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Mabel working on new community center


Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in All Progress Edition

Mabel Community Center will be up and runnin in the spring. Photo by Sherry Hines

Jim Westby was the Mayor of Mabel for several years. Over the last few years, there has been a lot of controversy in town over the construction of a brand new Community Center. After Westby lost the last election, the council and the Mabel Economic Development Authority asked him to continue on as project manager for the Community Center project.

The issue of spending $1.2 million on a new building has at times divided the town. "Some people feel it's going to be a big tax burden on the residents," said Westby.

The city worked for a long time to raise money to offset the amount they would have to bond for the project. As it turned out, they only had to borrow $400,000. And people are still donating money. Westby recently received a check for $5,000 from someone in California.

Proponents of the project feel that the building will benefit the town tremendously. Not only is it a place for people to have gatherings like wedding receptions, reunions, and meetings, but it will house the council chambers and the city offices as well.

Westby's job as the Project Manager is to make sure all of the requirements are being met and things are moving along as planned. Construction is currently well under way.

"The last day of construction is supposed to be January 26," said Westby. He added that they will be finishing the landscaping and other outdoor things in the spring.

There are already four wedding receptions booked for the new building, one or two possible class reunions, and Winn Coop's annual board meeting. According to Westby, the Lions may hold their Cancer Telethon there next year.

The building was designed by Vantage Architects out of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, but Westby explained a lot of ideas came from the group on the original committee. They looked around at community centers in other towns to see what they liked and didn't like.

The reception hall can hold 300 people comfortably. Another five tables of ten people can be added. The council meeting room can also hold 50 people. There is a projection screen on one side of the hall for movies, videos, or presentations. A large window brings in a lot of natural sunlight. A stage will be set up, and there are plenty of speakers in the room.

Westby said there will be stipulations for people having their events there. They must have a licensed caterer, and they must purchase alcohol from a local licensed vendor.

"We are reall .....
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Trailside Campground debuts in Rushford Village

Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in Progress Edition

Rushford Village is one step and a few months closer to getting a hold of more of those often elusive tourism dollars. Newly developed Trailside Campground will make its debut along the Root River Trail this spring, as seasonal tourists begin pourin ..... 
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A gathering place for Canton residents

Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in All Progress Edition

Along the highway outside of Canton there is a place to fuel up your vehicle, as well as eat a good meal. For the last four years, TJ's Café has been not only a convenient place to stop on your way through town, but also a place for local people to ..... 
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Heritage Grove of Harmony celebrating ten years

Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in All Progress Edition

Ten years ago this year, Harmony created a place for people to go who were not ready to go into the nursing home, but still not able to live on their own. Heritage Grove was built as an assisted living center, but it is much more than just that.
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Incremental improvements for Center for the Arts

Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in Progress Edition

Raising money for the refurbishing of Chatfield's old elementary buildings has been a challenge in this time of tight budgets and slow economic growth. However, progress is being made in part by stretching the funding with the gifts of time and labo ..... 
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Organizational process for NTC

Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in Progress Edition

On January 16 the National Trout Center's (NTC) board of directors met for the first time for an organizational meeting at the Jailhouse Inn. Some members who sat on the Steering Committee are now on the board and some will form an Advisory Committe ..... 
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Rushford ABC striving to improve community

Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in Progress Edition

By now, there's a good chance you may have heard people talking about branding. But, how exactly does one go about putting a brand on a community?

According to Doug Botcher, Chairman for the Rushford Area Branding Council, "A brand is an ide ..... 
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Geneva's Hideaway & Ice Cream Shoppe sweetening Peterson

Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in All Progress Edition

You've seen them in just about every small town; buildings for sale. Take for instance an 1980s era 8-plex apartment building. Sure it may have that lovely outdated carpeting and décor, but what if you looked beyond the obvious.

For Terry a ..... 
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Fountain transitions, a new era

Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in All Progress Edition

The city of Fountain has had three transitions this past year, a new city clerk, a new employee in public works, and a brand new police car.

City Clerk

In August 2011, Rhonda Flattum was hired by the city of Fountain as the new city ..... 
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