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Legacy grant to be pursued

Mon, Apr 23rd, 2012
Posted in Preston Government

Jeff Broberg, a member of the National Trout Center (NTC) board of directors, discussed the possibility of obtaining Legacy grant funding (from the three-eighths Minnesota sales tax) at the Preston City Council’s April 16 meeting. Broberg, Minnesota Trout Association, serves on the Southeast Minnesota Water Resources Board and is VP at McGhie and Betts Environmental Services, Inc. Council member David Harrison was absent.

Broberg asked the city to look into applying for the grant and to act as the fiscal agent. There would be no monetary matching fund required from the city. Broberg suggested other entities like the Minnesota Trout Association and SWCD may act as partners in an effort to make stream bank improvements, to do beneficial landscaping in the floodway, to create better handicap accesses, to prevent stream erosion, and to promote fishing.

The application would need to be submitted by late June and if successful would be available mid year in 2013 and run for two to three years. One requirement of the grant funding is that the area be open to public fishing.

City Administrator Joe Hoffman said we have all contributed to these funds and this is a chance to bring back some money locally. The council approved pursuing the grant.

Approval for city Fishing Course

Broberg asked the city for approval to go ahead with an idea from the Minnesota Trout Association to have a fishing course within the city of Preston. The idea is to have a map and score card for nine spots or fishing holes. This could be on a self guided basis and the score cards could be made available at the NTC. He said it could be started during Trout Days. Hoffman said it is great that we have such great waters within the community.

The council approved the authorization of the area from a bend at the fairgrounds to the St. Paul bridge for the fishing course.

Fire Department Cascade System

Steve Schroeder explained the need for an updated system to refill air tanks. The current system is about 40 years old and only fills the tanks half full. Under OSHA regulations this only allows the firefighters to do seven and one-half minutes of work.

The new system will fill the tanks and allow for twice the usage time. It will also make them compatible with other fire departments and equip them to go to high pressure in the future.

The total cost for the new cascade system is estimated to be $12,762. The council approved the purchase of the system. The city’s equipment budget will pay $6,000 with the remaining funds coming from the equipment reserve (charitable gambling).

Other Business In Brief

•Brett Grabau, Stantec Consulting Services, explained that with a pavement management plan the city’s streets would be evaluated and ranked from one to ten (ten being brand new pavement). They would rank curb and gutters also. The condition of sanitary sewer and water storm sewers would be evaluated. The resulting report will allow the city to look at the whole picture and prioritize for short and long term planning. The report will include estimated construction costs and maintenance costs.

The council approved the proposal to do the plan which will cost no more than $7,500. The Preston Utility will pay one-third of the cost which will be split between the water and sewer fund. The city will pay the remaining $5,000.

•County Assessor Cynthia Blagsvedt gave an overview of the assessed property values in Preston and across the county for the Board of Appeal and Equalization. No one from the public was in attendance to ask questions or to challenge the county’s assessed values. The Estimated Market Value for the whole of the city of Preston was increased by 2.57 percent. Preston saw an increase in new construction valued at $531,100 which was in large part due to the construction of the new Casey’s convenience store.

•College student Kenneth McBride was hired for the summer to help with general maintenance work including cutting grass and weeds, painting curbs, and filling pot holes.

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