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Rushford City Council Report: New site promoted for back-up generator building


Fri, Jan 31st, 2003
Posted in Features

Brian Guenther of Power Plus, an engineering firm, was present at the January 27th Rushford City Council meeting to explain the newly proposed back-up generator site. The building to house three back-up generators with space for a future fourth generator could be placed next to the substation. The pluses of this site include: the site is not in the park; it is already zoned light industrial, cable conductors are expensive so the proximity to the substation would save in money as well as in less electrical loss; there would be fewer concerned neighbors. While tree work and excavating would be needed, the site was apparently more palatable to both the Electric Utility Commission and the Rushford City Council than the previously suggested Jaycee Park site.

Guenther also informed the council that new capacitor banks had been installed. The old banks were filled with PCBs and were supposed to have been removed by 1989. Other work planned by the Electric Utility Commission for the coming year includes the replacement of six or seven street light poles downtown. With a manufacturing cost of $1,500 per stainless steel pole, the commission opted to spread the replacement over several years.

Budget Concerns

Budget concerns came to the forefront as Mayor T.S. Roberton mentioned recent emails from the League of Minnesota Cities. Those emails stated that a forty to fifty per cent cut in LGA is expected as well as a possible change to the formulation used to determine LGA amounts. Some legislators feel that rural communities are currently receiving too much of the pie at the expense of Twin Cities suburbs. Roberton pointed out that if the formulation were changed to favor the suburbs, it would be a permanent change in funding and not just a problem next year. Rushford would conceivably be looking at a resulting $200,000 (or more) cut in LGA monies.

Commenting on the situation, Norris Kinneberg declared, " We have to operate the city with what we’ve got."

Roberton concurred, stating, "The less we depend on St. Paul for anything, the better off we are."

Other items

In other business, the council:

• chose to place on a future agenda the idea of paying council members to attend committee meetings if others on the committee are being paid to attend.

• approved the IBEW contract for Jeff Copley with a raise consistent with the other city employee raises.

• gave the part-time employees at the municipal liquor store and Zoning Administrator Roger Colbenson three percent raises.

• allowed a portion of South Elm Street near Stumpy’s to be closed to traffic February 1 from noon to 7 PM for a snowmobile rally.

• approved a drug and alcohol testing policy for holders of commercial driver’s licenses.

• heard Fire Department Chief Mike Ebner’s report that asbestos had been removed from the Fire Hall back room and that three new fire persons had been chosen—Mark Honsey, Gene Lawston, and Angi Tostenson, the first female in the department’s history.

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