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Tuesday, February 9th, 2016
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Preston speculates about impact of 2017 street improvement project


Mon, Sep 14th, 2015
Posted in Preston Government

At the September 8 Preston City Council meeting City Administrator Joe Hoffman presented the numbers of a hypothetical 2017 project as requested by the council. Councilman David Harrison was absent.

The council is in agreement that more streets need work and that utilities under those streets are significantly aged. There was less agreement on whether or not the increased tax burden could be borne by the property owners in the city.

Streets included in the hypothetical plan include an area from St. Paul St. on the west, Valley St. on the north, Pleasant St. on the east, and Fillmore St. on the south. Also included were Sunset Rd., a portion of Circle Heights Dr. and Washington St. Councilman Robert Maust insisted that Center St. should also be included.

Hoffman gave rough estimates of the cost of this size of project for engineering, construction, and financing. His estimate was $3.8 million requiring a bond payment of $128,000 for 15 years. He suggested that this would require a levy increase of 15% in 2017/2018, which would need to be held at that level through 2030. This levy increase would be on top of normal cost of doing business increases.

With expected utility improvements, water and sewer rates will also need to increase, possibly by 50% for residential properties and 25% for commercial properties.

Maust argued the timing was right because of low interest rates and low asphalt costs. City engineer Brett Grabau noted that Rochester projects are taking a lot of the work. Contractors are not short of work opportunities.

Mayor Kurt Reicks asked if we can expect taxpayers to come up with another 15% plus cost of living increases. He agreed the work needs to be done and that doing it in 2017 would probably cost less in the long run, but he didn’t believe, speaking as a taxpayer, that this kind of increase in the future levy would be acceptable.

Councilman Charles Sparks said “there has to be a lot of thinking about this.” Reicks said he would have a tough time supporting it right now. Councilman David Collett asked if the project could be scaled back and done in two steps. Grabau suggested that a $1 to $1.5 million project would be preferable.

Maust maintained that they are talking about infrastructure that can last 75 years, asking why it has to be paid off in 15 years. Hoffman noted that interest costs will be more if the payments ar .....
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Preston discusses 2016 budget

Mon, Aug 31st, 2015
Posted in Preston Government

City administrator Joe Hoffman presented the 2016 budget reflecting departmental requests at the city council’s August 25 meeting. This first draft shows a 9.11% increase in the levy, or an approximate increase of $69,000. Each percent of increase ..... 
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Revolving loan approved for Preston Dairy and Farm

Mon, Aug 10th, 2015
Posted in Preston Government

City administrator/utility general manager Joe Hoffman explained the earlier commitment made by Preston Public Utilities (PPU) to Preston Dairy and Farm at the city council’s August 3 meeting. Mayor Kurt Reicks and councilman David Harrison were a ..... 
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Preston 2015 sidewalk improvements

Mon, Jul 27th, 2015
Posted in Preston Government

Jim Bakken, Public Works, discussed proposed sidewalk replacements at the July 20 council meeting. Councilman Robert Maust was absent at the 8 a.m. meeting. Bakken recommended replacing the sidewalk on the south side of Vesterheim Apartments along ..... 
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Preston approves street maintenance plan

Mon, Jul 13th, 2015
Posted in Preston Government

Jim Bakken, Public Works, outlined the 2015 plan for crack filling and seal coating numerous streets within the city at the July 6 meeting. Councilman David Harrison was absent. Two quotes had been submitted for the project. Bakken recommended the ..... 
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Preston approves EDA recommendations

Mon, Jun 22nd, 2015
Posted in Preston Government

Cathy Enerson, Economic Development Authority Coordinator, recommended that the city move forward with Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) applications at the June 16 city council meeting. The council approved the application ..... 
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Preston questions timeliness of MnDot invoice

Mon, May 25th, 2015
Posted in Preston Government

An invoice from MnDot requesting final payment for work related to the 2005 Highway 52 reconstruction project was once again discussed at the May 18 Preston City Council meeting. Councilman David Harrison was absent. Preston received a final payme ..... 
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Preston’s 2014 audit

Mon, May 11th, 2015
Posted in Preston Government

Pam Ristau, CPA, summarized her examination of Preston’s 2014 financial accounts at the May 4 city council meeting. As auditor she issued an unqualified opinion to the city for its 2014 financial statements, saying everything is in order. Many c ..... 
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Total estimated market value in Preston up nearly 10 percent

Mon, Apr 27th, 2015
Posted in Preston Government

Fillmore County appraiser Heidi Knepper briefed the Preston City Council at their April 20 meeting on assessed property value changes in Preston and the county. No one from the public was in attendance for the 2015 Local Board of Appeal and Equaliza ..... 
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