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Good news at Rushford City Council - lower taxes, new airport building


Fri, Dec 20th, 2002
Posted in Features

The Rushford City Council meeting was full of tidings of great joy Monday night, December 16. The council reviewed the proposed recommended 2003 budget of $530,480, which was $18,540 below the maximum levy originally sought. This budget would have a positive balance cushion of $21,880 to help if the state were to cut back Local Government Aid. The council opted to go with the recommended budget, a 4% increase over last year’s taxes instead of the original maximum levy of 7.52%. Taking into consideration the increased tax capacity of the city, the council projects that the city portion of taxes will decrease.

Further good news from the council was that the labor contract with employees was nearly settled. The council has made a counter proposal to the union and voted to accept the contract if the union voted to ratify it, pending clarification of some legal questions.

Yet another item of good news was the near completion of the airport arrival building. Councilman Ron Mierau reported the building was usable with sewer and power hooked up. Water to the building needs only to be tested before being available for drinking. Approvals from MNDOT have been received for the building, and blacktopping is complete on the taxiway. Knowing the runway is in poor condition with cracks in the blacktop, the state is willing to fund 80% to pave it. Council member Nancy Benson commented, "The new arrival building is a 200% improvement over the old building."

Councilman Ron Mierau interjected, "I’d say 300%!" He went on to remind the council that Mike Thern was paying the cost of the building as a prepay lease, a significant investment, and that the city was only paying for water and sewer, items which were needed years ago.

Other business

The council:

•has learned that the Central Cable Company’s insurance company wanted to close the issue of the tennis courts and has decided to require complete resurfacing of the courts;

•hired Smith Schafer and Associates to perform the city audit;

• agreed to hire Otomo Engineering to do a feasibility study on the water system with a March 3rd deadline;

•set hours of operation for Christmas Eve at a half day with employees using comp time, vacation time, or taking it off without pay

• conducted a public hearing on the snow ordinance to which no one came (and which the council no longer intends to enact).

The final good news of the night came when the meeting ended ahead of schedule and the council left, cheerfully wishing everyone happy holidays!

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