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Chatfield adopts no-fault sewer back-up policy


Fri, Nov 12th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Chatfield City Council approved a sewer back-up policy at their November 8 meeting. After several weeks of discussion in the Public Works Committee, a draft of the policy was presented at the last meeting in October. At that time it was decided to tweak the draft by adding language to release the city from further liability if a resident accepts the payment of up to $3,000.

The city's policy is to help those residents that experience sewer back-up through no fault of their own and after reasonable maintenance by the city. The policy will not cover instances that are covered by the resident's home owner insurance or from damage resulting from a catastrophic incident such as a flood.

The city will not pay out more than $20,000 in back-up claims in any one calendar year. The policy is retroactive to January 1, 2010.

Bond Refinancing

Mike Bubany, David Drown Associates, described options to restructure the city's $6.9 million General Obligation Bonds for the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The total bond issue with component costs is expected to be slightly over $7 million. He recommended a 17-year term which would be callable after February 2018.

Bubany suggested the city get a Standard and Poor's rating, which he felt should be the same as the city's current rating of AA stable. The cost of the rating should be covered many times by expected lower interest rates.

The restructure takes into account a conservative growth rate of two homes per year. If the debt was not restructured it would likely be necessary to raise sewer rates 7 percent per year. If the city could subsidize the payments, the rates would increase about 6 percent per year. The city's ability to subsidize is dependent on what they receive in Local Government Aid (LGA) from the state.

With the refinance, the worst case scenario is expected to require a 4 to 4 1/2 percent increase in rates per year. If the city is able to subsidize at a conservative amount of $90,000, the sewer rate increases could be limited to about 3 percent per year. The city won't know for several months what the LGA will be.

Rate increases are influenced by variables out of the city's control including LGA payments and housing growth.

City Clerk Joel Young said capital outlays, including replacing water meters and fixing manholes, are included in the plan. Fixing water mains are not included.

All numbers were based on today's interest rates. T .....
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Fillmore County voter turnout continues decline

Mon, Nov 8th, 2010
Posted in Government

With the November 2nd election day now nearly a week behind us, signified by the end of mudslinging political ads that seemed to hijack the media in the weeks and days before the election, the public can begin to absorb the decisions made by voters. ..... 
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Preston EDA, pursuing growth opportunities

Fri, Nov 5th, 2010
Posted in Government

Cathy Enerson, Economic Development Authority (EDA), addressed the Preston City Council on November 3 to add work hours and to discuss potential development opportunities. During these times of limited budgets, the EDA made requests and presented op ..... 
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Immediate bridge closures in Fillmore County

Fri, Nov 5th, 2010
Posted in Government

Highway Engineer John Grindeland explained the sudden closure of six or seven bridges by the state to the county board at their November 2 meeting. He said State Aid with a special contract hired about five consultants to look at County State Aid Hi ..... 
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Chatfield prepares to restructure Waste Water Treatment Plant Bond

Tue, Nov 2nd, 2010
Posted in Government



In an effort to bring sewer rates under control the Chatfield City Council started the process to refinance the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) bonds at their October 25 meeting.

Mike Bubany, David Drown and Associates, explained ..... 
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Spring Valley commemorates progress of industrial park

Fri, Oct 29th, 2010
Posted in Government



A regular Spring Valley City Council meeting took place on Monday, October 25th, 2010 at 7:00 P.M. at the City Hall. All city council members were present along with Dianne Swenson-Sikkink, Chad Hindt, John Fenske, Troy Lange, and Jim Cooper ..... 
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Sheriff's Department looks for best option

Fri, Oct 29th, 2010
Posted in Government



The county board at their October 26 meeting decided to go back to committee before going ahead with the pilot program in Spring Valley using the State's I-Mobile System. Sheriff Daryl Jensen recommended that they go back to the Jail Committ ..... 
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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 Minne ..... 
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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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