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Preston discusses 2015 budget


Mon, Sep 8th, 2014
Posted in Preston All

Possible reductions to the 2015 budget was the dominate discussion topic at the September 2 council meeting. Councilman David Harrison was absent.

City Administrator Joe Hoffman reviewed the numbers in the first draft of the budget which showed a possible levy increase of 14.27 percent or $101,116. The goal of the council was to reduce that levy increase to about 7 percent. Hoffman reported that a 7 percent levy increase would result in an increase of $50 in property taxes on a $90,000 home and an increase of $175 on a $250,000 home.

Hoffman made it clear that a 14 percent increase in the levy does not mean there is a 14 percent increase in spending. It could reflect that there had been a decrease in other revenues. Reducing the proposed levy by 7 percent would require about a 3 percent reduction in spending.

In order to reach the 7 percent goal, the budget will have to be reduced by $51,500. Hoffman produced a list of discretionary budget items and the cost of discretionary programs.

Councilman Robert Maust suggested $20,000 should be removed from the National Trout Center budget leaving $10,000 in that budget or enough to pay the rent on the NTC building. He insisted the city should only provide payment for the center’s location and the center should be responsible for raising the funds to support their programs.

Mayor Kurt Reicks said he supported the NTC, adding they need to look to the future of Preston and tourism. Councilman Charles Sparks was in agreement. Maust argued that the NTC doesn’t serve 100 percent of the people. Reicks insisted that the swimming pool, which is nearly as large a budget item, probably serves only about half of the residents.

Reicks said he would like recommendations from the city staff on where to make the cuts. Hoffman said he wouldn’t recommend any cuts to discretionary programs including both the NTC and the swimming pool.

Hoffman suggested a $45,000 reduction in the street maintenance budget for two years (from $90,000 to $45,000). This fund which is at about $400,000 can be built up again there after. He recommended finding the other $5,000 plus out of departmental budgets, noting that the increases in those budgets this year are very small. Hoffman explained that he expected the EDA Development Incentive fund could be sunsetted when some of the planned projects get completed.

No action was taken. The p .....
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Local first year medical student received white coat

Mon, Sep 1st, 2014
Posted in Preston Features

In an emotional event marking the beginning of her medical career, Morgan Mensink from Preston, Minn. received her white coat marking the entrance to medical school. In total, 60 first year medical students, in a rite of passage for students enteri ..... 
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Savor “Taste of the Trail” in Fountain, Harmony & Preston

Mon, Sep 1st, 2014
Posted in Preston Arts & Culture

On three Saturdays in September, the Root River Trail System will feature local food, artisans, entertainment, culture, and fun during an annual trail wide event, Taste of the Trail. On September 6, the towns of Fountain, Harmony and Preston are t ..... 
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Motor in to Preston Service Plus

Mon, Sep 1st, 2014
Posted in Preston Features

Craig Bond and Justin Jones, new owners of Preston Service Plus, located in Preston, Minn., are getting settled into owning and running their business since taking over July 14, 2014. Both men were employees of Preston Service Plus under previou ..... 
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New facility for Preston industry BCM

Mon, Sep 1st, 2014
Posted in Preston Features

As you drive into Preston from the north on Highway 52, you have probably noticed a site being graded at the new North Industrial Park. Soon an 11,500 square foot facility will be erected for the new home of Bluff Country Manufacturing, Inc. (BCM). ..... 
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Fillmore Central projects nearing completion

Mon, Sep 1st, 2014
Posted in Preston Education

There were multiple projects going on at both the Harmony and Preston sites of Fillmore Central Schools, and all of them are winding down as the first day of school approaches. Principal Heath Olstad said the sprinkler system at the high school h ..... 
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Preston Tourism announces bike repair station coming to town!

Mon, Sep 1st, 2014
Posted in Preston The Great Outdoors

PRESTON, Minn. - The Preston Tourism Board would like to announce the upcoming addition to the trailhead in Preston. Thanks to the Preston Area Community Foundation and the Preston Tourism Board there will now be a free to the public, deluxe bike re ..... 
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Bluff Country HRA Ribbon Cutting Event

Mon, Sep 1st, 2014
Posted in Preston Business Announcements

Preston, Minn. – The Bluff Country HRA will host a ribbon cutting event to celebrate the complete renovation of the Vesterheim Apartments in Preston. The event will take place on Friday, September 5, 2014 at 10 a.m. at 609 Kansas Street/ 709 Chatf ..... 
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Carimona Cruisers 4-H donates to Historic Forestville Endowment Fund

Mon, Sep 1st, 2014
Posted in Preston Arts & Culture

The Carimona Cruiser 4-H club presented a check in the amount of $200 to the Friends of Forestville for the Historic Forestville Endowment Fund. The fund will serve as a resource for the site’s operating budget, income for programs, educational opp ..... 
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