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Rushford Library construction deferred

Fri, Mar 14th, 2003
Posted in Features

Burt Svendsen, chairman of the Rushford Public Library Board, visited the Rushford City Council meeting Monday, March 10, to report on library usage and building progress. Svendsen shared that the library is still seeing growing numbers of patrons as well as items checked out, and that SELCO is changing its operating system, leading to a need for staff training and a new checkout computer. Recognizing that there is little support from either the city council or the community for library construction at this time, Svendsen acknowledged that the Library Board has decided not to pursue construction at this time. Mayor T.S. Roberton queried, "If we werent facing a cut from the state, what would you be asking for tonight?"To which Svendsen replied, "I dont know if Id ask for anything. Id like to see a multi-type facility with a new city hall, library, learning center, etc."Mayor Roberton added, chuckling, "With a new school on that too?"Getting serious, Svendsen concluded his presentation, stating that the board has opted to wait to see what kind of budget June brings. The library board has chosen not to spend money on Crescendo, a fund-raising company from Winona at this time.Airport To Get Finishing TouchesThe council accepted the low bid of SEH to engineer the paving of the airport runway. After receiving assurances this was a "fix-up, catch-up" for the airport with no more large anticipated expenses, the council chose to continue with the paving project, taking advantage of an 80/20 state financing match that is available until June (at the latest). The city share of the project, $60,000, cannot be covered by the airport budget. The Electric Commission agreed to loan the airport money to cover the remaining costs with the airport paying the Electric Commission interest comparable to CD rates. Under the current city budget, the Airport Fund would grow as some balance building occurs over the next several years, providing funding for future repairs. Water and Budget MeetingsBDM Consulting Engineers will be presenting a model analysis for the citys water system as well as a Feasibility Study of Water System Improvements on April 14. Mayor Roberton and the council invite the public to come and listen to the presentation in order to gain background for a public hearing to be held April 28, at which time citizen input will be sought. The new water rates will be set April 28 as well.A special city council meeting will be held April 21 to go over the results of the audit of the citys financial books. Following that presentation, the council will go over potential budget cuts for the city. While the council hesitated to call a special meeting and toyed with asking the auditor to shorten the report and presentation, Kathy Zacher, city clerk, informed the council, "Its good for you to hear the numbers. Given the condition of the state, its important to be familiar with the numbers. Its too important not to spend time on it. I dont want you to have any surprises!"Other BusinessIn other business the council: chose to proceed with a lawsuit against Ace and Central Cable for damages done to the tennis and basketball courts at Creekside Park; approved a tobacco license for Rushford American Legion; assigned Ron Mierau and Larry Johnson the task of meeting with Jon Pettit and Lynn Humble to discuss Summer Recreation budgets and possible reductions; authorized bid request for 2003 street repair; were informed of a $1,200 grant from Dairyland Power which will be used toward the Nanotechnology bill.Wanda Hanson can be reached at

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