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Rushford-Peterson bond levy: an unnecessary financial risk


Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Education

By Michael Machutt

Rushford, Minn.

We are being asked to commit to a minimum of $56,000,000 of debt ($38,000,000 in principal and $28,000,000 interest) in order to build a new K-12 facility. $56,000,000 is the minimum because there are still unfunded aspects associated with the new school proposal, plus it is not too hard to imagine a scenario where we get 80% into construction and learn that we have to spend millions more to finish the project. It has already been realized that the school failed to plan for sidewalks to the school, applying post plan for a grant (applying for a grant does not mean funding has happened) to help pay for one along the football field, and having nothing planned for kids coming from the Brooklyn area. This huge amount of money and the associated tax burden is in addition to any existing or planned increases in taxes at the city, county, state, or federal level. The combined tax burden could cripple the local economy while providing no long term economic or academic achievement benefit. Once approved, WE are on the hook for at least $56,000,000, no matter what else happens. If the state changes the 55% formula going forward (the state recalculates their share every year based on total property tax values in the district with the unguaranteed 55% being the maximum they will pay), or enrollment declines, or we see big increases in other taxes and fees, or the economy continues to struggle, or the tax base shrinks, or whatever; WE must pay back $56,000,000. If the bond is approved, we lose all flexibility going forward.

Let’s say that everything goes perfectly! There are no cost overruns in the construction, the maze of necessary additional sidewalks is 100% paid by grant money, the state never reduces the 55% funding share, and the tax base does not decline. The absolute best case removes $1,200,000 from the local economy each and every year for the next 20 years with little or no economic return or, even more importantly, any academic benefit that gives our students a greater competitive advantage in a world-wide economy.

There are those who subscribe to the “build it and they will come” theory of economic growth. Unfortunately, this is just wishful thinking. Surveys of all different types of business on which factors are most important in determining locations to expand or relocate their businesses all reported the same results. The number one and number two factor .....
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Name released for Level 3 predatory offender relocating to Rushford area

Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Police Reports

On October 8, 2014, there will be a Community Notification Meeting in the Gymnasium at the Rushford-Peterson High School in Rushford. Representatives from the Department of Corrections, Rushford Police Department, and the Fillmore County Sheriff’ ..... 
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Rushford Village increases maximum levy

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Government

Changes to city contracts, Local Government Aid (LGA), and staffing have led to a decision by the Village council to set the maximum levy for 2015 at $400,000. The amount levied for 2014 was $350,000, which was a $10,000 drop from 2013. Now, the cou ..... 
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Rushford - Peterson discusses open meeting in preparation for forums

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Sep 15th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Education

Due to several upcoming public forums, the R-P district has sought legal advice on regulations regarding to open meeting law. The district has been advised to follow protocol for published notice, as it does with board meetings, so regardless of whe ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson discusses plans for repurposing facilities

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Aug 25th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Education

Following a recent Tri-City meeting, and meetings with municipal councils and entities, the school board continues to discuss options for repurposing current facilities should the November referendum be successful. In doing so, the district has secu ..... 
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Rushford Village reviews project, staffing options

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Aug 22nd, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Government

Getting the Tuff Lane Project underway may finally be drawing near for Rushford Village. Deemed deficient by the county, the city is mandated to remedy the lane bridge, which currently has insufficient tonnage limits. In June project engineer Brian ..... 
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Highway 43 detour for culvert repair south of Rushford postponed

Thu, Aug 21st, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village All

ROCHESTER, Minn. – A planned one-day detour on Highway 43 south of Rushford has been delayed by weather and will likely be started on Monday, weather permitting. Motorists on Highway 43 south of Rushford will encounter a detour as Minnesota Depart ..... 
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Rushford Village updates sticky ordinances, policies

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Aug 8th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Government

The Rushford Village Council discussed the need for modification to existing policies and ordinances at the Tuesday, August 5 meeting. Spurred by questions from Public Works/Maintenance Director Bob Thieret, City Clerk Kristina Mart suggested the ci ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson addresses building security

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Village Education

The district has ramped up its protocol for usage and opted for restricted access by key, following a concern brought forth by board member Taylor Peterson regarding unauthorized and unsupervised use of the facility. Under the new plan, access to th ..... 
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