presented a packet of six letters on the subject from legislators and administrators.

On top of the packet was a letter received that day from Paul A. Moe, Deputy Commissioner of DEED. The conclusion found in this letter .....
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Spring Valley residents discuss property taxes

Fri, Apr 18th, 2008
Posted in Government

What's my property worth? The Board of Appeals and Equalization is an annual event in City and County Government to give property owners an opportunity to ask questions concerning their tax statements. At the Spring Valley City Council meeting on Mo ..... 
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Lanesboro council holds Board of Equalization hearing

Fri, Apr 18th, 2008
Posted in Government

A few residents of Lanesboro came before the council at their regular meeting on April 14 to voice some concerns during the Board of Equalization Public Hearing. Ron Vikre of the County Assessor's office was present to answer questions about propert ..... 
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County Board debates flood plain restrictions

Fri, Apr 11th, 2008
Posted in Government

PRESTON - Zoning Administrator Norman Craig came prepared with copies of the current ordinance on flood plains at the April 8 meeting of the Board of Commissioners. Confusion as to what is allowed to be built in a flood plain was the issue. Craig ex ..... 
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Preston Council looks at 2008 street projects

Fri, Apr 11th, 2008
Posted in Government

Bill Cox, Public Works, presented maps and descriptions of three suggested projects to Preston City council members at their April 7 meeting. Work in the downtown area could be wrapped up with a mill and overlay of portions of St. Anthony and Mill S ..... 
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Harmony residents raise questions about property tax assessments

Fri, Apr 11th, 2008
Posted in Government

Citizens of Harmony came to the City Council meeting on April 8 to discuss their property taxes and the assessments made on their homes recently. Fred Horihan and Cindy Blagsvadt from the Fillmore County Assessor's Office were there to answer any qu ..... 
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Lanesboro Council discusses capital improvement projects

Fri, Apr 11th, 2008
Posted in Government

Lanesboro City Council members got together for a special meeting on April 7 to discuss the capital improvement projects and financing. They were also able to hear about some new options and lower costs from Mike Bubany of David Drown and Associates ..... 
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SV City Council holds special session on flood buyout

Fri, Apr 11th, 2008
Posted in Government

The Spring Valley City Council met in Special Session on Wednesday night (April 9, 2008) to take action on three items regarding buy out of property in the Flood Plain.

Flood Damage Buyout by City

Lucille Daggett had approached the Ci ..... 
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Design Team to help Rushford plan

Fri, Apr 4th, 2008
Posted in Government

PRESTON - Susan Hart, co-chair of the Rushford Steering Committee, addressed the County Board at their April 1 meeting. Hart asked commissioners to come to Rushford during the visit of the Minnesota Design Team (MDT) from April 24 through the 26 to ..... 
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