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"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Sunday, August 28th, 2016
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Jeff and Kathy Hebl find new beginning with their independent business


Mon, Jul 4th, 2016
Posted in Preston Features

Jeff and Kathy Hebl stand in front of their company van. Photo by Hannah Winget

By Hannah Wingert

“It wasn’t easy to walk away from that $45,000 piece of paper that declared our franchise with Servicemaster. We’d invested a LOT of time and money into it,” said Jeff Hebl. But walk away from it he did, along with his co-owner and wife, Kathy Hebl.

Jeff and Kathy originally bought the cleaning and restoration franchise in 1994, expecting it to be a short-term endeavor that they would build and then sell. But when their children came along, they realized that keeping their Servicemaster business would allow them the flexibility to be there for their kids when they needed them. When the kids were young, they often took them along on jobs, giving them small tasks such as sweeping or picking up garbage.

When the Hebls first started business with their Servicemaster franchise, things seemed to go well with the corporation. Their franchise allowed them exclusive rights to Fillmore and Houston counties for their territory, but then Servicemaster decided to do away with borders and territories and allow their franchises to go wherever there was work. This meant that Jeff found himself bidding on the same jobs as other area Servicemaster owners. He also became dissatisfied with the unrealistic expectations the company had for their franchises. “A lot of their decisions weren’t applicable to a rural area and neither were the prices they wanted us to charge,” Jeff pointed out.

“I’m not trying to badmouth or shame Servicemaster” Jeff said and added that he believes that buying the franchise was a good thing for him and his wife. But after 19 years, it had gotten to the point that Jeff and Kathy knew they were either going to sell their business or disenfranchise and go independent. “We decided that it was best for us and for our customers to break away from the franchise. If we’re going to stay in this until the end, why not do it for us instead of for someone else?” Jeff asked.

So they chose to go independent. “We generate less revenue now, but we’re much happier,” Jeff said, and Kathy agreed. “The decisions (for the company) are now made locally by local people.”

“Our employees are the backbone of our company. We don’t ask our employees to do any jobs that we wouldn’t do ourselves,” said Jeff. The work is labor-intensive and not for everyone, but Jeff and Kathy make sure they’re up front with potential employe .....
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SWCD offers $500 returning college student scholarship

Mon, Jun 27th, 2016
Posted in Preston Agriculture

The Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District is offering a scholarship for Fillmore County college students who will be returning to school this fall. To be eligible, students must be a returning college sophomore, junior or senior; must be pur ..... 
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Special mural program at Preston Public Library June 28

Mon, Jun 27th, 2016
Posted in Preston Arts & Culture

Mark June 28, 7 p.m. on your calendar for the upcoming Preston Public Library program, “Preston’s Community Mural: Meet the Artist, See the Process - Start to Finish.” A library program not to be missed! The featured guest speaker is form ..... 
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Preston 2016 sealcoating project

Mon, Jun 27th, 2016
Posted in Preston Government

By Karen Reisner Public Works director Jim Bakken presented a proposal for the 2016 street sealcoating project at the city council’s June 21 meeting. Bakken had listed streets in the proposal at three levels of priority, noting that a lot of th ..... 
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Preston man flees after theft and stealing pickup

Mon, Jun 20th, 2016
Posted in Preston Police Reports

By Sheriff Tom Kasse On Wednesday, June 15, 2016, at approximately 10:40 p.m., an individual arrived at the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office to report a theft in the City of Preston. Preston PD officers made arrangements for the suspect to return ..... 
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Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office receives outstanding agency award

Mon, Jun 20th, 2016
Posted in Preston Police Reports

PRESTON, MN – Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office is receiving a new piece of equipment to assist them with their traffic enforcement efforts; keeping drivers at safe and legal speeds. This equipment is awared to Law Enforcement Departments that ha ..... 
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2016 Youth Tractor Safety Course recap

By Michael Cruse

Mon, Jun 20th, 2016
Posted in Preston Agriculture

By Michael Cruse Extension Educator for Fillmore and Houston Counties Thank you to all who attended and contributed to the 2016 Youth Tractor Safety Course! The course was held June 6-8 at Rushford-Peterson High School and we had 11 youth from m ..... 
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Recycling 101 - 6/20/16

By LaVerne C. Paulson

Mon, Jun 20th, 2016
Posted in Preston The Great Outdoors

By LaVerne C. Paulson Recycling Education Coordinator A Recycling 101 article concerning several frequently asked recycling questions was published recently. This article will deal with a few more of these questions and comments. Do I have to c ..... 
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Sheriff’s Office receives TZD outstanding agency award

Mon, Jun 20th, 2016
Posted in Preston Government

By Karen Reisner At the June 14 county board meeting, the Office of Traffic Safety Law Enforcement Liaison Scott McConkey presented the outstanding agency equipment award to Patrol Sergeant Derek Fuglestad and Sheriff Tom Kaase. McConkey noted th ..... 
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