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Rushford council sorts out aid issues


Fri, Sep 28th, 2007
Posted in Government

By Bonnie Prinsen & Tom Driscoll

RUSHFORD - "We've heard from so many entities about our unique unity as a community," said Council member Nancy Benson at the regular meeting of the Rushford City Council last Monday, Sept. 24. "Money should not now tear us apart." "We need to remember we're still all in this together."

Benson's comments came during what is becoming a regular and dominant feature of council meetings here: the flood update. On the agenda for this meeting was a resolution giving Mayor Les Ladewig and City Manager Windy Block the go-ahead to begin the application process for state flood relief money, and the authority to sign agreements in the city's name.

Chuck Pettipiece, the consultant hired to assist with the flood relief dollars, said that the resolution would help "cover all the pieces" to the complex application puzzle with which the city is now faced. The resolution passed unanimously.

Looming largely unspoken in the room was the week-old news that with the involvement of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the nearly $160 million relief package suddenly looked quite different than what some thought was the original spirit of the bill. Specifically, businesses learned that they would only receive thirty percent of the aid in forgivable loans, and there was ultimately no talk of outright grants.

Discussions and negotiations with DEED brought thirty percent up to fifty, but some still felt dissatisfied with the formula and worried about the future of business in the region.

Mayor Ladewig, however, expressed his dismay that word had spread through the press that "Rushford is dissatisfied" with the proposed implementation of the relief package. Sounding a little like a scolding father, Ladewig said, "we certainly don't want to receive the biggest aid package ever offered in this state" and seem ungrateful."

"We're grateful as God's green apples to have received this award," he stated.

And yet, having been told by a number of sources, including State Senator Sharon Ropes, that the city has every right to ask for different conditions for the aid distribution, such as more than fifty percent in forgivable loans, not everyone in the community is willing to concede that gratitude for the fifty percent is in order.

Pettipiece confirmed that the city could "certainly ask for more" than the fifty percent, but he was pessimistic about the chances for s .....
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Flood recovery dominates county board agenda

Fri, Sep 28th, 2007
Posted in Government



PRESTON - Fillmore County commissioners faced a full agenda at their September 25 meeting with most issues relating to the recent flooding in southeastern Minnesota. A group of people from several organizations and departments detailed their ..... 
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Spring Valley City Council Report: Reconstruction of Hudson Street set for public hearing

Fri, Sep 28th, 2007
Posted in Government

SPRING VALLEY - The Spring Valley City Council met Monday night September 24 and passed a resolution calling for a public hearing on a major improvement project. Bryan Holtz of Yaggy Colby Associates presented the Feasibility Report to the Council. ..... 
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Rushford struggles with bad wells and condemnations

Fri, Sep 21st, 2007
Posted in Government

RUSHFORD - Looking a little weary nearly a month after flooding transformed Rushford into a disaster area, Mayor Les Ladewig and City Council members Nancy Benson, Laura Deering, Larry Johnson and Herb Highum met in special session on Monday Septemb ..... 
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Board of Adjustment turns down variance request

Fri, Sep 21st, 2007
Posted in Government

PRESTON - The Fillmore County Board of Adjustment voted on Thursday, September 20, to reject an application for a variance in Harmony Township.

Roger and Rosella Peterson had asked for a 902 foot variance to build a house on property they o ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report: Lanesboro 20/20

Fri, Sep 21st, 2007
Posted in Government

A public hearing was held before the regular city council meeting in Lanesboro on September 17. The topic to be discussed was the Lanesboro 20/20 plans for the future, and Carla Noack was present to answer any questions about the document entitled " ..... 
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Preston City Council Report: Preston hires new librarian

Fri, Sep 21st, 2007
Posted in Government

The Preston City Council met Tuesday September 18 for their regular meeting. Council member Robert Sauer was absent. Bob O'Reilly who sits on the Library Board detailed the board's unanimous recommendation for the new librarian, Elizabeth Anderson. ..... 
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County Board discusses disaster credits for homestead property

Fri, Sep 14th, 2007
Posted in Government

PRESTON - County Assessor Robert Pickett explained the current law regarding disaster credits on 2008 payable taxes for homesteaded property owners at the board's September 11 meeting. The Minnesota Statute 273.123 Reassessment of Homestead Property ..... 
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Rushford Council looks at flood money distribution

Fri, Sep 14th, 2007
Posted in Government

RUSHFORD - At a special meeting Thursday, September 13, the Rushford City Council voted unanimously to enter into an agreement with SEMCAC to be the lead grant administrator on a Small Cities Development Program application for $1.4 million, with Pe ..... 
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