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Rushford Council listens to library building proposal

Fri, Nov 1st, 2002
Posted in Features

The Rushford City Council began their regular bimonthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, October 28 to accommodate a presentation by the library board. Ron McGriff, a consulting librarian from SELCO (Southeast Libraries Cooperating) worked the council through the space needs assessment and alternatives study that had been done over the last several years. Pointing out the need for support beams for the floor loading in the building, the need for humidity control and upgrade of the duct system, the need for off-street parking, and the need for the library to remain on one floor to keep staffing expenses down, McGriff strongly suggested the Tew Building not be renovated or expanded. His recommendation was that a 7,000 square foot library building be constructed on approximately an acre of land, providing 25 on-site parking spaces. Touting the cost saving opportunities for shared meeting rooms, entry-way, and restrooms, McGriff urged construction of a combination city hall and library. Such a building would cost around $1.5 million.

The library board also recommended the hiring of Crescendo Consulting to assist in fundraising for a new library. Laura Eddy, a partner in Crescendo, blocked out the steps her business takes to raise funds in small communities. Stressing the need for a community assessment of financial capacity and leadership, she informed the council that while they do some grant writing, the majority of the money is raised by personal solicitation of donors by volunteers trained by Eddy and her partner. The assessment and fund raising campaign would take about 13 months with a fee paid to Crescendo of around $120,000 based on hourly rates. The council took no action on the proposals of the library board, citing council policy that no action will be taken on proposals made the same night as a meeting.

Well Problems

After hearing the request for a $1.5 million library expenditure, the council was hit with a second budget whammy as they were informed of a meeting with the State Department of Health on the radium levels in well no.4. Since the radium levels in well no. 4 are slightly higher than allowed by new state standards, it was suggested that water from wells 3 and 4 be blended. In order to accomplish blending, a new submersible pump would be needed and the well would need to be redeveloped. The current turbine pump brings in oxygen with colored water resulting for 15 minutes each time the pump starts up. This project would cost $44,000 and was not considered when the council set the new water rates. Funding would probably be reallocated from capital projects (bathhouses at the city campground). Councilman Norris Kinneberg asked, "What’s more important? Potties at the park or better water for everybody?"

The golf cart ordinance was fine-tuned with some input from Clayt Roelefs, a current cart user. The intent of the ordinance is to prevent an excess of golf carts on city streets with cart privilege reserved for people with physical disabilities who are not able to drive other vehicles. An exception has been made for the Good Shepherd Home staff to drive residents around town on a cart. The public hearing on the ordinance is slated for November 12.

The council meeting ended as it began, with a building project. Construction of the airport building got underway as the council accepted the low bids on water well, septic system, a double-wide pre-built arrival and departure building, moving and setting up of the building, and concrete piers. The council then sent a letter to MnDOT requesting a grant for the construction. Total costs are estimated at $82,254. Mike Thern of Rushford Aviation reported taxiway and ramp pavement were completed.

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