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Preston City Council Report: New police officer sworn in


Fri, Dec 5th, 2003
Posted in Features

At the regular meeting of the Preston City Council Monday evening, Blaise Sass was sworn in as the newest member of the Preston Police Force. Officer Sass will start on Wednesday, December 3.

Truth in Taxation

During the public hearing, Fred Nagle, the city administrator, noted that the State had cut local government aid to Preston by $65,000. In the 2004 budget there is a built in 3% wage increase and a 25% health insurance increase. Nagle expected about a 9% increase in the property tax levy for the city mostly due to cuts in State support. The grand total of expenditures budgeted are actually less for 2004 ($1,074,309) than 2003 ($1,087,801) by -1.26%.

Sidewalks

A public hearing will be held December 15, 2003, at 6:00 p.m. for the purpose of hearing objections to proposed assessments. Council member Mike McGarvey made a motion, which was approved, to have a map of all sidewalks in town and notations marking the year replaced or the year scheduled to be replaced. Problem sidewalks were to be determined by the end of May each year.

Contract with SEMDC

Joe Hoffman, executive director of Southeastern Minnesota Development Corporation, presented a contract to be entered into with the city of Preston. SEMDC is a regional non-profit organization and a support service for economic development to assist community and business development as directed by the EDA (Economic Development Authority). SEMDC helps with loans and grants, holds training sessions and aids with making and carrying out an annual plan. SEMDC is partially supported by fund raising and grants, but will bill the city for a maximum of $16,016 for this year. The council approved the contract.

New Legal Council for

Heartland Issues

Council member, Heath Mensink objected to hiring a new attorney for Heartland issues, but Mayor David Pechulis insisted that it was important to have an attorney who would attend council meetings. Pechulis noted that there were ten applications for building permits that the council needed legal guidance to deal with. Kennedy and Graven, the firm that has been handling the Hearland matter, does so only by letter or phone.

Mensink complained that “now we are going to pay two attorneys to attend meetings.” David Joerg, the Preston city attorney, has a conflict of interest and will not comment on Heartland questions. Jerry Scheevel said that the Heartland questions are all in court now. Mensink suggested that they should find an attorney outside of the county. It was decided that Fred Nagle,with the help of Mike McGarvey, would check with the Rochester Planning Department and do some research of available attorneys who wouldn't have conflicts and report back at the next meeting.

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