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Thursday, September 18th, 2014
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Rushford looking at budget limits; future development


By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Sep 1st, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

In September, the Rushford City Council will need to certify the maximum levy to the county and city staff is wasting no time working out the limitations and goals of the 2015 budget. For four years, the city has seen a 0 percent increase in the levy, currently $740,000. The council has been largely split in recent years over the issue with some stressing the city hold the line and cut spending, while others caution a narrow margin instead leaning towards having a cushion and the ability to bolster the general fund balance.

Adding to the general fund has been a suggestion of past audits and City Administrator Steve Sarvi questioned the council on whether they intend to aim for no increase or if they’d prefer a 1.3 percent increase, bringing the levy to $750,000. The additional funds would be earmarked for the general fund.

“I’ll continue to tell you that every year that goes by, there’s not enough money,” noted Sarvi referencing city projects such as street maintenance. Several of city streets are in need of improvement, having had just minimal upkeep and a healthy general fund balance would allow for funds to be in place for such projects.

Councilor Roger Colbenson cautioned the city debt level, but was quickly refuted. “If former councils would have put money aside, we wouldn’t be in debt right now. Well, 20 years from now, they’re going to look back and say, ‘Why didn’t they put money aside?’ I’m as proud as you are to hold a zero line, but we can’t stay there forever,” stated Honsey. He went on to note that small incremental increases have less dramatic impact on a community that several years of no increase followed by a large increase of 4 percent or more.

The council will discuss the budget more at the next council meeting before certifying the maximum levy. From that point, the budget may still be reduced, but cannot be increased.

The city has approved a cost-sharing with the Rushford-Peterson School District for services to be provided by Kane & Johnson Architects, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $5,000. The purpose of the consultation is to provide options for the current school facility in Rushford should the $38 million referendum pass this November.

“We walked through some things that give us some options for how the site could be redeveloped,” noted Sarvi referencing a meeting with the architectural firm. “We need to be caref .....
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Rushford moves lighting project, in-city hunting forward

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Aug 15th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

Taking advantage of timing and funding, the Rushford Municipal Electric Commission and the city are moving forward with a project to update all lighting along the Highway 43 corridor. With lighting being temporarily removed for the Highway 43 Projec ..... 
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Rushford considers managed hunting within city limits

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Aug 1st, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

The issue of deer population control in Rushford has once again been brought to the forefront of council discussions. The council had reviewed options in 2012 and 2013 due to the damage inflicted on vegetation and hazards to traffic. In 2013, the co ..... 
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Rushford EDA revamps forbearance terms

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jul 18th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

There’s no denying that the Economic Development Authority’s revolving loan fund has done great things for Rushford’s economic growth. At least two past audits have garnered praise for its efforts. Still, there is room for improvement, as note ..... 
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Rushford grabs opportunity during project

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jun 27th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

With the Highway 43 Project slated to begin Monday, June 30, the Rushford Electric Commission is considering expanding lighting upgrades along the highway corridor. The lighting will be temporarily removed for the project, so the commission will sei ..... 
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Rushford preps for Highway 43 project, deals with illegal dumping

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jun 13th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

Indications of the impending road project are starting to become noticeable and the city is making strides to make sure that local traffic and visitors know that the city businesses are open. Large construction signs bearing “Road Closed” warnin ..... 
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Rushford approves Hwy. 43 bidder, moves financing forward

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, May 30th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

The start of the anticipated Highway 43 project through the heart of downtown Rushford is drawing closer. Sealed bids were opened May 22 and the bid was awarded May 27 to McHugh Excavating of Onalaska, Wis. in the amount of $2,969,218. The amount di ..... 
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“Continued, slow and steady improvement” for Rushford funds

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, May 19th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

The city received their annual audit report at the Monday, May 12 meeting from Smith Schafer & Associates and it appears the city is moving in the right direction. There has been no increase in the tax levy in the last three years and the city has ..... 
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Rushford moving forward with business incubator plans

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, May 2nd, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

While the Business Incubator Plan is still in draft stages, the city and Economic Development Authority (EDA) are moving forward in seeking grant funding to get the ball rolling. At the Monday, April 28 council meeting, EDA chairman Tom Driscoll took ..... 
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