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Legislators meet with county board


Fri, Jan 18th, 2008
Posted in Government

Area Representatives Jeanne Poppe and Ken Tschumper, along with Senators Sharon Ropes and Dan Sparks, met with Fillmore County commissioners on Tuesday, January 15, to discuss upcoming bonding priorities for the 2008 Minnesota legislative session which convenes on February 12, 2008.

Governor Tim Pawlenty is proposing a $1.09 billion bonding bill, of which $965 billion would be financed through general obligation bonds. Nearly 40 percent ($416 million; 38.3%) of the funds would be used for transportation, mainly roads and bridges, with higher education using up 38.3 percent ($258 million) and environmental projects 16 percent ($175 million).

County commissioners and department heads raised a number of issues with legislators:

• Transportation: Highway Engineer John Grindeland told legislators that the "best package" for roads and bridges, which included a 5¢ gas tax, got vetoed last year.

"We need consistent funding that doesn't put the state in debt for the next 25 years," Grindeland said. He also recommended that Chief Deputy and Chief Engineer positions within MnDOT be filled by licensed engineers.

There was considerable discussion by legislators about the deteriorating roads and bridges including the condition of Hwy 52 between Fountain and I-90.

Rep. Ken Tschumper told the group that the "infrastructure is crumbling around our ears" and put the blame on the governor for not working with the legislature.

On Hwy. 52, Tschumper thought that the overlay that is planned is about the best that can be hoped for. "The plan is for a five inch bituminous overlay, with a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years," Tschumper said. He didn't think a re-alignment of the right of way would be possible.

This prompted Commissioner Chuck Amenrud to ask, "How can we have Zero Deaths as a goal with these roads?"

Sen. Sharon Ropes said, "The 5¢ a gallon gas tax that the governor vetoed (2007) was a bipartisan effort. The conflict is between the governor and the legislature, not Democrats and Republicans."

"The governor's bonding bill is a band aid at best," Sen. Dan Sparks said.

Rep. Poppe reminded others that the governor's proposal for local roads and bridges contained an "if" clause, where counties and cities would need to put in a funding match for their local share.

• Health: Increase funds to the Minnesota Vaccines for Children program which is being reduce .....
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Rushford City Council: Rushford and Winona Health at odds over clinic building

Fri, Jan 18th, 2008
Posted in Government

The Rushford City Council, meeting for the first time in 2008 on January 14, immediately swore-in newly-elected council members. Not since former Mayor Ted Roberton resigned 2½-years-ago after only 5-months into his second term have residents e ..... 
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Spring Valley City Council discuses new swimming pool

Fri, Jan 18th, 2008
Posted in Government

The meeting of the Spring Valley City Council on Monday night was typical of the beginning of a new year. Committees were filled with new members and the legal steps of passing resolutions consumed most of the agenda.

The Mayor brought up t ..... 
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Kelleher tells county board "flood victims need to apply"

Fri, Jan 11th, 2008
Posted in Government

PRESTON - With the new year the county board elected a new chairman, Randy Dahl, and a new vice-chairman, Chuck Amunrud. Dahl started by again thanking everyone involved in the flood recovery effort including city and county staffs and the many volu ..... 
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Preston will blacktop Industrial Drive

Fri, Jan 11th, 2008
Posted in Government

PRESTON - The Preston City Council voted at their January 7, 2008 meeting to proceed with blacktopping Industrial Drive in the Industrial Park.

General Manager Richard Eichstadt of POET Biorefining (Pro-Corn, LLC) had first requested an imp ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report: Chamber activities updated

Fri, Jan 11th, 2008
Posted in Government

The Lanesboro Chamber of Commerce is holding their annual meeting on January 14 to discuss highlights from 2007 and plans for the next year. Executive Director Julie Kiehne presented the City Council with the Annual Chamber Report at the regular mee ..... 
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Rushford Council considers flood loan for business start-up

Fri, Dec 28th, 2007
Posted in Government

RUSHFORD - The process for distributing state flood recovery loans to Rushford businesses, a bumpy ride initially, is becoming more smooth: a flood-damaged business fills out a mountain of paperwork which then goes to the EDA and a special loan comm ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report: SELCO funding reduction explained to council

Fri, Dec 21st, 2007
Posted in Government

LANESBORO - At the request of the Lanesboro City Council, Ann Hutton from SELCO (Southeastern Libraries Cooperating) attended the regular meeting on December 17 to explain the reason that the Lanesboro Public Library is receiving $4,000 less this ye ..... 
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Preston City Council Report: Preston union accepts COLA increase

Fri, Dec 21st, 2007
Posted in Government

PRESTON - The Preston City Council met December 17 with only an operating quorum. David Harrison and Robert Sauer were absent. The Preston Public Employees Association (PPEA) had voted not to contest the council's offer of a 3% Cost of Living Adjust ..... 
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