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Motorcycle charity ride route through Preston

Fri, May 3rd, 2013
Posted in Preston Features

The Preston City Council at their April 29 meeting agreed to be one of the host cities for the thirteenth annual Ronald McDonald House Charity Ride to take place on Sunday July 28.

The ride raises an average of $130,000 annually. This year it is to start in Rochester, then on to St. Charles, Winona, Rushford, Preston, and ending in Rochester. Typically there are about 1600 participants. As many as 600 motorcycles could roll in at a time. They are expected to roll through Preston from 2 to 4 p.m.

The city will probably form a committee to help organize volunteers, needing about 20. Organizations that could be involved include the Fire Department, Chamber of Commerce, Churches, Boys Scouts, Lions Club, and the Serviceman’s Club. More information about the ride can be found at http://rmhcruise.com/


The council continued the Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting that had be recessed on April 15. Mitch Henderson, POET, thanked City Administrator Joe Hoffman and County Assessor Cynthia Blagsvedt for their help in gathering data. POET was questioning a 57 percent increase in market value ( from $5,276,800 to $8,279,000). Henderson said they want to be treated equally and want to know how the increase was determined.

Blagsvedt said the Minnesota Department of Revenue assists with complex property assessments. They have been reassessing ethanol plants throughout the state. Fermentation tanks were not previously included in the assessment as taxable and are required by the state to be taxable. Blagsvedt said POET hadn’t responded to her offer to sit down and talk with them until April 15. The plant had last been assessed five years before. Blagsvedt said assessment is required at least every five years. Mayor Kurt Reicks suggested that something of this value should be assessed annually.

Councilman Charles Sparks asked if the market value over the last few years was under valued. Blagsvedt agreed it had been undervalued. She said POET will need to show facts to have the new value lowered.

The council voted unanimously for “no change.” POET now has the option of doing nothing more or they can go to the Fillmore County Board next. Henderson said there had not been enough time to assemble more information which is something they may do in the future.

Other Business In Brief

•An application from Jeff and Angela Bennett for a 10 year loan of $15,000 at 2.5 percent interest was approved as recommended by the EDA. Councilman Robert Maust voted no. The loan will help the couple purchase the L & S building on Main Street. Purchase of the building will retain an existing business with the intention of attracting a new business to fill an open space in the building.Sparks said the purchase meets all the requirements the EDA has for this kind of loan.

•After some discussion the purchase of an additional office phone for an office shared by tourism director Kathy Dahl and EDA Cathy Enerson was approved on the condition that the $450 cost for the phone comes from the Tourism and EDA budgets. Currently, there is only one phone in the shared office.

•Public Works Director Jim Bakken requested and received approval to purchase a 2013 JD 1445 mower for $21,000 from Preston Equipment. The cost will be split between the Park Board, the city ($7,089), and the Preston Public Utilities.

•Two alley closures were approved for Trout Days including the alley adjacent to the Serviceman’s Club and the alley adjacent to the National Trout Center.

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