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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.

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Letter about R-P Referendum

Fri, Dec 14th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Letter to the Editor

To the Editor, I attended the RP referendum meeting, took the tour of the facilities and listened intently to presenters, numerous questions and answers. I learned new facts and gained greater understanding of what assumptions were used in developi ..... 
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Letter about R-P referendum

Fri, Dec 14th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Letter to the Editor

To the Editor, When I mentioned to a proponent that increased taxes for a new school are problematic for people on a fixed income, she said, “There are a lot of old people with money here. They are just greedy.” The 2007 flood was absolutel ..... 
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Why vote ‘NO’ for R-P Referendum?

By Jon Peterson

Fri, Dec 14th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Commentary

Ten years ago the residents of the R-P school district, in a bonding referendum, overwhelmingly told the district they wanted their current facilities maintained and improved. Several things the district deemed necessary were done (such as new bleac ..... 
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Why vote ‘YES’ for R-P Referendum?

By Angela Colbenson

Fri, Dec 14th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Commentary

By Angela Colbenson R-P School Board Chair On December 19, Rushford Peterson school district will be asking their voters to approve up to 15 million dollars to be utilized for building a new elementary building plus utilize a small portion to reha ..... 
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R-P referendum forum hits at questions before big vote

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Dec 14th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Features

There was a packed house with more than 100 local residents at the second R-P referendum open forum last Monday evening. Administration staff, school board members Angela Colbenson, Daniel Munson, John Nitecki, and Greg Smith, and representatives fr ..... 
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First Presbyterian Church in Rushford releases new cookbook

Fri, Dec 14th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Faith & Worship

First Presbyterian Church of Rushford, along with Trinity Fellowship ELCA and many friends, have compiled a new cookbook, “Chicken N Biscuits and Apple Pie.” Recipes from the congregation’s annual fall dinner are featured, along with histories ..... 
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Noel David Larson

Wed, Dec 12th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Obituaries

Noel David Larson, 69, of Larkspur, Colorado, passed away November 5, 2012 after a long illness. Noel was born December 25, 1942 to parents Clifford and Ione Larson. He grew up in Choice, MN and graduated from Rushford High School. Noel worked for ..... 
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Cathleen Hatling

Tue, Dec 11th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Obituaries

Cathleen passed away at her daughter Patty Barton’s home December 10, 2012 in Eitzen. She was born July 5, 1928, in Harmony to Harold and Irene Flynn. She graduated from Harmony High School. Cathleen was married to Rolf Hatling September 8, 19 ..... 
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