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Rushford Council discusses options for vacant liquor store site


By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Feb 29th, 2016
Posted in Rushford Government

The Rushford Council discussed opportunities for the vacant former Municipal Liquor Store with Public Works Director Roger Knutson at their Monday, February 22 meeting. Pictured clockwise, beginning at left, are City Clerk/Treasurer Kathy Zacher, councilors Terri Benson and Vern Bunke, Mayor Chris Hallum, councilors Jim O’Donnell and Mark Honsey, and Knutson. Photo by Kirsten Zoellner

Following a 5:30 p.m. work session, Monday, February 22, the Rushford City Council dove into a lengthy discussion regarding review of the building at 409 S. Elm Street, the vacant and former Municipal Liquor Store, and consideration of potential plans for the site. Discussions of opportunities for the facility have been ongoing for the last five years and an architectural service analysis was previously completed when the city had planned to relocate city hall to the site utilizing Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) funding.

After seeking input from Public Works Director Roger Knutson on a review of material and labor cost estimates to remodel the facility, utilizing Public Works crews, relocation of city hall to the site remains a possibility, but one with a price tag in the area of $85,000, according to Knutson. “Public Works can do a lot of demo and a lot of the remodel. None of us are intimidated by the work,” he noted. “It’s in the realm of capability.”

The previous USDA low bid for remodel of the site was $129,746. However, it will cost the city an additional $15,000 to operate the facility as a city hall, as operation costs at the current facility are shared by the public library. Should city hall be relocated to the Elm Street site and the library move into the entirety of the current Tew Library Building, both the city and the library would have to levy more in order to operate solely in the respective buildings.

To proceed with remodeling the liquor store site, the city would need to seek further quotes to be in compliance with the $25,000-99,999 project value rule. “We can’t just cut it up and circumvent the quote process,” said Zacher.

The city will be seeking further confirmation and clarification on whether or not the city can sell the building without incurring repayment to the state. The building was reclaimed following the 2007 flood using FEMA and state general obligation bond funding and while the federal payment of funds has been waived, City Clerk Kathy Zacher indicated that the state would require repayment of a portion of their investment up to $270,000. To do so the building will need to be sold at fair market value. What that figure is also remains to be determined.

However, councilor Vern Bunke stated he’d discussed the matter with former City Administrator Steve Sarvi and he felt it had been confirmed that there was no l .....
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R-P Board approves principal contracts; teacher termination

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Feb 29th, 2016
Posted in Rushford Education

At the Monday, February 22 meeting, the Rushford-Peterson School Board debated several items of new business related to contracts and evaluations, but the most contentious discussion was in regard to the non-renewal of the Career Tech/Vocational Agr ..... 
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March is Minnesota Food Share month

Mon, Feb 22nd, 2016
Posted in Rushford Health & Wellness

The effects of hunger for an individual or family can range from poor health and slowed recovery from injury or illness to poor performance at school or work. During 2015, Semcac Food Shelves in Rushford, Preston, Caledonia, and Kasson had 8,215 vi ..... 
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Letter about Minnesota wolves...

Mon, Feb 22nd, 2016
Posted in Rushford Letter to the Editor

To the Editor, Once again, Minnesota’s wolf population needs your help. Their return to “threatened” status on the Endangered Species list, made possible by federal court action, kept our state from having a recreational hunt in 2015. This ..... 
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What should be done with the Peterson Middle School and grounds?

Mon, Feb 15th, 2016
Posted in Rushford Education

PETERSON, MN, February 3, 2016 – Interested residents of the Rushford Peterson Valley are invited to a meeting Monday, March 7, 2016 at 7 p.m. in the Peterson Middle School cafeteria to discuss ideas for the building and grounds. Architect David ..... 
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Rushford declares vacancy for administrator position; moves Veterans Park forward

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Feb 15th, 2016
Posted in Rushford Government

In news that’s already trickled through small town talk and media reports, Rushford’s City Administrator Steve Sarvi has accepted the position of Winona City Manager and has submitted a letter of resignation to the City of Rushford. “I want to ..... 
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Rushford approves amendment to lodging tax ordinance

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Feb 8th, 2016
Posted in Rushford Government

A short January 25 Rushford council meeting hosted a public hearing and wrapped up a final decision on the fate of lodging tax dollars. The hearing was held to take public comment to a proposed amendment to the city’s ordinance on the funds. The i ..... 
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R-P rejects petition for school revote

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Feb 8th, 2016
Posted in Rushford Education

The regular meeting of the Rushford-Peterson School Board, January 25, was packed with more than 50 district residents eager to see the result of a recent petition put forward. The petition, received by the district January 21, was signed by 140 vot ..... 
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In the service

Mon, Feb 1st, 2016
Posted in Rushford Social Scenes

Zachery D. Rislove U.S. Air Force Airman Zachery D. Rislove graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military d ..... 
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