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Rushford City Council Report:Long-needed water utility improvements get underway

Fri, Sep 26th, 2003
Posted in Features

At their September 22, 2003 meeting the Rushford City Council followed the recommendations of Bill Chang from BDM Consulting Engineers to begin the citys water utility improvements. At Changs suggestion, the city agreed to send BDM utility drawings for the area around the city garage so BDM can provide plans and specifications for a needed booster pump at that locale.

The city public works staff (with assistance from Otomo Engineering) will install a water main loop from the city garage to the fire hydrant near the former Mobil station and from the garage to Ferry Street and then to Harry Street. The city will bid the installation of the in-line booster pump and a pump house (large enough to accommodate a possible future well) at the city garage with city employees installing the water main connections. The council set December 2003 as the target completion date.

With the public works department staff doing much of the work, the cost of the project will be under $ 100,000. Larry Bartelson, city administrator, recommended an interfund loan from the Electric Commission to finance the project, adding that there was the option of funding through tax levy as well, since this is an infrastructure improvement. The council chose to contact the Electric Commission to pursue the possibility of a loan from them. Previous water rate increases were for repairs to the water tower and to pay back loans from the Liquor Fund. An additional rate increase effective starting in November will be necessary to cover the costs of the new improvements.

Woxlands Plumbing is installing water meters throughout the city. When all of the new meters are installed, water meters will be read on a monthly basis and charges will be for water actually used.

The refurbishing of well number 3 will be next on the agenda on water improvements. If the public works staff does some of the work, the cost for that improvement will be around $30,000.


Mike Thern of Rushford Aviation appeared to personally thank council members for supporting the runway repaving project. With blacktopping completed, the only work left before reopening the airport to traffic is some striping and painting.

Absolutely no driving will be allowed on the new blacktop so a gate has been added at the north end of the field so Steve Highum can access his field and another will be added on the south end as well for Jim Woxland.

Landscaping smoothing of the terrain, adding topsoil, and planting of grass needs to be finished around the new AD building. Topsoil may be obtained from the area where private parties plan to build new T-hangars in the future. Ground-up old runway pavement would be used to replace the dirt.

A portion of cyclone fence is still needed for security purposes. Although the cost ($2,200) is higher than the projected $1,000, the state has okayed the expense. The citys share will be $880 rather than the original $400.

Other business

In other business, the council:

Approved the trial use of a purchase order system for the Airport Commission for any purchases of $250 or more;

Passed a credit card policy for city employees;

Set the fee of permit for re-siding homes at $60.50 total as required by the state building code;

Directed staff to check on liability, insurance, and a legal agreement with the Equestrian Trail group, agreeing with PWD Jeff Copleys suggestion that no permanent structures be built, no overnight parking allowed, and parking in the ponding area needs council and PWD approval;

Agreed to the contract agreement for back-up generators contingent on acceptance by the Electric Commission and the city attorney. The agreement has qualifiers included concerning receiving permit from the MPCA and final site selection by the council.

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