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Rushford gets clean audit


By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, May 18th, 2015
Posted in Rushford Government

The city of Rushford received it’s official annual audit from Smith Schafer & Associates, Ltd. Financial statements were reviewed May 1 and report was presented by Tom Wente Monday, May 11. There were no significant issues documented in the audit. Several items were noted for consideration, however, as the city took in final reimbursement from FEMA, related to the 2007 flood.

“FEMA is taken care of, after all these years. There’s no more trying to guess where these funds are at,” noted Wente. “We never knew where FEMA money was going to shake down. We now know and it’s time to take a look at it.

City fund balances continue to show marked improvement. The unassigned General Fund balance of $240,782 represents 35 percent of 2014 general fund expenditures. In 2011, the percentage had dropped to just 11%, a notable area of concern for auditors. The state recommends having 35 to 50% of general fund expenditures in reserves; however, the city has a policy in the 50-70% range, according to Wente. Having increased 24% in just three years, the city will be continuing those restorative efforts.

Reductions to the Unassigned General Fund balance were due to a 2010 $200,000 advance to the Sewer Fund and a 2011 $166,042 advance to the Liquor Fund. Despite an annual allocation of $20,000 of LGA, the Community Center Fund balance was a $22,375 deficit for the year. “This will need to get addressed at some time,” stressed Wente. “It’s not a major issue, but it should be resolved at some point.”

The 2014 city tax levy of $740,000 remained unchanged and has held static since 2011. Actual tax collections decreased to $740,315 in 2014 from $746,174 in 2013. LGA increased to $584,270 in 2014, a 4.5% jump from the prior year. It is expected to have a slight increase, less than 1%, again for 2015.

General governmental expenditures increased in 2014, largely due to updates to the Comprehensive Plan, a $10,500 cost. Increases in legal fees and higher building maintenance and repair costs were also noted. A comparison of budgeted to actual expenditures in the General Fund shows every category was under budget. “You haven’t had to raise the levy and have still managed to restore funds. I think that shows you have a competent staff.” General Fund expenditures were under budget by $32,248.

The city’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) continues to show strength as well. .....
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Letter about wrong-doing in Houston County...

Mon, Mar 23rd, 2015
Posted in Rushford Government

To the Editor, The first writing of the U.S. Constitution gave only white male landowners the right to vote. People saw how unjust and mistaken that was. Over the course of our history, the constitution was rewritten to become an inclusive document ..... 
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Rushford clarifies Lodging Tax issues; looks to possible reallocation

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Mar 16th, 2015
Posted in Rushford Government

The Rushford City Council meeting Monday, March 9 followed on the heels of a meeting with representatives from local lodging establishments. Currently, 3 percent of total sales from the establishments, not including campgrounds, is collected by th ..... 
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Rushford completes property sale; looks to the sky

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Mar 2nd, 2015
Posted in Rushford Government

The city of Rushford is in the process of completing the sale of the former Historic Bluff Country building, at 303 Elm Street, to Doug and Cindy Thesing, owners of Root River Floral. The final sale came in just $300 less than expected, at $39,700 ..... 
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Rushford sees potential bond opportunity

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Feb 16th, 2015
Posted in Rushford Government

The Monday, February 9 city meeting was short, at just 43 minutes, but wasn’t lacking in discussion as the council hit on several opportunities for the city, including a bond refinancing of impressive proportions. The opportunity to refinance a ..... 
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Rushford approves rate increases; housing study

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Feb 2nd, 2015
Posted in Rushford Government

A Monday, January 26 public hearing, during the Rushford Council meeting, presented very little public, but a good deal of information. The purpose of the hearing was to receive public comment regarding proposed water and sewer rate increases. Mar ..... 
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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 pr ..... 
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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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