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Rushford approves sale of HBC building


By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Jan 19th, 2015
Posted in Rushford Government



The first Rushford Council meeting of 2015, January 12, brought the expected annual housekeeping of boards, committees, meeting dates, and more. It also brought an opportunity for the city to sell a viable piece of downtown property and get the property back on the tax rolls.

The property at 303 South Elm Street had been purchased by the city in 2010 after the former occupant was unable to continue payments on an Economic Development Authority (EDA) revolving flood loan. The city purchased the property for just over $10,000.

In September 2011, the city contracted the use of the property to Historic Bluff Country (HBC) as a Regional Visitor Center. Unfortunately, a number of setbacks led to HBC to request forbearance and their EDA loan was put into default. HBC continued to work on a default cure strategy, but was unable to do so. Forbearance and default to cure period ended November 1, 2014.

The City Council has now approved a $40,000 sale of the building, including 15 days for building inspection and 10 days for title review. Purchasers are Doug and Cindy Thesing, owners and operators of Root River Floral, currently located on Highway 43 in south Rushford Village. City Administrator Steve Sarvi does not anticipate any issue with either the inspection or title review, as the building is in good condition and the title is clear, but cautioned the council that the purchasers may come back to the council seeking a reduction if something is found during the inspection. If that happens, the council will need to reevaluate the continuation of the sale at new terms.

The cost of the inspection and title review is the responsibility of the purchaser. The city may have some closing fees related to the sale, including filing and attorney fees, but they are not expected to be greater than $1,000.

“It’ll be nice to see a business back in that building,” noted councilor Mark Honsey.

Also discussed at the meeting was a revamped option for reducing large industrial water user fees, related to the changes in Rushford water rates due to the new Department of Natural Resources conservation rules. The new recommended Option 1 reduces the rate for the 24,000-36,000 gallon, 36,000-48,000 gallon, and 48,000 plus gallon rates from the originally proposed structure. While the Option 1 rate may look on paper like a dip in charges for large scale water users, counterproductive to .....
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Rushford hits at rate changes, law enforcement trends

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Dec 29th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

Discussion from the December 8 council meeting, regarding water and sewer rate structure and charges, continued December 22. The city is eyeing plans to address operating needs, capital improvement, debt service, and existing shortfalls. Any rate ch ..... 
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Fire Department receives massive donation

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Dec 22nd, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

Christmas has come early for the Rushford Fire Department. December 17, representatives from Farmers Co-op Elevator (FCE) presented the department with a $20,000 donation to the volunteer department to be used for the purchase of equipment. Seizin ..... 
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Rushford considers rate changes

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Dec 15th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

A work session regarding proposed changes to water and sewer rate changes was held prior to the Monday, December 8 council meeting with Bill Chang and Mark Lundgren of MSA Professional Services. The rates modification seeks to address operating ne ..... 
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Rushford discusses discretionary spending, attorney contract

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Dec 1st, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

The Monday, November 24 council meeting had the lowest attendance in years, likely due to the first snow storm of the season. Several agenda items were tabled due to the weather and will be rescheduled so engineers can be present. The most in-d ..... 
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Rushford Village meets public works candidates

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Nov 24th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

By Kirsten Zoellner In an admittedly unorthodox setup, the Rushford Village council invited five public works/maintenance supervisor candidates to a pre-interview before the entire council November 18. The five were scheduled to come in 15 minute i ..... 
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Rushford grants Highway 43 project time extension

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Nov 17th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

As expected, the city has received and approved a request from McHugh Excavating for a time extension for the Highway 43 project. While McHugh will continue to do all work items, excepting a few items that had been planned for spring 2015, as long a ..... 
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Rushford Village discusses flood mitigation

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Nov 10th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

In a meeting pushed back by elections, the Tuesday, November 4 Village council meeting was brief, containing agenda items from the previous meeting, October 21, in which there was no quorum. This meeting, too, narrowly had quorum, with councilor Ham ..... 
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Rushford preps for housing study, levee work

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Nov 10th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

The Rushford council has approved the solicitation requests for proposals related for updating the current and projected housing demand for the city and surrounding area. The last study, done in 2008, does not adequately highlight the needs of workf ..... 
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