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Monday, September 22nd, 2014
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Rushford Village updates sticky ordinances, policies


By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Aug 8th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Government

The Rushford Village Council discussed the need for modification to existing policies and ordinances at the Tuesday, August 5 meeting. Spurred by questions from Public Works/Maintenance Director Bob Thieret, City Clerk Kristina Mart suggested the city consider updating the 1994 ordinance regarding utility off.

“We need to make sure procedures are well-established,” said Mart. It was noted that the current ordinance requires a letter be sent to delinquent properties. The letter states a shut-off date and that bills past 60 days must be paid. Mart stated that currently, Thieret makes an attempt to approach the property owners prior to shutoff to allow for payment, but that the situation isn’t always a comfortable one. “There’s a couple that he’s scared to go to the door. Some have kids. It’s personal. It makes it hard.”

Councilor Dennis Overland suggested that there shouldn’t be door to door contact. “He’s there to shutoff.”

“You have to follow the policy,” echoed Councilor Chad Rasmussen, noting that making exceptions for particular residences can’t be done, lest the perception be that the city is allowing favoritism.

“Certain things have come to light and it lets you recognize that it’s out of date,” added Mayor Gordon Johnson. “If he [Thieret] can collect great, but we’re not asking him to do that. It’s a courtesy. People have to contact us and make arrangements before the shutoff date.”

City Attorney Tom Manion will look into League of Minnesota Cities recommendations on how best to address the issue and state the procedure, within the ordinance, for both the city and property owners.

Another hiccup for policy includes how to handle reimbursement and purchases for and by city employees. The issue apparently stems from a current practice of reimbursing some purchases immediately and some quarterly. Public Works/Maintenance Director Thieret was previously granted authority to expenditures under a specific amount. However, purchases on items like mower fuel and used culverts have presented some question, as did employees buying items from the city, such as used skid steer tires.

“Eventually, you’re going to run into some controversy, some second guessing that will unravel your policy,” suggested Manion, who noted the use of provisional approval granted by municipalities. “You need a policy. It won’t take lo .....
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Chatfield grills Mediacom representative

Fri, Aug 1st, 2014
Posted in Chatfield Government

Councilors made it clear at the Chatfield City Council’s July 28 meeting that Mediacom customers in Chatfield were displeased with the recent channel changes made by the company. Councilors Paul Novotny and Dave Frank were absent. Lee Grassley, ..... 
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Spring Valley makes an offer for ambulance director

Fri, Aug 1st, 2014
Posted in Spring Valley Government

The Spring Valley City Council is in the process of hiring a new ambulance director. Since Jim Cooper announced in April that he was going to retire on August 15 the council has been working on finding a replacement. After the advertising phase for ..... 
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Rushford considers managed hunting within city limits

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Aug 1st, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

The issue of deer population control in Rushford has once again been brought to the forefront of council discussions. The council had reviewed options in 2012 and 2013 due to the damage inflicted on vegetation and hazards to traffic. In 2013, the co ..... 
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Preston wraps up details for North Industrial Park

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in Preston Government

The Preston City Council worked through an unusually long agenda at their July 21 meeting. Councilman David Harrison was absent. A public hearing was held related to the proposed utility improvements for the North Industrial Park. Brett Grabau, St ..... 
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County to consider local option sales tax

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in All Government

County Engineer Ron Gregg reviewed an eight-year capital improvement plan for county roads at the board’s July 22 meeting. The plan has to be in place, detailing specific improvement projects, before funds can be generated by a Local Option Sales ..... 
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Help Our Neighbors/tourism center

Fri, Jul 18th, 2014
Posted in Chatfield Government

At the July 14 Chatfield City Council meeting a proposal from Help Our Neighbors (HON) to share space at the Tourism Center was approved. This non-profit organization was established in 2012 to help senior citizens stay in their homes. HON will s ..... 
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Rushford EDA revamps forbearance terms

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jul 18th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

There’s no denying that the Economic Development Authority’s revolving loan fund has done great things for Rushford’s economic growth. At least two past audits have garnered praise for its efforts. Still, there is room for improvement, as note ..... 
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Whalan City Council talks town improvements and house demolition

Fri, Jul 18th, 2014
Posted in Whalan Government

At the regular monthly meeting of the Whalan City Council that took place on Monday, July 14, a number of items were discussed and actions were approved. Present at the meeting were Mayor Larry Johnson, Everett Johnson, Jim Gustavson, David Rahn, Ma ..... 
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