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Commissioners discuss upcoming legislative priorities with legislators


Mon, Feb 29th, 2016
Posted in All Government

Senator Jeremy Miller and Representative Greg Davids discuss with county commissioners a number of legislative priorities for 2016. Photo by Karen Reisner

Fillmore County commissioners and county staff discussed their 2016 legislative priorities with local legislators at the board’s February 23 meeting. Commissioner Mitch Lentz was absent.

Rep. Greg Davids and Senator Jeremy Miller also listed their priorities. Miller said for him, during the truncated session which begins on March 8, they will be working on three priorities: a tax bill, a bonding bill, and a transportation bill. The latter has been discussed but not really acted upon for about a decade, to produce a long term funded transportation plan. He went on to explain that his goal is for the Republicans and Democrats to come together, putting politics aside, to focus on a long term comprehensive plan for transportation. Davids said he agreed with Miller.

County Program Aid

County coordinator Bobbie Vickerman maintained that a major issue for the county is County Program Aid (CPA). Fillmore County lost $140,000 in CPA in 2015 and another $76,735 in 2016. The Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) is asking for changes to the program to get a fairer allocation of aid and more consistency from year to year. Inflated farm land values have led to huge reductions in CPA for some rural counties. The total allocation of aid has fluctuated greatly over the last 20 years and now is nearly the same as it was in 1996. However, accounting for inflation, the total allocation is about $70 million less. The county supports a floor in CPA, formula revisions, a cap of 5% on annual CPA losses, and an increase in the total allocation of CPA across the state by $40 million. Davids said that a provision that has been discussed in committee will take care of this. Commissioner Duane Bakke insisted that there has to be an increase in the total allocation and the creation of a cap on what can be lost from one year to the next.

Broadband

Vickerman maintained there are definitely some connectivity issues, especially for those wanting to establish a home-based business in parts of the county. The county supports broadband development by removing barriers, repealing Minnesota Statute 237.19, by implementing funding for broadband development, and by continuing funding of the Border to Border Broadband Development Fund.

Veterans home

The county supports efforts to obtain funding for a veterans home in Preston. Davids noted that four cities, including Spring Valley, Chatfield, Presto .....
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Spring Valley ambulance issues discussed

Mon, Feb 29th, 2016
Posted in Spring Valley Government

The Spring Valley City Council met in regular session on Monday, February 8, 2016 at 6 p.m. Members in attendance were: Tony Archer, Todd Jones, Mayor Jim Struzyk, Bill Bires, and City Administrator Deb Zimmer. Jeff Vehrenkamp was absent. Follo ..... 
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Rushford Village continues meeting prior to disaster training

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Feb 22nd, 2016
Posted in Rushford Village Government

With the February 2 meeting canceled due to an area storm that caused widespread highway closings, the Rushford Village council picked up the agenda items at their second meeting of the month, Tuesday, February 17. In a swift meeting, the council di ..... 
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Groth appointed to American Farm Bureau Federation Promotion & Education Committee

Mon, Feb 22nd, 2016
Posted in All Government

Melinda Groth of Fillmore County was recently appointed to serve a two-year term on the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Promotion & Education (P&E) Committee. Groth will be involved in planning P&E activities/programs, communicating with stat ..... 
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Rep. Davids: 2016 should be the year of tax relief

Mon, Feb 22nd, 2016
Posted in All Government

ST. PAUL – State lawmakers are set to return to St. Paul in early March for the 2016 session, and State Representative Greg Davids (R-Preston), who serves as chairman of the Minnesota House Taxes Committee, believes tax relief will headline legisl ..... 
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Statement by secretary Jeh C. Johnson on the final phase of REAL ID Act Implementation

Mon, Feb 22nd, 2016
Posted in All Government

Today I announce the schedule for the final phase of implementation of the REAL ID Act. Bottom line up front: Effective January 22, 2018, air travelers with a driver’s license or identification card issued by a state that does not meet the requi ..... 
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Up front funding an issue for Dairy and Farm reuse

Mon, Feb 22nd, 2016
Posted in Preston Government

Once again, at the Preston City Council’s February 16 meeting, discussion of the possible purchase and reuse of the Dairy and Farm property was at the forefront. City Administrator Joe Hoffman noted that the Phase I environmental study was compl ..... 
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Wykoff Council talks snow removal

Mon, Feb 15th, 2016
Posted in Wykoff Government

The Wykoff City Council met on February 8 in regular session. Members in attendance were Mitch Grabau, Rocky Vreeman, Mayor Al Williams, Megan Lund, and Brody Mensink. City Clerk Cheryl Davis was absent. Following the approval of the agenda and ..... 
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Wykoff Council talks snow removal

Mon, Feb 15th, 2016
Posted in Wykoff Government

The Wykoff City Council met on February 8 in regular session. Members in attendance were Mitch Grabau, Rocky Vreeman, Mayor Al Williams, Megan Lund, and Brody Mensink. City Clerk Cheryl Davis was absent. Following the approval of the agenda and ..... 
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