The Monday, October 22 Rushford Council meeting was notably shorter in business discussions that most meetings, but covered a multitude of recent donations that are helping the city thrive.
Up first for council consideration was a summary by Rushford’s Merrill Schroeder regarding his Eagle Scout project, an ice rink warming house for the Creekside Park rink. Seeing a number of needs as the community works to improve the rink, Schroeder worked with several others to construct a fully-insulated and sided warming house. Additional funding, in the amount of $860, was also raised for equipment and site amenities, including the possibilities of used skates, a heater, and hockey goal nets.
“Any time someone achieves Eagle Scout status, it should be celebrated in the community,” noted Mayor Chris Hallum. The council thanked Schroeder for his efforts.
A collaborative effort by the Rushford Economic Development Authority (EDA), Rushford Peterson Valley Chamber of Commerce lodging taxes, Rushford Community Foundation, and Fillmore County Statewide Health Improvement Partnership Program (SHIP) has provided a sizeable donation of $9,800 for the purpose of new kiosk signs. The two signs highlight the Root River Trail System, as well as city and bluff trails, along with businesses throughout the communities of Rushford, Rushford Village, and Peterson.
One of the high-quality kiosks was installed at the historic trailhead depot in Rushford and another at Ben Niggle Athletic Field, near R-P School grounds and Creekside Park. Designed, created, and installed by the collaborative work of Connaughty Sales, Wild Exhibit, and Rushford Public Works, the signs have been the subject of much positive conversation within the community.
Additional signage, not included in the council’s resolution approval, was also placed inside the new R-P School and on Magelssen Bluff, directing visitors to amenities within the communities. The municipal airport departure building will also benefit from a smaller type sign and eventually a larger kiosk, noting arrival to Robert W. Bunke Field, will be placed for outside viewing on airport grounds.
The third donation of the evening came by way of Compeer Financial, in the amount of $3,000 for the fire department. The funds will be utilized for the purchase of a radio for the R-3 Rescue Rig. According to City Clerk Kathy Zacher, the radio rings in with a $2,900 price tag. An additional $500 will be contributed by fire department funds for the programming and installation of the radio.
In regular business, the council did approve action on a recommendation by the EDA to amend the repayment schedule for the revolving loan fund loan for Jessie Street Java/Feller Properties. Minimal monthly payments have been made on the loan, with interest continuing to accrue, since June 2017. The repayment amount will be increased to $100 per month, with emphasis being placed on allowing the business to focus on paying down other debts and continuing to make loan payments to Rushford State Bank, placing the city in higher collateral position.
“From a structural standpoint, a business standpoint, it makes the most sense,” noted City Administrator Tony Chladek. “It’s a viable business. It will eventually be paid back.”
Councilor Sally Ryman, who also sits on the EDA board, noted the board had discussed the matter extensively. “As long as they’re making payments to the bank, it puts us in better and better position.” The company is aiming to repay bank loans within three years, then focus on a similar repayment timeline for the EDA loan.
The company continues to provide regular financial paperwork and business data to the EDA.
Due to Veterans Day, the next regularly scheduled council meeting is Tuesday, November 1, at 6:30 p.m., at city hall. The public is encouraged to attend.