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Rushford looking at no levy increase


By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Dec 14th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

Municipalities within the state must certify the levy to the county auditor on or before five working days after December 20 each year. With that date rapidly approaching, a Rushford budget subcommittee of city staff, Mayor Chris Hallum, and councilor Robert Dahl, has spent a significant amount of time pouring over the proposed 2013 budget looking for potential savings. Following a three-hour final meeting, the subcommittee put forth a budget recommendation that meets the goal of a zero percent increase in the levy for 2013. Until the date of certification, the council may adopt or lower the proposed amount, but they may not raise it past 2.9 percent, or $762,000, preliminarily certified to the county auditor this past September.

“This is pretty lean. The council wants a zero percent increase? Mission accomplished,” noted Hallum. “We looked at the budget line by line.”

“I wouldn’t feel comfortable offering a budget lower than that,” added City Administrator Steve Sarvi, who also noted that the subcommittee spent a great deal of time discussing Public Works Capital Projects fund, as well as how to drive down debt service aggressively through every opportunity.

“This is difficult to do on the fly,” cautioned councilor Vern Bunke, looking at the subcommittee’s plan. “It’s my first time seeing this.”

City Clerk Kathy Zacher maintains what the city will have to spend hasn’t changed, rather where revenue will be spent has shifted. “What’s going to change between now and then? $740,000 three years in a row,” said Hallum, noting the last levy increase being for 2011. “How long can you stay flat like this?”

“That depends on how much you can keep saving,” stressed Bunke.

If the city does certify the levy at zero percent and find further savings throughout the year, any excess funds will go into building the city’s general fund back up, which was suggested by last year’s audit. “I’m comfortable with this. There’s no fat in the day to day operations,” responded Hallum.

“You’re entitled to your opinion,” said Bunke. “I’m just asking for time, so I really know what I’m voting for.”

The council will certify the levy at the next council meeting, scheduled for December 17, at 6:30pm, at city hall. Please note the change in date, due to the Christmas holiday.

In other news, the cit .....
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R-P gears up for referendum

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Nov 23rd, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

R-P is moving forward with preparations and its Yes Campaign for a new, $15 million pre-K through grade 5 facility. Recently, brochures highlighting the upcoming referendum in the district were mailed out to district residents. There was some concer ..... 
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Rushford considers deer hunting within city limits

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Nov 16th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

As a topic of interest that’s been ruminating for some time, the city council once again discussed the possibility of allowing the harvesting of deer within its borders. The city and its residents have been the roaming grounds of an excess deer po ..... 
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Rushford continues strategy talks

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Oct 26th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

Staff and the 5-man council continue to work diligently to hammer out the goals and ideas of the city’s strategic plan. This week, talk turned to both Planning and Zoning, as well as the Tree Board. The Planning and Zoning Commission will be upd ..... 
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Rushford delves into strategic planning

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Oct 12th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

After the first of several scheduled strategic planning meetings, Rushford’s council and administrative staff is developing a clearer picture of the future of the city. Guided by nine strategies for success, three key topics, including the Public ..... 
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Rushford sets preliminary levy

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Sep 14th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

Having no increase last year, the city council has preliminarily set the 2013 budget levy at 2.9 percent. The increase would garner $762,000 in funding for the city, which City Administrator Steve Sarvi indicated would assist in building back fund b ..... 
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Rushford seeking to retain, expand business

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Aug 31st, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

The city has received a detailed summary report following a Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E) Needs Assessment by Economic Development Authority (EDA) member Tom Driscoll, Joyce Iverson, and City Administrator Steve Sarvi. Formed in the spring ..... 
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LSP to host workshop on ‘How to Use Township Rights to Control Frac Sand Mining” in Rushford August 30

Fri, Aug 24th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

A workshop on how to use township zoning powers to control or ban frac sand mining and processing will be held by the Land Stewardship Project in the southeast Minnesota communities of Frontenac and Rushford in August. On Thursday, Aug. 23, the work ..... 
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Rushford comes to terms with city hall financing

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Jul 30th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

Two weeks ago, after much back and forth debate, the city began to move forward seeking bids for the city hall project. At that time, City Administrator Steve Sarvi had stressed the importance of the council being in some accord over where funding f ..... 
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