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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 population and many believe their numbers should be cut down. Safety of such an allowance is the critical piece, as any deer that would be taken would be on an elevation and in close proximity to homes.

Other municipalities have allowed hunting within city limits, but they are served by specific ordinances on the issue. “I think those ordinances might be a little lax for what we need,” noted Councilor Vern Bunke.

“We have a unique set of circumstances,” added Councilor Mark Honsey.

The possibility would only allow for bow hunting and may be limited to a certain number of qualified individuals. Chief of Police Adam Eide, a bow hunter himself, was on hand for the discussion and suggested that perhaps an advanced bow hunter’s class could be a prerequisite.

If harvesting within the city limits were allowed, it would most certainly be limited to certain areas and public hearings would need to be held first. Some of the areas of discussion included Magelson’s Bluff, levee areas, and the stretch of green south of Highway 16, west of Kwik Trip.

“I don’t think the public has a realistic view of this ordinance,” cautioned Mayor Chris Hallum. “The last thing we want to do is give every household a permit to shoot deer. City staff will look further into other municipal ordinances and Rushford’s specific set of needs, as well as discussing the topic with the DNR.

In other news, Chief Eide discussed three part-time officers who are currently completing their training and licensing with the state. Derek Ellis, Ryan Quanrud, and Sheldon Hedke have passed their background checks and are fully-qualified for patrolling alongside Rushford’s officers. “They’re learning our procedures and how we do business,” noted Eide. This training will take various amounts of time, but other than the cost of conducted psychological examinations, has no cost to the city as the three are volunteering their time. “I think we have three people that are up and coming and will do a good job,” added Eide.

The council has directed Eide to proceed with getting Ellis, Quanrud, and Hedke qualified. The city will authorize them w .....
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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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Rushford to seek bids on city hall project

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jul 20th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

The debate regarding Rushford’s proposed city hall conversion and the library project continue. While the council has tentatively approved the city hall move to the former and vacant municipal liquor store, including preliminary design work, little has been finalized due to lack of funding. Both inside funding, using money from existing city funds, and outside funding, such as a USDA loan are both up for consideration, yet it’s unclear whether either is what the council wants for the city. “I’ll be honest, I think it’s unreasonable to spend $160,000 to move city hall down there,” noted Councilor Roger Colbenson. “How do we go about getting it done?” To date, the city has considered leasing the building to an outside entity, transferring it to the Economic Development Authority, letting it sit vacant short term until funding can be raised, and converting it into the city hall space. While the first three options might garner little cost to the city, there has been very little interest in them and options to lease the building were not successful. “Maybe it doesn’t make sense,” responded Councilor Vern Bunke. “Maybe we shouldn’t be spending any money. I’m not hellbent on spending money anywhere until we get a handle on this. I made a motion to move city hall down there, not to approve $160,000 being spent, but a motion to explore the possibility. It’s got to be cost effective.” The proposed $160,000 comes from architect Jose Rivas’ study of the building, yet there is no actual bid estimates. The council has discussed doing the conversion in phases, but the architect would need to review the project as a phased and restructure his estimate, all at added cost. “Here’s the bid package. Bid it, period. We paid for an architect, we paid the money to do all the stuff, and we sit here and argue about it. We’ve got a package ready to go, let’s see what it costs. We still have no idea what it will actually cost,” added Councilor Mark Honsey. “The council needs to come together on a funding source,” noted City Administrator Steve Sarvi. “We never really looked at where we think we can get funding. We were always going to apply as part of the library project, but we were taken off the project and stopped looking for other sources.” Unanimously agreeing, the council has approved putting the architect’s estimate out for bids if only to see what the conversion will actually cost. City staff has also been directed to consider any and all funding options for a conversion, including both inside and outside funding sources. On the other half of the issue, Library Director Susan Hart read a statement to the council in light of recent comments and editorials by some council members. “I have grown tired of misinformation,” she read. “I usually just let it go as not worth the time and effort, but lately I pondering that if misinformation and untruths are repeated long enough and loudly enough, it will then become the truth in the minds of those who want to believe it.” “While it is true that at the end of fiscal year 2011, the city cash reserves were at 11 percent, as FEMA reimbursements come in, that scenario is changing. The citizens of this community should be grateful that prior councils had built up healthy reserves while still encouraging economic growth. The latest financial charts and graphs from Mike Bubany, of David Drown Associates, show per capita debt over a thousand dollars less than quoted ‘fact.’” “There has been one active capital campaign for a new library. The city did not ‘bail out’ the library board’s efforts. The fundraising project has not failed, it just had the rug pulled out from under it by this council stopping the library project, interfering with FEMA funding by rescinding project application, and losing the USDA loan and grant through stalling and massive changes to the scope of the original project. We has really only just begun to fund raise. The library board has returned, upon request, over $200,000 in cash, pledges, and in-kind offers from those who believed in the new library project. “Where is the city strategic plan? What action goals have been set for the city? What has been accomplished in the last couple of years that was not already part of a project underway and moving towards completion? If your ‘plate’ isn’t full, with plans for the future growth of the city and with ways to expand the tax base, you may not be doing your job as a city governing representative,” concluded Hart. The city will continue to wait as the council works to find a suitable resolution to both the city hall and library issues. In other news, the plans for a new Brooklyn Park are underway. The former park was uprooted due to massive utility work following the flood of 2007 and upgrades will need to be made to the site per guidelines. The neighborhood group, spearheaded by Heidi Halverson, has been working diligently with the city on a plan for the site and has a tentative design in place. Working cooperatively with the neighborhood group, the city has approved a plan for the playground with the stipulation that all of the funding for the project is in place prior to any construction start. The city will offer site preparation, insurance, and maintenance of the park, as well as $5,000 in funding, which was set aside for the project at the end of 2011. The projected cost to the new park and play structure is expected to be just under $31,000. The neighborhood group has already conducted fundraising of its own, but grant writing, with approval from the council, will need to be done to seek the remaining funds. Carolyn Dunham will do the grant writing on behalf of both groups. The next regularly scheduled meeting is Monday, July 23, at 6:30pm, at city hall. The public is encouraged to attend. ..... 
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Rushford looking at more infrastructure upgrades

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jun 29th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Government

Already having completed countless upgrades in just the last 5 years, since the flood of 2007, Rushford is continuing to have to consider further upgrades to both its wastewater and electric systems. Bill change and Jim Stremel, of BDM Consulting En ..... 
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