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Rushford cancels City Hall project, for now


By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Apr 12th, 2013
Posted in Rushford Government

By Kirsten Zoellner

At least for the time being, Rushford’s city hall will remain at its present location. Plans to convert the former municipal liquor store into new city hall have stalled more than once due to cost and funding. The council voted unanimously at the April 8 meeting to reject all bids for the project, cancel the project, and leave city hall in place while other courses of action are determined.

Capped at $200,000, the project has been a hotly debated item with some contending the city is spending money frivolously and others angry that the city denied the new library project last year, but proceeded with exploring renovating the “muni” and moving city hall. In a letter from City Administrator Steve Sarvi, it was noted that all bidders for the project came in under the maximum level, even with every additional alternative bid included.

“The one thing I come away with is that I don’t think there’s a consensus solution that we’ve come to yet that makes sense to the whole community,” said councilor Vern Bunke who suggested awareness to the current debt level. “Going any further at this point doesn’t seem to make sense to me. I hold out hope that we can go in and do the project with a strong sense of value engineering and create a space if we need it. Until we have a stronger direction, that’s my feeling.”

The council will revisit the issue at the first meeting in June to discuss funding sources, value engineering, and to determine further options.

The council also debated the recent question of their methods in water and sewer rate structure, especially in how it applies to multiple household dwellings such as apartments and motels. In effort to mitigate that issue, the city considered a proposal from MSA Professional Services for a study to evaluate the city’s current water and sewer utility rate structure at a cost of $3,500. The city noted that the study was not intended to dictate rates needed to fund projects, but rather a study of the structure itself.

The city uses Residential Equivalent Units (REU) based on water consumption. The REU structure was put in place in 1996 and was intended to have users which put the most stress on the system, such as manufacturing, more accountable for wear and tear to the system. “The funds are recovering from a deficiency,” added Bunke. “We’re building cash reserves to pay for debt.
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Rushford Community Foundation seeking proposals for grants

Fri, Apr 5th, 2013
Posted in Rushford Government

The Rushford Community Foundation is seeking proposals for projects or programs that fit the foundation’s grantmaking priorities. The foundation supports new and innovative projects or programs that improve the quality of life and build on existi ..... 
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Rushford reverses decision due to grievance

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Mar 15th, 2013
Posted in Rushford Government

The on-going debate over staffing needs within Rushford’s Public Works department is on again. Public Works had long lobbied for staff member Curt Courrier’s 36-hour per week position to be transitioned to full-time, based on increasing workload ..... 
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Rushford puts halt to contract mowing for 2013

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Mar 1st, 2013
Posted in Rushford Government

After a lengthy process to determine potential cost savings of contracted versus public works mowing of the city’s 135 acres of land, the city will sit on the idea of contract mowing for this season. The idea, led by Councilor Roger Colbenson, cou ..... 
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Rushford looks at ambulance service needs

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Feb 15th, 2013
Posted in Rushford Government

While Rushford has a strong, viable ambulance service, other communities are not as fortunate and their need may prompt changes to the service’s coverage area. The state sets the coverage boundaries for municipal services and a lack of rural servi ..... 
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Rushford opens up discussion on Highway 43 project

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Feb 8th, 2013
Posted in Rushford Government

The state has slated 2014 for a major overhaul of Highway 43 running through the heart of Rushford. According to WHKS project engineer Tim Hruska, the cooperative effort between the city and MNDoT must be done due to rapidly aging water and utility ..... 
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Rushford moves forward with potential USDA project

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jan 18th, 2013
Posted in Rushford Government

The city is drawing closer to a go-ahead for the renovation of the former municipal liquor store to a new city hall. A loan resolution with the USDA Rural Development Office was signed on September 24 of last year in order to fund the proposed proje ..... 
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Rushford sets levy, looks for cost savings

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Dec 21st, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

Last week, the council tabled setting the levy for the 2013 budget to allow for further review of the budget. Following an in-depth discussion of line item areas, the council proceeded with setting the levy at $740,000, a 0 percent increase from 201 ..... 
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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 council ..... 
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