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Bond rating upgrade for Preston


Fri, Dec 6th, 2013
Posted in Preston Government

City administrator Joe Hoffman announced good news for the city at the council’s December 3 meeting. Standard and Poors in a random review raised the city’s bond rating from AA- to AA (stable).

This is especially good news as the city is planning a large street improvement project. Hoffman noted that the city could pay 0.15 to 0.20 percent less interest on bonds in 2014. Over a 15 year period the better rate could save the city $40,000 to $50,000.

Some of the reasons given by S & P to support the upgrade included a strong budgetary flexibility (reserves at 85 percent of expenditures), strong liquidity, and a strong debt profile.

2014 Budget and Levy review

Hoffman reported that the 2014 levy will increase by 5.3 percent or $36,078. The total levy will be $708,803. $21,000 of that increase will be related to new bond costs. Without the bonding costs for the street improvement project the levy increase would have been 2.2 percent.

Hoffman warned that while the 5.3 percent increase is higher than we wanted to be, property owners will continue to see increases in years going forward to pay for the street projects.

The city’s revenue comes from the tax levy (44 percent), state aid (30 percent), police and fire revenue (11 percent), library, park and tourism (6 percent), and other revenue (9 percent).

No residents were present to comment during the public comment portion. Hoffman noted that most homeowners saw a reduction in the market value of their home and a corresponding reduction in their property taxes. Tax increases largely impacted industrial and Agricultural properties. The total tax rate for the city was up 16 percent even with declining property tax bills for most homeowners.

Councilman Robert Maust asked what portion of the total levy comes from residential compared to business and Agriculture. Hoffman said he will get that break down for the council. The budget and levy will be brought back next meeting for final approval.

Other Business In Brief

•Ambulance Director Ryan Throckmorton reported that the ambulance service’s B-rig had another engine failure on November 20. The 2006 Ford was scheduled to be replaced in 2016. Throckmorton said repairs could cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. The motor has had problems previously and the vehicle has just 77,000 miles on it.

Throckmorton review .....
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Discussion initiated for Preston Community Center

Fri, Nov 22nd, 2013
Posted in Preston Government

At the Preston City Council’s November 19 meeting Mayor Kurt Reicks began a discussion concerning a community center. Reicks had been approached by the Fillmore County Ag Society as to the possibility of working together to make a community cen ..... 
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Preston discusses residential issues

Fri, Nov 8th, 2013
Posted in Preston Government

The Preston City Council at their November 4 meeting again discussed whether or not to require a ‘green belt’ to screen the Brownsville Mobile Home Park. The issue was tabled after the discussion. A second issue concerning the possible purchase ..... 
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Chatfield and Preston put on a show House: Capital Investment Committee Tour

Fri, Oct 11th, 2013
Posted in Preston Government

On Tuesday, October 8, 2013, members of the House Capital Investment Committee went for a road trip around Southeastern Minnesota to visit candidates requesting bonding support. Led by State Representative Alice Hausman, chair of the House Capital ..... 
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Green belt for Brownsville Mobile Home Park?

Fri, Oct 11th, 2013
Posted in Preston Government

Kerry and Nancy Soiney aired their complaint at the Preston City Council’s October 7 meeting insisting that a “green belt” should be established along the Brownsville Street section (in front of about five mobile homes) of the Brownsville Mobi ..... 
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Preston enters into option agreement for POP property

Fri, Sep 27th, 2013
Posted in Preston Government

By Karen Reisner The Preston City Council and the Preston EDA held a combined meeting on September 23 to discuss the possible disposition of Preston Oil Products (POP), the long abandoned gas station at the corner of St. Paul Street SW and Mill Str ..... 
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Walz announces $10 million grant for Preston Veteran Cemetery

Fri, Sep 27th, 2013
Posted in Preston Government

Construction of the cemetery will give peace of mind to 51,150 Minnesota Veterans and their families MANKATO, Minn. – Representative Tim Walz announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs awarded a $10 million grant covering 100 percent o ..... 
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Ten year plan for Preston street maintenance

Fri, Sep 20th, 2013
Posted in Preston Government

By Karne Reisner Jim Bakken, Public Works, reviewed a detailed 10 year street maintenance schedule at the city council’s September 16 meeting. Councilman David Harrison was absent. Streets have been assigned a numerical rating. Bakken said $4 ..... 
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Preston to proceed with plans for Twenty-14 Project

Fri, Sep 6th, 2013
Posted in Preston Government

Stantec engineer Brett Grabau explained at the public hearing for the Twenty-14 Project that the proposed project will involve about one-third of the city’s streets and underlying utilities. A resolution was adopted later during the September 3 ci ..... 
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