At the April 2 Preston City Council meeting council members voted unanimously to commit $125,000 in support of a veterans home in Preston. Preston Public Utilities also has committed to a $125,000 contribution.
These contributions will only be expended in the event a veterans home is approved to be built in Preston. The commitment of cash from the city and PPU is part of a proposal that was drafted to be submitted to the county on April 3. Both Preston and Spring Valley were asked to submit their proposals to the county board to help the board decide which city will be endorsed as the location for a potential veterans home.
In late March the commissioners agreed to take on the responsibility of making a decision. Pressure had been put on the county board to endorse one city over the other. City Administrator Joe Hoffman noted there was general agreement among all entities involved that not naming a specific location in Fillmore County has become a disadvantage for the county. Bemidji and Montevideo are also competing for funding for a veterans home.
Hoffman said he expects legislators will respect the endorsement of the commissioners.
Preston’s effort for a veterans home began five years ago in April. The proposal has five bullet points presenting Preston as a veterans friendly community with an exceptional resident/visitor experience. Sixteen resolutions of support are included, many from veterans groups. The proposed site is a 15 acre bluff top site located within the city limits that is easily accessible from Highways 16 and 52. Committed contributions also include $100,000 from the Preston Area Community Foundation and another $20,000 (cash or in-kind service) from individual donors. At this point Preston has expended $15,000 toward the project. Preston commits to providing the 15 acre site plus infrastructure improvements.
Other business in brief
• City Attorney Dwight Luhmann reviewed changes made to the purchase agreement for the former Dairy & Farm site. The total purchase price will be $115,000. The city will make its first payment (of 10) on September 1 to Preston Public Utilities toward the $100,000 Dairy & Farm loan assumed by the city. Dairy & Farm will be required to do environmental clean-up. The date of closing is to be June 29. Dairy & Farm must apply for reimbursement of clean-up costs associated with the removal of the fertilizer building. Any reimbursement is to be dispersed to the city.
The council had already approved the terms of the purchase agreement. The revised purchase agreement had not yet been presented to Dairy & Farm.
• Rock and bituminous bids for 2018 were approved. Bids were made by Bruening Rock Products, Inc., Milestone Materials, and Rochester Sand & Gravel.
• The police department recently received approval to purchase a new Dodge pick-up which is on order to be delivered in the summer. Approval was given to sell the 2011 Impala squad, which the pick-up will replace, at auction.